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How Hyatt Makes Workforce Management Sizzle

By Jennifer Lawinski  |  Posted 02-04-2011 Print
CIO Mike Blake says the first step in successfully automating business processes requires knowing exactly which problems you're trying to solve. Find out what else he recommends after his experiences deploying a workforce management automation solution at 400 Hyatt locations worldwide.

When it came to managing the staff at its more than 400 worldwide locations, Hyatt Hotels Corp. was doing a lot the old fashioned way. For example, employees used manual processes to request and accrue time off, with decentralized scheduling done at individual locations.

In 2006, the hospitality company began looking for a way to automate its workforce management processes and streamline payroll, time-off requests and adjustments to employee records. "Hyatt wanted to evolve its time-and-attendance process from a decentralized, manually intensive approach," says Doug Patrick, senior vice president of Human Resources, North American Operations. "We sought a solution that was adaptable to meet the complex pay practices in each of our full-service properties in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean."

For Hyatt's CIO, Mike Blake, that meant finding a solution that would meet the company's global business requirements. The solution also needed to be something  that his 43-person IT staff -- already in charge of managing more than 50 systems for the company -- could fold into its portfolio with relative ease.

"We're a very lean IT organization," Blake says. "What that means is we need solutions that do not require a great deal of hand-holding, IT support and what have you. We cannot afford to have any one of our products or applications come with a great deal of overhead. You can't afford to have solutions that are extremely high-touch or require a lot of programming or a lot of alterations."

Hyatt spent about six months evaluating the workforce management solutions on the market. In the end, the organization chose Infor's WFM Workbrain software solution to roll out to its owned, franchised and managed properties, about 110 of which are in North America.

One of the challenges Blake faced was finding a solution that had the ability to roll out centralized policies while also giving individual properties the flexibility they needed to meet their needs. For example, employees in California get meal waivers. In New Jersey, they don't. "The Infor product gave us the flexibility to manage those types of instances," Blake says.


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