About the Client
Best Western International, Inc. is the world’s largest hotel chain, with
more than 4,000 hotels in nearly 80 countries. The chain, with its corporate headquarters in Phoenix, AZ., operates more than 2,000 hotels in North America alone.
To improve HR reporting, automate HR processes, and make employee information readily available.
CherryRoad helped Best Western transition from legacy systems, hard copy recordkeeping, and third-party systems to a single, consolidated HCM system.
Best Western can now easily generate queries and reports to meet management reporting needs, and HR staff can obtain employee data online.
Automating HR Processes and Integrating Data
To streamline human resources processes and improve information accessibility, Best Western began looking for an automated, integrated HCM system. Corporate objectives included improving HR reporting, automating manual HR processes, making employee information readily available on the main system rather than third-party vendor systems, and integrating HR data with the financial management system. Best Western also sought to improve customer relationship management, performance management, productivity, training, and staff retention. They wanted to reduce fees for training and other services, and increase HR support call productivity.
Facilitating the organization’s ability to respond to varied reporting requirements was a key motivator for implementing an HCM system. Many reporting requests came from the Board of Directors, and individual Board members required reports on varied factors, such as age of employees as of a specific date, salary statistical information, or on-demand reports. Best Western obtained such information from various reports and then recompiled it into Excel spreadsheets.
Best Western also needed to automate processes that were being performed manually, such as benefit changes and open enrollment processing. They required a process to extract employee information quickly, versus being dependent on third-party vendor systems. For example, work and payroll history data was maintained by Ceridian. When Best Western needed to extract employee-related data (such as compensation information, earnings/deductions, or last employee appraisal), they were dependent on the system’s availability. If they needed several years of data, they had to request a file, then reformat it in an Excel spreadsheet. This process could take from one hour to one day or longer. Integrating payroll and other data into the general ledger required another step.
Training records were maintained in hard copy only, in a desk drawer. If statistical data was needed, the training administrator would pull all records from the file desk, then review and enter applicable data into an Excel spreadsheet.
Streamlining and Automating HR Processes
To address these needs, Best Western chose a Human Capital Management system that included Human Resources, Base Benefits, Benefit Administration, and Payroll. CherryRoad was selected by Best Western International to conduct the project planning and fit/gap analysis phase, and later the implementation. Best Western engaged CherryRoad based on its extensive experience and understanding of the software products, knowledge of the Kronos Timekeeping and Ceridian systems that Best Western uses, and solid approach to fit/gap analysis, project planning, documentation, and overall project implementation.
Best Western’s approach began with the project planning and fit/gap analysis and then moved to HCM implementation, drawing on findings and recommendations from the fit/gap analysis.
By the end of the planning and analysis phase, CherryRoad had compiled a comprehensive report documenting Best Western’s business process and reporting requirements and recommending which business processes could be maintained within a “vanilla” applications system, which required a change to current business process, and which would require customization. Business process changes that would enable Best Western to use the delivered functionality included calculation of benefit premium deductions and leave accrual, and ability to track unpaid FMLA using Kronos time entry.
CherryRoad also produced a Project Charter and Control Document, Project Scope Document, and Detailed Project Plan to position Best Western for the implementation stage.
Guided by the planning and analysis findings and recommendations document, CherryRoad and the Best Western project team evaluated 77 business requirements for which changing business processes and company policies could eliminate the need for system customizations. The resulting ROI business case conveyed to senior management the benefits of each recommended change, level of risk reduction, and cost savings to the company. Areas in which business process changes avoided customizations included changes to the timing of employee insurance premium deductions, allocation of floating holidays, and automation of reporting eligibility to benefit providers.
With management’s support in modifying business processes and reporting requirements where needed, approximately 85 percent of the originally identified “gaps” or customizations were eliminated.
During the design and development phase, Best Western’s HCM project team enhanced additional processes and system functionality. They revamped their organization, department, and job code structures; designed the system to better track international employees and collect dependent and/or beneficiary data from third-party systems; and developed a method to better track leave of absence employees.
CherryRoad developed a customized training program for the Human Resources and Benefits department staff. The training program, tailored to Best Western’s business processes and requirements, included instruction material and classroom execution for Human Resources, Base Benefits, and Benefit Administration.
Best Western achieved all of its key objectives for the system. By integrating and automating HR processes, the new HCM system enables Best Western to readily generate queries and reports to meet management reporting needs. The application makes it easier for the HR staff to view employee data instead of relying on reports.
Through the implementation of HCM software solutions, Best Western is now positioned to move forward with other key e-Initiatives to help meet their corporate goals and objectives. These initiatives include establishing a single source for workforce information, deploying Employee and Manager Self-Service, aligning their workforce with company goals and objectives, and implementing integrated business processes that will increase the efficiency and productivity of their workforce.