Bench management helps companies staff projects quickly without waiting for new recruitment. Most service providers used to maintain almost 30% of the SAP workforce on the bench to provide people for upcoming projects. This number has dropped significantly over the last few quarters with fluctuations in the International Market.
During slowdowns, a large number of bench staff are re-allocated across the organization if they are not able to place the bench resource into a project for long time (around 3 months). If bench resources are not generating any billing, the bench becomes one of the most uncomfortable places to be in any company.
To address this, service providers are devising new ways of retaining good performers and niche skills on the bench.
In order avoid resources on bench for new projects/ opportunities, today most organizations are focusing on just-in-time hiring/quality hiring policy only after getting the project to eliminate the bench cost. However to recruit a good quality resource takes 2-3 months time since the resource would require to give one or two months notice to his previous company to join in the organization. Hence Company would require recruiting people who are freely available in the market (Jobless). One more option for just-in-time hiring is go for sub-contract resources. Resource contracting companies would provide their resource on sub contract basis with one/two weeks’ notice. Also these resources will go back to their original company once the project is over (no bench cost for you). The Contracting Companies are charging double the price for a resource compared to the industry rates. However by taking bench costs in to consideration, these costs may be reasonable for short term projects.
In order to reduce the bench cost, some of the service providers provide bench employees with an option to work part-time (few days a month) or work from home. This will reduce the infrastructure cost and salary costs. However how many people are interested in part time employment is a big question to the industry.
Sub contracting to another company:
Some of the service providers’ sub contracts their bench employees to the different company where they need more manpower. As a result, it provided an opportunity to their employees to get onto the project rather than sit idle. This will improve the bench rotation and revenues.
Most of the companies have practices on areas on ERP like SAP , Oracle ERP etc. The practice will identify future potential areas in ERP where business growth expected. On these potential ERP areas, they will identify prototypes /modules / new trainings to be developed. They would make a planned investment on these areas by creating internal projects on these areas. Most of the bench resources will be used on these internal projects. With Practice model, ERP service providers can effectively utilize bench resources and at the same time they can plan to grab the future opportunities. This is one of the best ways to utilize the bench resources. However building practice requires reasonable planned investment.
What are your experiences working within bench management?