How to choose your tool resource planning ?

How to choose your Stafing tool

To begin with, how to define what a resource planning tool is: it is a software that allows you to identify the right profiles for a project or a need, to assign them to this project and to follow the workload of the employees in a more general way. There are several resource planning tools on the market, but it is imperative that you choose the one that corresponds to your activity: you do not manage the resource planning of a warehouse as you manage the resource planning of a consulting firm. It is therefore important to identify the solutions that are best suited to your needs and your industry.

What are the criteria to take into account when looking to acquire a tool of resource planning adapted to your company?

1. Employee profile search features

Be able to search for profiles by entering criteria and specifying the time frame of the need The right tool at resource planning should allow you to easily search through your profiles with all the criteria that are important to you:

a. Skills

Skills are often key criteria when searching for profiles. Each of the profiles in your database, whether they are candidates, collaborators or subcontractors, must have up-to-date skills. Not only the list of these skills, but also their level on each of them.

Profile management in Stafiz: CVs, assessments and tasks included

These competencies should be updated by the profiles themselves, automatically through a connector with your GPEC tool, or with a simple data import.

b. Availability

When you are looking to staff a profile, it is usually for a specific period. But it doesn't have to be full time for the whole period: it can be on specific days or hours, over a period but not 100%, or only on certain days of the week. The cases vary, and your tool for resource planning must allow you to meet these criteria.

The load tracking in Stafiz gives you a clear visibility by profiles and missions

c. Past experience

It is often useful to include experience in a search: has this profile ever been involved in a project with this client? Has he/she already worked on this type of project? This makes it possible to refine the search with profiles that have already been trained on the subject and to respond more effectively to a client's needs.

d. Employee preference

Finally, if you can take into account the preferences of your profiles, this provides particularly interesting information. Using this criterion can help you retain your employees. By allowing them to indicate what type of project they would like to work on, you make it easier to take these wishes into account in your assignment and you improve employee satisfaction. A real step towards employee satisfaction and retention.

2. Employee allocation: visibility for employees and management

The resource planning tool must also give full visibility to teams: employees should have a complete view of their schedules and managers should be able to easily assign employees to projects and tasks based of these schedules.

a. Visibility with calendar integrations

It is important to give the employee visibility on his schedule and objectives. Thus, when the management assigns the employee to a project, the resource planning tool must notify the employee or the subcontractor. Ideally, the briefing associated with this assignment completes the information on the schedule. The employee must be able to easily know his schedule by connecting from his mobile app.

Resource planning software connected to employee calendars makes the scheduling process even more smooth. When the platform connects to these calendars, schedules can be modified from both ends: from the platform to the calendar and from the calendar to the platform.

b. Visibility and authority for management

On the management side, it is the global views that are most valuable. Being able to filter by role, by team and knowing who is assigned to what. The resource planning tool must allow you to easily reassign the workload from one collaborator to another, to shift assignments from one date to another if the project is behind schedule. A clear view of the schedule, availability and workloads must be available to managers.

Rights management is very important here: what visibility can be given to the manager? All the profiles of the company or just those of his team. If the software of resource planning allows it, levels of rights can be defined.

Stafiz load tracking provides your management team with complete visibility on your teams' activity

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3. Improved capacity and workload management

a. Easy communication of needs

Employees, whether they are sales people or project managers, must be able to create requirements for resource planning by meeting certain criteria, and these requirements must be directed to the people in charge of resource planning. This implies that the resource planning tool offers a "need creation" functionality that allows to indicate:

  • Competence criteria
  • Experience criteria
  • The charging period

 

Stafiz - request for the creation of a need
Creating a human resources requirement in Stafiz

These needs must be directed to the people in charge of addressing them, as an exhaustive view of current needs is needed to make the right decisions. Thus, when employee profiles fit several needs of the company, the resource planning tool must alert managers to help decide the most suitable project for the employee.

Stafiz - resource planning - Visualization of the needs in resource planning
Visualization of human resources requirements in Stafiz

b. Capacity measurements through effective scheduling

One of the great advantages of the resource planning tools is that they provide anticipation. They provide a vision of possible capacity shortages and indicate which recruitments need to be made. They must allow you to scenario the future workload, taking into account the totality of the occupation: customer projects, internal projects, absences, projects that could be started.

Depending on the scope selected, the impact on the workload may change. Ideally, you can pre-staff profiles on projects that are still in pre-sales. Depending on the percentage chance of success, the additional load is taken into account. You can then read the forecasted workload by deciding whether or not to take into account the elements in pre-sales.

Stafiz - resource planning - Visualization of the forecasted load
Visualization of the forecasted workload taking into account projects with a certain percentage of chance of being signed in pre-sales in Stafiz

c. Appropriate distribution of workload to increase efficiency and productivity

Optimized distribution of workload is the key factor for success in improving the efficiency and productivity of teams. Tasks must be allocated as much as possible among employees to avoid bottlenecks and delays. Being able to identify these bottlenecks at a glance allows managers to reorganize the work.

In addition to increased productivity, good workload management leads to increased employee satisfaction.

4. The plus that makes all the difference: integrate resource planning with the financial forecast

a. Monitor future production

By assigning profiles to projects or tasks, you systematically carry out the financial forecast without necessarily knowing it. A resource planning tool with project accounting functionalities can bring you even more value.

  • Calculate the progress of a project and the associated turnover
  • Calculate the impact of forecasts on profitability
  • Ability to send all elements to an ERP for updated forecasting

Then, you can eliminate the repetitive process of manually updating forecasts when schedules shift.

b. Calculate project margins

If your software of resource planning allows you to set up costs behind each user (a salary for an employee, or a cost price for a specific supplier), then the load management will allow you to calculate the future profitability of the project. If you can staff subcontractors and indicate their purchase price it is even better, because you can forecast the future production and cost of the subcontractor.

Other costs will impact your project: product purchases, non rebillable travel expenses, etc... To have everything, make sure that the chosen solution of resource planning allows it. For the realized (the time already spent): if your solution of resource planning also manages the time spent, then it is also simple: only one solution to manage everything. If not, you can connect your timesheet tool to your resource planning tool to have the actual and the forecast.

Having a native integration of the actual and the forecast is still ideal to avoid data problems and other bugs that connectors can sometimes cause. All that remains is to read the project dashboard and check if the recalculated forecasted profitability is close to the objective or if the project margins are deviating.

c. Connect the resource planning tool to the ERP tool

The update of the projects and the remaining work to be done must be regularly integrated into the ERP. Ideally, employees work in a simpler and more intuitive solution such as resource planning, before the data is automatically sent via API to the ERP. The finance functions can then take over to prepare the accounting close.

Stafiz - Integration with payroll and accounting software
Stafiz is natively integrated with various payroll and accounting software such as Sage, Cegid, SAP, Nibelis, SilaeExpert...

 


Stafiz helps you gain visibility and better manage your resource planning and project progress with real-time data. The software takes into account costs and financial KPIs. Stafiz is a SaaS for managing resource planning, project management and business intelligence. So budgets and margins are always respected and you make better decisions for your business.

To learn more about the Stafiz platform, visit the dedicated page.

Resource planning