Resource management is the acquisition and allocation of resources, including employees and their skill sets, finances, and technology. For the likes of manufacturing businesses this will also include machinery and materials.
A comprehensive resource management plan will ensure that all of a company’s resources are being used efficiently and effectively: two words that pretty much sum up any and all resource management concepts. The end result is that all projects should be completed successfully, on time and within budget.
Some resources required for a particular project might not exist within the company, but can often be obtained via third party sources. Consultants, outsourcing firms and international digital marketing agencies are three such industries.
Whether the resources are internal or external, a good resource management plan will help businesses of all sizes ensure their projects, programs, and portfolios are completed successfully.
Why resource management is important
Resource management is all about being as efficient and effective as possible while minimizing waste and optimizing productivity. It is such an important aspect of modern business that many companies hire resource management specialists to assess and allocate the resources required for their various ongoing and future projects and programs.
An effective resource management plan helps you avoid unforeseen obstacles. By properly understanding the resources that are available before beginning a project, any skill gaps or potential problems can be identified ahead of time and the correct resource management solutions applied.
Resource management tools will ensure you do not overallocate certain resources, leaving you short in other areas. You will also gain a good understanding of how dependent you are on certain resources, enabling you to create safety nets in case a project fails. Unsuccessful projects can be analyzed with resource management software to quickly identify where things went wrong. If inevitable failure occurred due to a lack of resources then a more effective resource management plan can be implemented before a similar project begins.
It is also important to have transparency with regards to the capacity and capability of your various departments and teams.
Resource management concepts
You can divide resource management into three pillars, each supporting the others and working together to create an effective and efficient resource management plan.
First, resource allocation is all about undertaking projects with the resources you have available and planning the process to ensure you have what it takes to complete the required tasks. Resource allocation reports can provide resource managers with a detailed perspective of the available resources so that delays and overspend can be avoided.
Second, resource leveling is another pillar that helps identify resources that are either underused or being used inefficiently. One of the most common examples of this is when an employee has multiple skills that are not all being used on the tasks they are assigned to. Instead of hiring a new employee or outsourcing a particular part of a project, this employee might be able to call upon their secondary skills to save time and money.
Lastly, resource forecasting is the key to fully optimizing your company’s resources. Use this tool to predict future resource requirements and their availability before planning any new projects. Resource management software is useful for resource forecasting as it can identify any potential obstacles and extra costs. This can be especially useful for e-commerce companies dealing in perishables such as online butchers and online florists.
How direct debits help resource management
A standard resource management definition is unlikely to directly mention payments and invoicing as these business elements would appear to be separate from the ongoing projects within a business. However, by simplifying your company’s invoicing and payments process you can save time and energy usually spent on chasing payments by ensuring your invoices are automatically paid securely and on time. This provides your company with more of the most important resources you have yourself.