Resource Planning (ERP) Software

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Complex projects and high-volume manufacturing requires sophisticated solutions that bring visibility and reliability to a process. Resource planning enables users to plan out detailed workflows with part requirements, resource demands, estimated and reported task durations and allows them to take full control over the complete life-cycle of a product. The monitoring and notification functionality of RP system informs users about potentials to improve efficiencies. Resource planning applications use larger databases and generally integrate with other business software through APIs. Along with functionality for manufacturing departments RP software often offer financial and human resource modules as well.  Read the full software guide...

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What is Resource Planning (ERP) Software?

Resource planning, or ERP (enterprise resource planning), is essential for businesses that put a high value on efficient project management. It is what helps business leaders, managers, and personnel come up with sound decisions when it comes to ensuring the success of a project.

The main focus of resource planning is to determine, analyze, and understand the effectiveness and efficiency of a company’s resources, including the ways they are used and the workload that goes with them.

For example, a company is working on a project. One of the first things to consider is the availability of resources. In addition, the team involved would also have to determine if the project can be carried out in the proper manner and according to the period of time allotted for it.

To get the answers for these considerations, the team should know how many resources they can use, how much effort and work should be exerted to complete the project on time, and how these resources should be used to make sure the set schedule is followed. Proper management is important in this case, which is where good resource planning comes in.

Resource planning software solutions help users to come up with detailed work plans. This allows them to track the needed resources, as well as what the requirements are and how long it will take them to complete the plan or project. Furthermore, resource planning solutions allow users to not only track or monitor projects but also to receive notifications that can help them improve inefficiencies and other similar issues.

More importantly, resource planning allows users to find out, in the course of working on a project, whether there is a need to add resources. This includes how and when it should be added so that the plan meets the deadline and becomes a success.

Essentially, resource planning solutions allow users to view everything in one just one place. So, with just one glance, they can see all the updates and reports that will help them determine whether their plan is going in the right direction and following the allotted time frame.

Resource planning solutions are often integrated with a variety of other business software solutions via APIs (application programming interfaces). As such, their functions can also cover human resources and financial management. Other capabilities (aside from resource planning) include resource auditing, resource scheduling, forecasting of resource availability, resource discovery, and reporting of resource utilization.

Types of Resource Planning Software

Resource planning deals primarily with identifying the available and useful resources for a specific plan or project. These resources can be anything—from the simplest to the most complex. The most common type of resource is the human resource (or people). Other resource examples are equipment, gadgets, machines, and even project sites, among many others. Basically, the resources used are dependent on the exact type of business and the project.

On a more specific level, there are a range of examples of the resources users need to identify when working on a project: the kind of team that will run the project, the team members’ roles and responsibilities, how many people are involved and needed for each role, what kind of equipment is needed, the purpose(s) of each equipment, how much equipment of each kind will be used, the sites or locations and venues for project meetings and other such activities, and the total number of materials needed for the development, implementation, and efficient delivery of the project.

There are different varieties of resource planning software solutions. One such example is a small-scale, or scaled-down, resource planning solution that caters mostly to small businesses. This is a comprehensive system that works not only for resources planning but also for other management needs. As such, this is a cost-effective option for small and medium-sized businesses.

Businesses can also choose to go with web-based resource planning software. This type can be a bit complicated though and may require technical knowledge. However, most companies prefer this option because they can avail of the SaaS (Software as a Service) option, which means they do not have to physically install the software on an office computer.

Likewise to smaller-scale solutions, businesses can benefit from web-based resource planning solutions in terms of lesser upfront costs and the reduced need for maintenance, as well as regular updates for the software. Its biggest advantage is that it can be accessed anytime and anywhere as long as there is an internet connection. This is because web-based resource planning solutions run on a remote server, controlled by the software provider.

Finally, there is also the resource planning solutions created specifically for a particular industry or organization. These are made to answer certain needs of businesses. Users can choose commercial and off-the-shelf solutions, especially if the company does not have a solid background and knowledge about ERP software. Industry-specific resource planning solutions are often divided into different categories depending on which market vertical they are targeted at.

Benefits of Resource Planning Software

Businesses that work with good resource planning software solutions enjoy a lot of advantages. The most important of all these is the ability to properly, confidently, and efficiently manage and track various resources.

For a small business, on the other hand, a resource planning solution or project is beneficial because it is a good way of determining the necessary amount of workload and activity, which can be used as a guide for identifying what to scale down and which processes to have or do more of. A major contribution of resource planning solutions to small businesses is providing different ways of easily understanding what their needs are.

