Hyatt: Building the Workforce Management Business Case
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Blake says he didn't have a tough time convincing the corporation that there was an IT solution to its workforce management problems. "We don't have to sell the need because, most of the time, people have the need and the business case almost presents itself," says Blake. "In this particular case, we're dealing with manual processes, and this is absolutely one where we could get a much more automated solution and centralize the view of labor and get a much more comprehensive solution."
The deployment, completed in 2009, was relatively smooth, and so far, the company has been able to leverage the software to improve the efficacy of its business processes, including employee scheduling. As far as concrete ROI, however, Blake said Hyatt has yet to develop a system to figure out how much money they're saving. "We haven't figured out how to do the math around that yet," he says. "I wish we had, but we'll get there."
For others looking to undertake similar projects, Blake says the first step is knowing what problem you're looking to solve. "That's true for everything. No system is a magic elixir for everything."
Communicating with employees on how the system works, and how they can get the most out of it, is also important. And, enthusiasm helps. "It's such a cool product that you want people to know how to use it and you want to be able to communicate to them that it's not just one thing you can do with it, there's so much more. "
But, enthusiasm can only get you so far. "It's the old concept of the sizzle versus the steak," says Blake. "The sizzle can sell the steak, but at the end of the day the steak still has to taste good. At the end of the day, [these systems] have to stand on their own and be valuable to the individuals using them."