ResourceGuru: Profitably Optimize Your Resource Pool

Running a business is a delicate balancing act. Not only are the customers and their happiness is important, so is the happiness of your employees. You don’t want to overwork them and bring their morale and quality of work down. An unhappy employee is a surefire way to mess up your brand’s image.

On the other hand, times are tough and you have ensure that you use all your resources – human and otherwise – are put to use optimally for better return on investment. Even squeezing out 10 or 20% more out of your resources ensures better margins for your business.

Naturally, you’ll need a system to track and allocate resources in a prudent manner. ResourceGuru is here to your rescue!

A Simple Solution

It’s funny how companies of all sizes bungle up resource management. There will be like 3 conference rooms and for most part of the week, there will be heated debates on which team gets to use them first. Similarly, there will be a couple of graphics designers on rolls, but when a project manager is looking for a quick mock up, he/she will always be tied up with another project.

I have seen this happen many times. For most part, I would attribute this mess to the lack of a proper tool. A spreadsheet or an email blast in advance is what is normally in use. We know how efficiency shoots up when we add both spreadsheets and email into the mix, don’t we?

ResourceGuru has got one of the best designed product home pages I have come across. I’m not talking about any fancy effects or design elements. They highlight the right features that help solve a problem and the concise language conveys the message loud and clear to the visitor. I understood what this app was all about in under two minutes, without reading through the features page. That’s a great feat!

Pooling All Resources

Pricing

Pricing

The app prompted me to choose a time zone after signing up for a free trial. Once that’s done, I was redirected to an empty calendar in the dashboard. There were no tool tips, overlays or hints as to where to begin. The brilliance I saw in the home page clearly stopped there.

Creating Resources

Creating Resources

You need to add resources to manage right? So, head over to the Resources tab to create some. It was nice to see the most common resources listed in the drop down menu.

Defining a Resource

Defining a Resource

When defining a resource, you have the option to specify individual time zones for each and every resource. That’s great if your resources are spread across multiple timezones, but when they aren’t, it is irritating to pick the same time zone every single time.

After creating the resources, you might also want to create clients and projects. It makes sense when you are billing by the hour.

The Resource Calendar

UPDATE: The developers have let us know that you can see a full week view in the calendar by clicking the zoom icon in the top right corner of the app. That makes the calendar much more flexible than we initially thought.

Without doubt, the resource allocation calendar in the Booking tab is the driving force of the entire operation. It should have looked intimidating with so many rows and columns for hours, days, resources etc. The pleasant design of the calendar successfully hides the complexity behind it.

You can see how many hours the resource is readily available in a particular day by just hovering over the calendar. Bookings happen in the same way you add events to a calendar. Additionally, you get to specify the project, client details associated with each booking.

The Booking Calendar

The Booking Calendar

In my opinion, ResourceGuru does a great a job helping people oversee resource optimization. But it could do a better job with the booking calendar. The color coding and filters make lives easy for the user. However, constantly sticking to the monthly view is a major pain. The booking entries are microscopic in the default view and clicking on them to see the details every time isn’t productive.

A weekly view of bookings is a must have. I was disappointed to that Today link didn’t show me bookings for the day in detail. Instead, the monthly calendar view just moved to today’s date displaying the same microscopic entries.

The deficiency in the calendar views are partly negated by the reports section. It’s always great to have graphical representation of numbers and ResourceGuru does a fairly decent job at breaking down optimization levels of your resources.

Final Thoughts

ResourceGuru is a fast, simple way to schedule people, equipment and other resources online. There’s absolutely no doubt about that. It stands as one of the towering examples of the single purpose apps that solve a real world problem. That said, there is scope for making the user experience better.

The booking calendar in particular could use some simplifying. We don’t have to be focusing on the bird’s eye view of the entire month’s roster all the time. If the developers are able to mimic the ease of navigation and the readability of Google Calendar, then there is no stopping ResourceGuru!


Summary

ResourceGuru is a fast, simple way to schedule people, equipment and other resources online

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