Davidson Hotels & Resorts

davidson-hotelsDavidson Hotels & Resorts, a nationwide, independent hotel management company, is consolidating time and labor management software to a centralized corporate database to speed the transition time for acquired hotels, standardize reporting tools, ease employee training, and implement consistent, company-wide policies. Davidson Hotels & Resorts has expanded its use of industry- leading Attendance Enterprise software and leveraged its 20-year relationship with time and attendance solution provider Gorrie-Regan & Associates.

About Davidson Hotels & Resorts

Davidson Hotels & Resorts, one of the nation’s largest independent, full-service hotel management companies, provides management, development/renovation, acquisition, consulting and accounting expertise for the hospitality industry. Davidson’s strength remains in providing each of its properties with the individualized service characteristic of a small company, enhanced by the breadth and depth of skill that accompanies experience.

Davidson’s portfolio encompasses 48 upscale, full-service independent and branded hotels with nearly 14,000 rooms across the United States, including such affiliations as Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites, Westin, Sheraton, Hyatt, Marriott, Renaissance, Courtyard by Marriott and Radisson. Davidson employs close to 7,000 employees. It has won more than 50 awards for operating excellence.

Growth and Acquisition

Davidson Hotels was founded in 1974, growing from a single hotel to a large national property management rm. It has focused on building and maintaining an upscale/luxury segment portfolio and adding new management contracts at a deliberate pace.

Growing along with the company has been its use of its Attendance time-tracking software from InfoTronics, Inc. Davidson began using Attendance for Windows in the early 1990s. New challenges in data management, software and network security, and the company’s growth necessitated upgrading to Attendance Enterprise. Davidson turned to the experts at Gorrie-Regan & Associates, resellers and implementation specialists of Attendance Enterprise.

Today, Davidson Hotels & Resorts has a sophisticated IT data warehouse that allows it to review key performance indicators for each individual hotel property and to roll up the information for a portfolio view of all hotels within the brand. This includes human resources information systems, internal business forecasting and budgeting, and timekeeping and payroll.

“Attendance Enterprise feeds actual time up to the data warehouse software that helps us evaluate the ratio of labor
to our business revenue,” said Randall Bridges, Director of Applications at Davidson Hotels & Resorts. “We use factors from all areas of our business, for example, restaurant, group sales, housekeeping, spas, and so on. That way we know the level of labor we need to schedule based on business conditions.”

Managing Employee Labor

Attendance Enterprise is used to track all 7,000 employees at Davidson Hotels & Resorts. It tracks exempt, non-exempt, and salaried employees, although not all employees are required to punch a clock. At each location, approximately 20 supervisors or managers schedule employees. When an employee works a predictable schedule, Schedule Patterns are used to automatically populate schedules and save administrative time while scheduling.

Employees use a biometric time clock to punch. The employee places a hand on the surface of the time clock and enters an ID number. The time clock matches the geometric shape of the hand to an existing hand template stored in the clock to identify the employee and punch In or Out. Biometric time clocks help prevent buddy punching, where one employee knowingly punches for another. This reduces time theft.

Supervisors or managers review the employee’s actual worked time on his/her online time card. If there is a missed punch or other adjustment, supervisors make the adjustment in Attendance Enterprise which creates an audit trail. In addition, historical attendance reports are available for any pay period in the system to aid in employee performance reviews.

Centralizing Systems for Increased Efficiency

The system creates an employee pro le for each employee hired by Davidson. It is not unusual for hospitality industry employees to move from one hotel to another and the data warehouse allows the employee pro le to move with the employee. Each of the nearly 50 hotels manages its employees’ schedules, time tracking and pay, using an independent Attendance Enterprise implementation. Davidson’s IT staff is in the process of migrating the properties to a central Attendance Enterprise database.

“The drawback of having 50 different instances of Attendance Enterprise is upgrading and relinking to the database as we grow,” said Bridges. “We have an initiative right now to centralize and standardize our Attendance Enterprise installations to mitigate these problems.”

Bringing on a newly acquired hotel property and all its employees used to be cumbersome and time-consuming. This interrupted business, prolonged transition, and impacted customer service. Centralizing the database has streamlined the process, reducing it to a couple of hours.

“We are transitioning two properties into Davidson next month,” said Bridges. “In the past, it would take about a week to bring up an individual time system and now it is a simple import of employee information and installation of new clocks.”

Davidson hopes to have the majority of the hotels transitioned to the centralized database in 2012 and the remainder in 2013.

Standardizing Processes and Reports

Attendance Enterprise has also helped Davidson enforce pay policies. For example, it makes sure that its employees are taking the lunch time they have earned. Time clocks are set up to enforce 30-minute lunches. If an employee punches Out for lunch, the clock does not allow an In punch until 30 minutes have elapsed.

The centralized Attendance Enterprise system will automate the tracking of employee Paid Time Off (PTO). Currently, employees request time o and PTO manually, on paper from their supervisor. The supervisor enters the approved time off for the employee in Attendance Enterprise so that it can accurately be tracked. The consolidation of all Davidson sites will bring the added capability of employees requesting their own time o online. Supervisors will also approve or deny time-off requests right in Attendance Enterprise. This will standardize and automate PTO and unpaid leave across all properties.

Reporting is another area of greater transparency and data access. Bridges and his team have created a standard set of reports and tools for the hotels. In the past, if an employee left employment at one hotel brand, their employment was terminated and all historical information stayed with that hotel. One hotel could not see another hotel’s data. Now, employee historical information is available regardless of an employee’s move from one hotel brand to another; competitive brand data is still kept separate and secure.

Ease of training is also important. Now, reports are created and added to everyone’s toolkit. Standard reports mean that data is consistent and can be easily evaluated.

“We have a controlled rollout of tools and reports and are able to implement policies company-wide,” said Bridges.

Continuous Improvement

Davidson Hotels has used Attendance Enterprise software for almost 20 years. Through a close relationship with Gorrie-Regan & Associates, Davidson Hotels gets the most out of their time tracking system. Company growth, increased reporting requirements, and the need to control costs associated with labor continue to drive their quest for operational efficiency and company-wide transparency. Davidson Hotels has reduced the administrative cost of tracking employee time and attendance by automating its employee attendance tracking and reporting with Attendance Enterprise.

About Gorrie-Regan

For more than 50 years, Gorrie-Regan & Associates has been at the forefront of technology in time and attendance, payroll, parking control, and business security systems. Known throughout Alabama and the South, Gorrie-Regan & Associates has served the needs of more than 5,000 customers. Customer support, service, and respect are guiding principles that drive their business and relationships with customers and vendors. Gorrie-Regan & Associates is consistently recognized for sales and service excellence by the manufacturers it represents. InfoTronics, Inc., creator of Attendance Enterprise has recognized Gorrie-Regan & Associates as the number one organization in its distribution network for eight straight years. Every day, customers turn to Gorrie-Regan & Associates for solutions to their workforce management concerns. www.gorrieregan.com

About InfoTronics

InfoTronics, Inc. is a technology company with more than 30 years of expertise in developing employee time and attendance solutions that provide businesses of all sizes a cost-effective, easily deployed workforce management system. Attendance Enterprise is the flagship product and provides advanced features for managing labor data—calculating pay rules, scheduling employees, budgeting labor, automating bene t accruals, tracking attendance-based merit points—while meeting the scalability, reliability and security requirements of large organizations. An extensive North American dealer network has helped more than 20,000 organizations use InfoTronics products to reduce labor expenses and improve decision making. www.infotronics.com

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