Businesses will also be able to learn how to better control their companies, especially the small and medium ones. Using the solution helps them keep track of the most important task and activities, like workload volume and deadlines. Additionally, it answers a range of operative questions. How many team members are swamped with too much work? How many are not doing enough? How many of them are needed to complete the project on time? An effective resource planning software solution will help provide answers to all of these considerations.

If the goal is to ensure the complete, effective, and efficient development, implementation, and management of projects, a resource planning software is exactly what a company needs.

How to Choose Resource Planning Software

Working with a resource planning software solution is an assurance of the smooth flow of your projects. But, if you do not know how to choose the right one for the needs of your business, everything will be for nothing. As such, there are several qualities or characteristics you need to look out for when choosing a good resource planning software solution.

Primarily, it is essential to make a list of the things a resource planning solution can help you do. It will also help you to create a list of the resources you need for your project. At the same time, this also enables you to determine how many or which of these resources will be used throughout the duration of the project. This includes specifics like how many days, weeks, or hours will a certain resource be used and how many of the equipment is needed.

A good resource planning software solution should also be capable of creating a resource schedule. This is a detailed timeframe of the project and often includes details like how many of the resources should be used to make sure a project is finished on time. It also specifies the number of times a resource is to be used every week or every month.

Choosing the right resource planning software also means determining and understanding the needs of your business. As such, you need to assess the current situation of your company. What kind of resource planning solution does it need? What requirements should you take note of?

Once you have determined your company’s needs, the next step would be to choose a solution that works with a platform ideal for your business. The deployment options are via the cloud, on-premise, and hybrid.

Since practically everyone is on mobile nowadays, it would be to your company’s advantage if you choose a resource planning software that is flexible, rich in features, and mobile-ready. Security is also important, especially if you want to make sure that all data and information in the system is secure (and encrypted).

Lastly, a good resource planning software should have reliable integration and customization capabilities, especially with the existing software solutions being utilized by your business.

Keeping these things in mind is essential in determining which of the many resource planning software solutions in the market answer the specific needs and requirements of your business.

Common Features of Resource Planning (ERP)

API Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.
Budgeting Planning and tracking capabilities for financial budgets and plans often used to manage funds across different departments or for investor / shareholder oversight.
Calendar Management Manage and update calendars for scheduling or consolidation of events across teams, departments or business functions.
Customer Management Manage customer databases and/or track outstanding shipments, payments and more.
Dashboard Dashboards are digital interfaces commonly used to visualise data or give quick access to important features and functions of online platforms. They often serve as an overview gateway in software applications.
Data Export Exporting functionality can be used to streamline the migration of data sets and information across systems, platforms or applications.
Data Import Importing functionality allows you to use data sets from other systems or platforms to cut down on data entry requirements or to more easily migrate records from similar applications you have used in the past.
Data Visualization Data visualization features render a visual interpretation of data sets through the use of charts, infographics and other visual cues generally in form of a reporting dashboard.
Expense Tracking Track employee travel and other expenses to stay on top of budgeting requirements and reimbursements.
External Integrations Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.
Forecasting Forecast upcoming expenses, sales, revenue, user levels, etc. through the use of predictive methods and past data.
Inventory Tracking Stay on top of inventory levels, to manage the storing, reordering or production of stock items.
Multi-Currency Support of different currencies for payments, accounting purposes, taxes, reports and more.
Multi-User Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.
Notifications Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.
Project Management Manage projects from conception through the planning stage to delivery and post-project reporting phases. This allows organisation teams to organise resources, plan budgets and improve efficiency in the delivery of project objectives.
Resource Management Manage company's internal and external resources efficiently.
Scheduling Schedule tasks, resources, appointments, payments, communications, etc.
Supplier Management Manage suppliers and purchases required in the day-to-day operation of a business.
Third-Party Plugins/Add-Ons Offers additional features or integrations built by third-party developers in form of plugins or add-ons.

Latest User Reviews of Resource Planning (ERP) Products
Julia Harper
23 Jan 2020
"Easy and Simple"

It was easy to implement and train employees to use. It allows us to remain compliant to policies and to organize our daily requirem...
John Watson
25 Jan 2020
"Bringing order to the chaos"

I like its simplicity and user-friendliness. For general users it is logical enough that you dont need to be trained to create order...

Microsoft Dynamics 365
shanti dutta
20 Feb 2020
"Cloudbased CRM and erm"

Microsoft Dynamics 365 provide data very systematically and In a very easy manner.The Customer Service module allows us to view data...

Brahmin Solutions
Sarah Kapadia
26 Feb 2020
"Manufacturing Software! "

Tracks production orders easily, alerts us when we don't have enough inventory so we can quickly place reorders. Tracking Batch numb...

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