If you need a simple way to track your employee resources and assign them to various projects and project tasks, then you’ll want the NetSuite Resource Allocations feature. Let’s take a look at how this feature works in NetSuite. 

Setting Up Resource Allocation

You can enable the Resource Allocations feature in the Resource Management section of the Company tab in Enable Features. After enabling this feature, you’ll also need to set up employees for resource allocation. On employee records, navigate to the Human Resources tab and make sure the Project Resource box is checked. This will identify an employee as being eligible for selection on Resource Allocation records. 

Once this feature is enabled and all relevant employee records have been updated, you’ll be able to create Resource Allocation records. And on these records, you can assign employees to specific projects for certain lengths of time.

The Resource Allocation Record

Resource allocation revolves around the Resource Allocation record. What do you need to know about this record?

Creating the Resource Allocation Record

First, let’s look at how you would create a new Resource Allocation record. There are a couple different ways you could do that. To start with, you could create it by navigating to Activities > Scheduling > Resource Allocations > New. Alternatively, you could create a new Resource Allocation record directly from a Project record. While on a Project record, navigate to the Resources tab. Under the Resource Allocations subtab, you’ll notice the button New Resource Allocation. 

What information would you record on a Resource Allocation record? On a new Resource Allocation record, there are several key fields you would need to be aware of. First, under the Resource dropdown field you would select the employee resource that this allocation applies to. Then, you’ll need to choose the appropriate project from the Customer:Project field. You can set start and end dates and allocate either a definite number of hours or a percentage of time. You can also identify the allocation type as being hard or soft. A hard allocation is less flexible than a soft allocation, which would allow the employee to work on this project outside of the designated times as needed. 

After you select a project on this record, you could further narrow down the allocation by assigning this employee to a specific project task. 

Viewing Resource Allocation Results

Once you’ve saved a resource allocation record, what other records does it affect, and how would you view those results? On the Project record, you’ll be able to see assigned resource allocations for this project on the Resources tab. All the key details of the allocation, including the resource’s start and end dates, number of hours, and type of allocation (hard or soft) will appear under this tab. 

You will also be able to see resource allocation from the Employee record. When an employee’s time has been allocated as a resource to a particular project, you can view the breakdown of that anticipated time on the Time Tracking tab of the Employee record. Allocated Time will show up under this tab right alongside any Planned Time for that employee. 

Resource Allocation Tips and Best Practices

There are some tips and best practices that you should be aware of while you work with the Resource Allocation record. For one thing, you can assign a resource to a project task either directly on the Resource Allocation record or from the Project record, but you should try to avoid doing both methods. This will keep you from running into conflicts with your resource allocations. 

Another helpful thing to note is that the Resource Allocation record is more of a resource request than it is an immovable scheduling tool. Even when a resource allocation type is identified as being a hard allocation, the record can still be edited and adjusted as necessary. The real value of this feature is more in having a way to track and allocate resources and view accurate employee utilization reports. 

A final tip is that when you enable the Resource Allocations feature your account also receives the preconfigured Resource Manager role. Any employees assigned to this role will have access to Project records and Resource Allocation records. Assigning this role to an employee is a simple way to give that employee all the relevant access that is needed. 

Supporting Resource Allocation SuiteApps

When you’re using the NetSuite Resource Allocations feature, there are three key SuiteApps that work well alongside it. These SuiteApps can be turned on right in Enable Features from this list of Related SuiteApps under the Resource Management section. The Resource Allocation chart allows you to view a comprehensive chart of all project resource allocations. From this chart, you could also edit or even add new allocations. 

With the Resource Skill Sets SuiteApp, you’ll be able to create relevant skill sets, including different levels within each skill set, and identify those skills on employee records. As a result, when your Resource Managers are creating resource allocations, they can more easily determine the best use of the company’s resources based on employee skill sets. 

And finally, the Resource Allocation Approval Workflow SuiteApp allows you to set up a simple approval process for resource allocations. With this SuiteApp, designated supervisors would need to approve any additions or changes that are made to resource allocations. 

Conclusion

With the NetSuite Resource Allocations feature, you can ensure that you are using and tracking your employee resources well. If you enjoyed this blog, be sure to subscribe to our mailing list below to receive our new NetSuite blogs right in your inbox each week.