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Say Hello to Forecast’s Next-Gen Utilization Report

Iryna Viter
4 min read
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It’s here – our massive, new and improved Utilization report! A favorite among agencies and consultancies, the new report measures all things billable and resource utilization across the selected time range.

Presenting your billing efficiency and overall utilization automatically, the new Utilization report gives businesses everything they need to enter new levels of productivity. According to our Product Manager, Maria Muhandes, the report has many resource management use cases, but these four really stand out for maximizing business outputs.

Utilization Report Infographics

 

1. Tracking billable utilization

Utilization rate is an important business metric that measures how effectively resources spend their time against their availability or capacity. However, HubSpot's 2018 Marketing Agency Growth Report discovered that only 58% of agencies track their staff’s utilization rates and know how billable their resources are.

“We’ve enabled the functionality to toggle between resource utilization and billable utilization for the convenience of businesses that want to understand if they perform at their full capacity for clients or internally,” explains Maria. 

“The new utilization report covers your team members’ utilization data across the entire organization, giving you the opportunity to monitor data that’s important to you in the first place.”

Utilization rates often serve as a barometer for productivity, so we played with the idea, and you can see the actual ‘barometer’ to instantly understand how efficiently the business is performing against your utilization targets. 

billable utilization

Get the full picture of how your utilization, billable or not, matches against your company targets.

But the value of the new Utilization report only begins here. You can drill down to understand everyone’s planned, actual, and forecasted utilization, as well as billable time, internal time, and overtime. Now, on to the next use case.

 

2. Comparing planned against actual utilization

Allocating resources to tasks or projects, you may expect one thing, while in reality, it turns out to be a completely different ballgame. 

A good deal of research shows that people either tend to be overly optimistic about how much they can accomplish in a given timeframe or client expectations change mid-project. Deltek’s survey shows that 43% of agencies believe that they underestimate the amount of work, while 73% experience changing requirements, and 60% have too many rounds of revisions. 

There are actually two extremes of the situation – under- or overutilization, that respectively lead to under- or over-servicing clients. To break out of this vicious cycle, you need to track planned vs actual utilization. Seeing planned utilization will be beneficial for agencies that want to balance peaks and troughs of resource activity and work at full battery. The ability to monitor actual utilization in real time will bring you back to reality and shed light on current productivity levels.

actual vs planned utilization v2

Our Utilization report gathers data before you know it. It syncs with the Resource Schedule, where you allocate resources, and Timesheets, where everyone logs time, to calculate up-to-the-minute planned and actual utilization rates. 

 

3. Predicting resource demand

Looking at employee utilization rates, you can identify where demand is highest. The higher the percentage of billable utilization, the higher the demand for that person’s skill set. Employees that have record-breaking utilization rates are profit-making and very much in demand. This visibility not only informs your hiring strategy. It enables the conversation with your clients and provides better pipeline management insights. 

 

4. Improving capacity planning

The report also allows you to look into the future to highlight how much capacity the team has over a period of time, so you can become more prudent as a manager and plan new projects with resource availability in mind. To make capacity planning easier, you can filter people by department, projects, roles, and teams. Forecasted Billable UtilizationThe benefit of having a month-by-month view is that you can plan for future utilization at a higher degree of accuracy in a full calendar year.

All-in-all, the new Utilization report is the answer to all your burning questions about the state of your company’s service delivery.  

With our Next Gen Utilization Report, you’ll be able to easily answer:

  • How productive is my business?
  • Is everyone working at full capacity? 
  • Is there a person available for the date required by the client? 
  • Can my schedule squeeze in another project?
  • When is the right time to hire new talent? 
  • What skills are in high demand? 

Imagine the impact of being able to answer all of these questions on your clients, your team, and key business stakeholders.

If that’s the kind of information you’re missing in your project management software, try Forecast out today. 

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