Planisy for multi-type resource scheduling
Our customers have been asking us to solve their scheduling headaches with enhanced usability. We’ve done it!
We’ve been “heads down and nose to the grindstone” incepting and launching a solution to fulfil their needs, which we are calling Planisy. A handful of early adopters, alpha partners, much versioning and QA / UAT testing later, today we’re able to officially come out of Stealth Mode. Want to check out why we created Planisy and what sets it apart? Please see our original post about digitising resource management and to see Planisy in action see our video.
So, what is Planisy and what does it do for me?
Planisy is a resource allocation and scheduling application based on our patentedinteractive workspace. Unlike all the other top 20 tools, it uniquely understands the dependencies between the multiple types of resources, drastically reducing scheduling burden and resource misallocation while enhancing capacity planning.
First, we need to explain the difference between planning and scheduling. Planning is the process of determining the resources required to fulfil business demands. It pertains to the “what” and the “how” of any activity: what exactly needs to be achieved and how it will be accomplished.
Scheduling pertains to establishing the assignment and timing of use of specific resources of an organisation. It details the “who/which” and “when” of operations, by assigning the appropriate resources to get the job done. Scheduling typically involves resources such as workers, equipment, materials, machines, but also tasks, jobs, and locations.
It is through the effective combination of these two functions that an organisation creates an optimised use of resources and increases its operational efficiency.
Unfortunately, organisations often experience a gap between planning and scheduling of resources across their operations.
Such gaps can be caused by several factors: plans did not consider various projects drawing on the same resources, different teams were not included in the plan, or external contingencies were not planned for. To resolve that, Planisy is “allocation-centric”, focusing on the scheduling end of the process. It focuses on the availability of resources and their inter-dependencies, at any one point in time, thus providing an easy way to quickly identify and resolve gaps, boosting operational efficiency.
“Multi-Resource, not Human Resource only”
During the last quarter, we have been speaking with the COO of a mid-sized facility management company. They were using calendar tools for scheduling and, ultimately, an excel worksheet.
Calendar tools are, at best, only good for people-scheduling – allocating people-to-tasks across slots. But this presents challenges as they do not manage the full mix of resources. They can “people allocate” only – single-type resourcing at best. What about everything else that needs to be scheduled to ensure efficient use of resources? This ends up on a separate, static spreadsheet. This division costs time and money by way of misallocation, productivity loss and cost variance.
We’ve looked at the top 20 tools out there. Problem is that they are:
- Too simple: limited in what they manage (typically “people” is the only resource they can manage), and the functions they offer, or
- Too complex, too expensive and too big and risky: large ERP tools that will cost you 6 or 7 figures, “static” software of hardwired workflows, heavy on training time and convoluted configuration mechanisms. The TCO is just too high.
Here’s how Planisy solves it
1. It supports multiple types of Resources
The world revolves around tasks. However, you still need the resources to complete the task. With People-to-Task tools, often basic questions such as “How many trucks do I have available this afternoon?” or “How many CT scanning machines do I have available this afternoon in radiology?” cannot be quickly answered.
Planisy enables you to break the HR primacy and task hegemony of Calendar, Workforce or PM tools and take account of the other resources (the equipment, the gear, the car, etc) and understand the real-life network of dependencies – so you do not get misallocations, non-allocations, and duplicate allocations.
2. It leverages the properties of its modular, interoperable workspace
Whether it is an excel housed in SharePoint, or some other database, the underlying modular interoperable workspace makes it possible to abstract to the Planisy “digital surface” and bring together your human and material resources respectively.
The workspace is system-agnostic, which means it is feasible to compose your multi-system experience – whatever the underlying system – and serve that seamlessly to the user.
3. It enhances the user experience through full interactivity
Differentially, Planisy can count on Full Interactivity. Patented usability techniques such as “docking” (the gesture of placing digital objects side by side and connecting them) and “overlay” (placing digital objects on top of one another) enable, for example, interactive filters, or the drag & drop of a resource onto its Timeboard for 1-click scheduling. These techniques generate massive reductions in click friction, hence fewer errors, and faster work sessions.
Planisy uniquely understands the reciprocal relationship between all types of resources, so you do not get misallocations. An instrument may need to be available for two departments of a hospital at the same time, or a manager might control activities of multiple construction sites and is therefore “allocatable” to more than one target area, or task at the same time. Other resources instead might need to be allocated exclusively to a single target resource or task at any point in time.
These “constraints” are entirely User-Definable (i.e., by a User, not IT). Set-up as well as Training time are close to zero, which is valuable in many verticals. As one smart-hospital CIO told us: “the last thing a physician wants is to have to learn a new system”.
Maximise business efficiency by ensuring every type of resource is accounted for and optimised. Planisy makes it simple to ensure all your company’s resources are being used as effectively as possible, while reducing planning friction across teams, resources, and your company overall.
This is the part of a multi-part blog series on Planisy. Do watch this space in the coming weeks for more on these topics.