This is Capacity Planning SoftwareCapacity planning software allows you to use data to be pro-active about future resource planning. This helps you meet the demands of tomorrow.

It was originally developed to manage IT networks. Now it is now used to plan for many types of business. It applies anywhere you can use data to plan to meet future demands. It helps business respond to changes — both positive and negative.

At Bric, we believe that capacity planning software can help creatives build better businesses. We are making it easy to use data to plan for the future. This is especially important for creative agencies. Each day brings new demands from people, budgets, and projects. You must plan even though each day is unique. 

Project planning, budget adjustments, and managing employee utilization is enough to drive a person crazy. For creative agencies with more than a handful of employees the human mind can’t accurately plan for upcoming demands.

The good news is that we have computers and software. By collaborating, we can create more accurate project plans, and keep up with demand. Software for the win! 

What is Capacity Planning Software?

At its most basic, capacity planning software helps creative agencies create more accurate project plans. This solves a myriad of problems including: going over budget, missing deadlines, underutilizing employees, and needing employees to work overtime. As we explore later, some software does this better than others.

Capacity planning software:

  1. Collects data about project size and scope.
  2. Makes it easy to apply data from past projects to plan new projects.
  3. Enables user-friendly time tracking for both invoicing and data collection. 
  4. Provides visually appealing project boards so everyone can view who is working on what projects.
  5. Predicts how much time certain projects will take, and informs users when projects take too long or go over budget.
  6. Alerts managers to employees that are ready for a new projects. 

To-do lists, payroll applications, and instant communication softwares help with capacity planning. But they are only capable of doing one small part of capacity planning. The data collected through time tracking and project planning is what sets these softwares above competing applications, and for that matter the human mind.

When you analyze data from past projects in a split second to plan for future projects — this can be the difference of thousands of dollars when a new client walks through the door and asks for a proposal. Relying on data takes the guesswork away, which means less room for inaccuracies and more money in your agency’s bank account.

How do Capacity Planning Softwares Compare?

With the motto of “good teams plans, great teams execute” LiquidPlanner prides itself as a “revolutionary” capacity planning software. It certainly has some reason to brag. It offers visibility on all projects to all users, and stacks up multiple projects to be viewed at the same time. Backed by data, LiquidPlanner offers “best” and “worst” case scenarios for estimated project completion times so teams can plan around different scenarios. Drag and drop tools make collaboration on the road more accessible.

The downside of LiquidPlanner is its aesthetic. Although users can compare multiple projects at once, the software is cluttered with shapes and colors — reducing the ease of use. It’s also pricy, at almost $30 per user per month.

Workfront Project Management Software was designed specifically for marketing teams. It’s aim is to turn chaos into collaboration. Unlike LiquidPlanner, Workfront offers tools for employee scheduling. Project managers aren’t the only ones who can view open portfolios. Any user can track progress. With a focus on communication, Workfront helps minimize time writing e-mails and sitting in meetings.

Unfortunately, Workfront’s pros are also its cons. You can’t simply jump in and start working on this software. It can take weeks to set up, and, like LiquidPlanner, it rings in at $30 per month per user. Succeeding at an overall managerial level, neither Workfront nor LiquidPlanner offer employee skill tracking tools.

Bric is Capacity Planning Software for Creatives.

We didn’t build Bric for any and all management teams. We built it for creative agencies, or even more specifically, creative people. Creative people understand the uphill battle of balancing office life with the machinations of an artistic mind.

But it doesn’t mean they like it. Bric takes away the stress of managing budget, time, and employees out of the creative process. At $7 per user per month, each employee at an agency can access their current projects on the “dashboard.” From there, they can see how many projects they have going on, how many hours they have left in their week, and if they are on staying on track with their budget.

Office managers can log in to view overviews of all projects worked on. From there, they can assess who has time to take on a new project, who is overbooked, and who has mastered a new skill and is ready to learn a new one.

This alleviates the battle creativity versus management. Bric is not just a platform to post projects and communicate with co-workers, it’s a user friendly map of an entire creative agency — past, present, and future.

How to Start Using Capacity Planning Software.

  1. Setup. To work best you need to teach the software about your company. It needs information. Without full names, roles, clients, and project types your user experience will be limited. For example, Bric uses this information to help you save time when planning projects and tracking time.
  2. Talk with Your Team. Your team needs to understand that using capacity planning software will help them avoid being over or under scheduled, and that tracking time today will help create more accurate project plans in the future.
  3. Don’t Backdate. Likely, you and your team have current projects. Don’t worry about what has happened. Capacity planning software helps you plan and track time, and you can only plan for the future. If you are half-way through a project, just start by planning for next week.
  4. Pick a Start Date. Once you have got everything setup, and talked with your team, pick a start date. The date that everyone should start using the software to track time and plan projects.
  5. Avoid Over Planning. The magic is that it forces you to treat your team like professionals. They know what to do, and have enough time to finish the work. Don’t worry about planning each step. If your team needs that they will ask. 

Why is Capacity Planning Software Important? 

Success is hard. You have to have talent, vision, and strategy. The creative industry has been leveled by inexpensive technology. It is easier than ever to start an agency. That combined with globalization, has put intense pressure on pricing — reducing profit margins. Profit now requires that you optimize your team’s time and skills.

Capacity planning software helps you do this. It helps you manage your employee utilization rate by telling you how your employees are spending their time. You can know who is busy, who is free, and what percentage of time is being billed to clients. It is the key to improving your profitability.

According to AIGA, the minimum recommended employee utilization rate is 65% for creative agencies. Yet the US average is 42%. This means that a 10-person creative firm is losing more than $650,000 in profit annually. This can be the difference between breaking even and making a profit. Capacity planning software can optimize how people are using there time, thus increasing employee utilization rates and profitability — learn more.

Capacity planning helps you increase your employee utilization rates. Your employee utilization rate  The best way to improve your employee utilization rate is with planning. Optimizing how your team will spend their time week by week. Just keep in mind the goal is not 100% utilization that will result in 100% gridlock and burnout.

Think of capacity planning as an opportunity. We’ve created technology that goes above what any human mind could map out. We’ve created tools to analyze the past and make predictions on the future with more accuracy than many other softwares that exist.

With Bric, you can count on the sustainability of your business. Less blips. Less slips. Less dips. More profit. Try Bric Free for 30 Days