Why the best agency resource scheduling software is integrated
Scheduling sits at the heart of agency operations. Booking people’s time effectively means you manage it better. And if you’re using the right scheduling approach, you can keep a closer eye on workloads, overservicing and capacity planning.
In this article, we explore the different tools available and why tools that are integrated with your wider job management system are better for agencies.
What is agency resource scheduling software?
Agency resource scheduling software is designed to help agencies book people onto work. There are lots of tools and systems available, but there are two distinct types of solution.
Here some of the key things you can see with an integrated resource schedule that you can’t see with a standalone tool.
Everything in one place for no re-entry of data
A simple benefit of having your resource schedule integrated with your job data is that there is no need to re-enter information into multiple systems. This saves time and removes mistakes.
For example, with Synergist’s integrated scheduling feature, you can book resources against a task in your project activity list to keep your jobs on track. .
You can also see where there are potential issues with the scheduled work. For example, Synergist’s Gantt chart feature has built-in dependencies so if a phase is running over and this means work on a future phase needs to be rescheduled, this will be flagged in the resource schedule. This advanced notice means that work can be strategically reshuffled and it’s not a case of someone finding out on the day that they can’t do their work.
You can fill out your timesheet directly from the schedule too, in one click!
You can add briefs, documents and notes to bookings, so, all the information they need is available, right there in the schedule. And resources can fill out their timesheet directly from the schedule, so you get real-time job tracking and there’s no chasing timesheets!
A view on capacity
Scheduling work is just one piece of the puzzle. You also need to see how your confirmed work and potential work impact capacity in the short and long term.
With a standalone tool you can see your short-term capacity because you can look at booked work. But you can only see capacity for confirmed work. This limits your ability to plan-ahead because you may think you have capacity then a big project is confirmed and the picture changes in an instant.
You can’t book opportunities in the same way you would confirmed work because resources could end up booked-up with no real, confirmed work.
Greater visibility for all
A shared calendar view means everyone can see what they’re working on and get a picture of work in progress and upcoming projects.
Everyone who needs to can also see where there are potential issues with the scheduled work. For example, Synergist’s Gantt chart feature has built-in dependencies so if a phase is running over and this means work on a future phase needs to be rescheduled, this will be flagged in the resource schedule.
This advanced notice means that work can be strategically reshuffled and it’s not a case of someone finding out on the day that they can’t do their work.
It may seem like a big step to go from a simple resource scheduling tool, or no software at all, to a complete agency management system. But using multiple tools and workarounds will get complicated quickly and you’re likely to find that you can’t quite see what you need to.
With an integrated schedule, you move away from just getting through volumes of work, towards strategically planning when work should be booked and what the implications of the schedule are on wider operations and profits. So our advice is to get an integrated agency management system now and save yourself a lot of time and pain juggling multiple tools and spreadsheets.
If you’d like to read a first-hand account of how getting to grips with resource scheduling and capacity has helped a thriving content marketing agency, read our Copy House case study.