AHL Customer Case Study

E-tivity Enterprise drives organisational efficiencies for AHL’s 6000 strong workforce

AHL, one of Australia’s leading entertainment, hospitality and tourism companies, is driving profitability and efficiency with E-tivity Enterprise workforce management software.

Event Cinemas is the flagship of AHL. The other businesses include Greater Union, Birch Carroll & Coyle, Cinestar, Rydges Hotels & Resorts, QT Hotels & Resorts, Thredbo Alpine Resort and Atura Hotels.The company manages over 6,000 staff at 110 sites across Australia and New Zealand, including 40 hotels and resorts, and nearly 70 cinemas.

“We wanted to get rid of the manual timesheets and introduce costed rostering to gain better visibility into the business,” said AHL’s General Manager, Finance and Accounting, Matthew Della Vedova.

“We needed to understand what our rosters were going to cost up front to improve our forecasting and allow us manage our labour force more efficiently.”

AHL needed a solution that could integrate with its Preceda Pay software, which handles payroll processing for the entire company. The final product also needed the ability to manage awards and business rules for multiple jurisdictions and diverse operations ranging from cinemas staffed by a predominantly casual workforce through to 400-room hotels providing 24-hour service to guests.

Mr Della Vedova said AHL considered a number of competitive offerings, including Kronos and Preceda, before choosing E-tivity Enterprise.

AHL purchased E-tivity Enterprise in February 2009 and commenced a staged rollout across the organisation.  A sophisticated web-based workforce management solution, E-tivity Enterprise provides tools to automate requirement forecasting, staff scheduling, time and attendance, rules interpretation and more to improve efficiency and optimise workforce performance.

E-tivity Enterprise integrates both with Preceda and with the company’s Infor PM business intelligence tool, providing extensive workforce data for forecasting, management reporting and business analysis.

Benefits

“We’ve seen big benefits in the hotel business, where E-tivity Enterprise has removed the chore of manual timesheets and simplified the task of developing complex rosters.  Hotels are very complicated places to run, requiring a mix of skills to run the kitchen, restaurants, housekeeping, laundry, administration and more, with numbers depending on occupancy level.

“Not only must the roster cater for the full range of services being provided, but it must interpret the various awards, collective agreements and penalties to deliver the right mix of staff at optimal cost, without wastage,” he said.

“E-tivity Enterprise handles this complex task with ease. It allows us to break the labour down to different levels of classification and sets up the rosters automatically according to pre-determined rules so managers simply check any exceptions.

“Not only have we improved the accuracy of our rostering and payroll, but we can now compare our operations across the group and adopt a best practice approach to our business. So if a Food and Beverage department in Melbourne is operating more profitably than a similar one in Sydney, we can analyse the data to find out what how they’re achieving that and replicate it,” he said.

AHL regularly adds new sites to E-tivity Enterprise as the company expands its operations. The recent acquisition of Event Cinemas in New Zealand involved 13 additional cinemas, staffed by around 500 casual and full-time employees, all of which are being added to the system.

In addition to the New Zealand cinema operation, AHL has also opened or acquired another four Australian cinemas and three hotels in the past couple of years, adding hundreds more staff during that time. It has also introduced E-tivity Enterprise into the State Theatre, which is part of the company’s major hotel redevelopment project planning for inner Sydney.

“Despite this continued strong growth, the number of people in our payroll office has remained constant at six people.  The powerful automation in E-tivity Enterprise allows our team to handle the increased workload with ease,” he said.

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