Resource management refers to deployment of organizational resources efficiently and effectively, as and when the need arises. They may be human resources, financial resources, inventory, production resources, Information Technology assets, etc. The allocation of optimum resources have been developed in the domain of project management, production processes, techniques and philosophies. Their allocation may be both functional or cross functional as per the organization's need. Resource management plays a vital role in estimating for projects as well as in the field of estimating HR requirement.
This brings us to broadly two branches which underpin the importance of subject namely Human Resource Management and Corporate Resource Management.
Human Resource Management
HRM uses techniques used for allocation of personnel across various projects and business units, optimally managing the available personnel to achieve set business goals. Maintenance of the personnel through staffing requirements, planning, developing payroll and benefits, executive education and personal development and creating a long term career plans are some of the activities of HRM. Broadly the goal of HRM is to utilize the human aids in an efficient and effective manner to fulfil the organizational goal and when required provide training to the existing personnel to enhance their skill level.
Corporate Resource Management
Medium to large organizations develop a CRM which enables them to allocate human assets optimally across the length and breadth of the organization without either stretching the available aid and while paying attention not to over staff assets across different projects.
Identifying skill sets and finding the right resources have become easier with the development of software. The avenues for locating resources have multiplied over the years so much so that what was some years back a major exercise has become fairly routine nowadays. Some personnel sites like Naukri and Monster have made the onerous task of recruiting the right personnel with the right skill at the right time for the right project a sine qua non of their very existence. A decade and a half back identifying the skills required was easy but getting the right person required time, effort and money. And despite investing the required time, effort and money an organization was not sure if the asset is the right fit for the role envisaged till an appraisal was done which used to be at the end of an quarter or in most cases after a year.
Increasing more and more organizations are realizing the importance of developing a Leadership Pipeline as enunciated in the book of the same name by “Parshuram” and others. This philosophy highlights the latent need to firstly carry out a comprehensive training needs of all personnel at all levels. As a first step this would enable the company to identify the skill sets available in-house. The next step is to identify skills sets needed at every level of management hierarchy in order that the resources at that level are able to perform to their potentiality. The next step is to identify the gaps in skill requirement in each level of management which may be inhibiting growth and productivity. The final step is to impart training to the human resources at each level of management in order that the gaps are closed and the resources are in a position to work towards fulfilling the strategic objectives laid out by the top management in the organization.
Developing a leadership pipeline actually reduces an organizations efforts to identify proper human resources with the right skill sets. It’s over dependence on recruiting more and personnel is also reduced as it can easily impart the new skills to its existing employees through continuous training and development. This pipeline is vital in the area of project management where the need to identify resources and allocating them promptly is very desirable.
Managing assets such as raw material and finances have also got a major leg up in this digital age. Raw material can be sourced from anywhere in the globe and from any supplier having an online presence. This has greatly improved the organization's ability to manufacture according to the fore casted demand and has greatly reduced stocking of raw materials in warehouses and also using warehouses for stocking the finished product. Resource management software has been instrumental in making such iconic brands like Apple, Dell and HP larger than life. It has also helped automobile manufacturers to design, source material and manufacture automobiles with great dexterity in the complex global market inhabited by affluent countries as well as developing ones.
The cellular handset business is the best example of witnessing the deployment of management software at its best. Every year companies engaged in manufacturing handsets are adding new features every year, which require amalgamation of internet, software and operating systems in ways which were unforeseen just a decade back. The software has indeed changed the basic rules of the game and its effective deployment by organizations would show which companies survive the great deluge.