“The consulting market is expected to reach USD 570.77 billion by 2029.”
The consulting industry is growing and witnessing a greater demand for general and specialized professionals. However, due to this rapid surge in demand, many consultancy firms struggle to deliver projects with their existing talent pool.
Therefore, effective resource scheduling has become imperative for these companies to accurately assign their consultants and ensure the timely delivery of assignments.
However, many consultancy firms still rely on ineffective tools such as spreadsheets or homegrown solutions for resource scheduling. It often results in double bookings, over/underutilization of resources, expensive hiring/firing cycles, low employee morale, etc.
Therefore, consultancy firms need enterprise-grade resource scheduling solutions to leverage the workforce’s full potential. It helps minimize project resourcing costs, ensures competent allocation, and maximizes organizational profitability.
This blog discusses the benefits of a multi-dimensional resource scheduler in consultancy firms and how SAVIOM’s advanced solution can help these companies with effective scheduling.
How is Resource Scheduling Unique in Consultancy Firms?
In “knowledge-intensive” consultancy firms, human resources are indispensable assets that drive growth and profits. These companies are project-based, and their success depends on their consultants’ capabilities and effective utilization across various business functions.
In consultancy firms, clients are usually charged for advisory services on an hourly basis. Hence, these companies must maximize the billability of their consultants and improve profitability. Therefore, managers must identify and select the right resources for the right project at the right time and cost.
Furthermore, they need to ensure the availability of skilled consultants in terms of competencies and numbers to handle seasonal demand fluctuations. To facilitate this, they need effective resource scheduling that helps assign consultants to current and future projects. Failure to do so may result in last-minute firefighting, project delays, and missed business opportunities.
Since traditional tools lead to information silos and a lack of real-time data, modern consultancy businesses require multi-dimensional resource schedulers to optimize their workforce’s schedules. Additionally, resource scheduling solutions provide data-driven insight into various parameters such as availability, supply vs. demand gap, utilization, etc. This enables managers to forecast and mitigate labor bottlenecks with corrective resourcing treatments.
Now that we know how vital resource scheduling is for consultancy firms, let’s understand the benefits of a comprehensive resource scheduling solution.
Benefits of multi-Dimensional Resource Scheduler in Consultancy Firms
Consultancy firms can streamline and optimize their resource scheduling process with the help of a robust scheduling system.
Enlisted below are the business benefits of using a resource scheduler:
Helps Minimize Project Resourcing Costs
A multi-dimensional resource scheduler provides centralized resource visibility and data-driven insights. It enables managers to ensure the competent allocation of consultants based on skills, competencies, availability, and interests. Additionally, it provides visibility into pipeline consulting projects, helping reduce costly last-minute hiring/firing cycles.
Furthermore, it allows consultancy firms to leverage low-cost, global workforce and improve profitability. For example, a consultancy firm receives a tax fraud assignment from a regular client and needs three tax analysts to work from the client site. So, instead of allocating two senior resources, the manager can create a mix of senior and junior analysts to reduce project resourcing costs. This helps the firm meet its client expectations, ensure timely delivery, and improve its profitability.
Enables Competent Allocation of Consultants
By assigning the right people to the right task, consultancy firms can deliver projects within time, scope, and budget. With the help of robust resource scheduling solutions, managers can facilitate the competent allocation of consultants. In addition, the advanced filters help managers search for suitable resources across multiple dimensions such as skills, experience, qualification, role, cost rate, location, etc.
It also provides a skill matrix to capture the competencies of the workforce. This helps in matching skill set proficiency with the right project tasks. Additionally, it comes in handy during succession planning as it allows supervisors to identify suitable candidates to fulfill critical positions in the event of unplanned attrition or retirement.
Maximizes Billable Utilization of Professionals
A dynamic resource scheduler provides visibility into current and future bookings of the consultants. This enables managers to view the overall utilization levels and drill down to check whether the resources are working on billable, non-billable, or strategic activities. As a result, supervisors can mobilize consultants from non-billable work to client or strategic projects to improve their billable utilization.
For instance, the consulting supervisor reviewed the utilization of a senior business advisor and realized they were spending 45% of their capacity on mundane tasks such as internal meetings and data entry. As a result, the supervisor mobilizes the consultant from non-billable admin work to an upcoming client project. This will maximize the productive utilization of the professional and prevent billable losses for the organization.
Optimizes Resource Schedule Effectively
Optimizing resource schedules allows consultancy firms to improve organizational productivity. With the help of a centralized resource repository, an advanced scheduler can help managers implement optimization techniques such as resource leveling and smoothing depending on the project requirements.
In time-sensitive assignments, managers can determine if consultants are overloaded and redistribute the workload or assign additional staff to keep the project on track. Alternatively, they can reschedule the timeline to ensure the availability of critical resources when project deadlines are flexible. This can help them maintain optimal workflow and ensure timely delivery.
Facilitates Timely Delivery of Projects
A multi-dimensional resource scheduling solution enables managers to forward plan and schedule talented consultants with the right competencies for various projects. Thus, it guarantees a higher quality of deliverables. Furthermore, the advanced scheduler allows managers to choose resources based on their skills and interests.
Thus, it prevents the allocation of over or under-skilled resources and minimizes the risk of project overruns. Further, assigning work based on interests enhances employee motivation, improves engagement, and maximizes the chances of successful delivery within the deadline.
Now that we know the benefits of a resource scheduler let’s look at how resource management software can help.
How Can Advanced Resource Management Software Help in Effective Scheduling?
Modern scheduling systems are highly scalable and configurable, providing advanced functionalities beyond traditional resource scheduling. A next-gen resource management software like Saviom can help consultancy firms with effective scheduling in the following ways:
- It provides 360-degree visibility into important resource attributes and facilitates the competent allocation of consultants to multiple assignments.
- The software has advanced forecasting capabilities and capacity planning features to help identify and overcome imbalances in supply vs. demand proactively, thereby preventing last-minute firefighting and ensuring timely project delivery.
- The tool’s drag & drop functionality allows managers to reshuffle resource schedules based on dynamic project needs. It also has a bulk booking and bulk update feature that enables managers to reassign or change multiple project bookings with a single click.
- It helps maintain an enterprise-wide skill matrix that allows consulting managers to assign suitable resources to appropriate tasks based on their roles, competencies, interests, experience, etc.
- Real-time insights from BI-enabled reports, such as capacity vs. demand, forecast vs. actuals, cost reports, utilization heatmaps, etc., allow consultancy firms to track financial anomalies, resource utilization, and overall performance. Thus, it helps them keep the project timeline and budget under control.
- The open seat feature empowers consultants to volunteer for projects of their interest. This improves employee engagement and helps the firm deliver projects within the deadline.
- Lastly, the What-if analysis feature of the tool helps the firm prioritize profitable consulting projects within the existing resource constraints.
In conclusion, enterprise-grade resource management solutions can help consultancy firms optimally schedule and allocate their talent across various assignments.
Effective resource scheduling is critical to improving consultancy firms’ overall productivity and performance. It helps ensure the skill-based allocation of professionals and enables companies to combat resource-related bottlenecks more efficiently. Therefore, using a multi-dimensional resource scheduler can help consultancy firms to stay profitable and sustainable against market volatility.
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