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enterprise resource management software
Getting the Most out of What You Got: How to Find the Right Resource Management Software for You
How is Resource-Management Software Used?
Software for resource management helps business leaders to better track and allocate the assets that fuel their businesses. This software comes in many forms, from basic spreadsheets and databases, to all-encompassing multi-platform solutions, and provides potential advantages to every department within an organisation. For example, an IT department may use resource-management software to track the use of company computer equipment, and to help plan work-order schedules. HR can use resource-management software to track payroll and benefits, as well as other data associated with specific employees. Resource planning optimises project management tasks by fostering coordination and collaboration among team members and partners.
Customer resource-management software can act as a form of customer relationship management (CRM), capturing and analysing valuable customer data in order to help organisations better provide their clients with a satisfying customer experience. And as for the company as a whole, resource management software can be used to avoid cost overruns, automate scheduling and notifications, implement resource levelling, establish accurate forecasts, organise teams based on a variety of relevant factors, and more. Some resource management software integrates directly with financial systems, so that users can get a better feel for the relationships between costs and resources, and review the overall financial status of the company. Simply put, resource management software is designed to help your organisation make the most of its available assets. However, in order for it to do so effectively, it needs to be a good fit your existing structure.
Finding the Best Resource Management Software for Your Business
According to Capterra, reliability, usability, and ease of integration are the top three requirements project managers look for when shopping for software. This is because these three factors play important roles in user adoption. The same can be said for resource management software. In order for your resource management solution to be effective, your employees have to be willing to use it. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the three aforementioned factors as they relate to performing a resource-management software comparison.
Digital spreadsheets have been in use in the workplace since the late 1980s, and before that, nondigital tools such as paper files and calendars were the go-to solution for office resource management. But how reliable were these solutions, really? Paper files are difficult to organise and retrieve, and can easily be lost or destroyed. Calendars are only as reliable as those who keep them, often being forgotten or ignored. Digital spreadsheets are certainly a step in the right direction — particularly those that are designed to synch with digital calendars — and can be used to coordinate small teams and manage limited resources and scheduling, but still rely on manual data entry, and are often somewhat limited in terms of scope and accuracy.
Effective resource-management software are cloud-based programs, very similar to the structure of the best CRM systems. Taking a cloud-based approach enables them to instantly backup and synchronise in real time any changes made to the shared program by any authorised user. This ensures that you’ll always have the most relevant data, and that important resources are never falling through the cracks.
Large businesses may have thousands of employees all involved in resource management, which means that enterprise resource-management software needs to be user-friendly enough for a wide range of technical-expertise levels. Likewise, the learning-curve shouldn’t be so difficult that employees require extensive training for certification. Ideally, the program should be intuitive enough to allow users to jump directly into it with no prior instruction.
Of course, the more complex the system, the more likely it is that it will require some form of training. When this is the case, built-in tutorials that guide new users through hand-on interaction are extremely valuable. And, because many users would prefer to jump directly in and deal with issues as they arise, 24-hour multi-channel support options (such as via live chat, email, telephone, etc.) provide a safety net. Smaller businesses with fewer employees can likewise benefit from user-friendly resource-management software, as they will likely have a less robust IT department (if any) available to offer assistance.
Ease of Integration
Enterprise-resource management software should be designed to be able to function effectively throughout multiple users and departments. As such, in order to facilitate this, it needs to be able to perform with full functionality regardless of platform or device. Cloud-based programs make this possible. By housing the entire application online and making it accessible via browsers eliminates problems associated with incompatibility. When it comes to cloud-based resource-management software, Mac and PC users are able to not only enjoy the same resource-management capabilities, but are also able to work together seamlessly and in real-time. Likewise, given the current shift towards mobile computing, the best resource-management software solutions are those that are designed to be fully functional on mobile smart devices. Some may even allow for extended customisation through third-party apps, improving integration even further.
In addition to the need for multi-platform integration, resource management software should also be capable of coordinating with any existing systems or processes that you organisation may already have in place. If you use an effective CRM system, for example, resource management should be able to link directly with it, and work in tandem to provide data-based information and real-time solutions.
Salesforce to Manage Your Resources
The CRM technology used to improve and maintain buyer-seller relationship is uniquely suited to resource management. Because of this, established CRM providers may offer the best resource-management software options to fit your organisation’s needs. Salesforce is one such provider. With their mobile-first design, wide customisation and configuration options (including an extensive library of third-party apps via the Salesforce AppExchange), web-based cross-platform accessibility, and real-time synchronisation of data for all users, Salesforce resource management is a reliable, usable, and widely integrable option.
No matter you project, no matter your business, no matter your industry, your organisation relies on its available resources in order to achieve success. As such, effective management of those resources inevitably leads to better execution and a greater ROI. And, just as you won’t accomplish anything without the right resources, it’s just as true to say that without proper resource management, your resources will never be able to provide you as much value as they otherwise could. Leverage technology for better resource management, and you see just how high your business can grow when built on a foundation of correctly managed assets.