Achieves Substantial Savings, Upgrades Talent Strategies with UltiPro
- Increasing employee engagement and productivity with streamlined onboarding experience
- Achieving high adoption among workforce because of easy-to-use, flexible technology
- Providing HR teams, managers, and executives with the power of cohesive HCM reporting
Concord Hospitality Enterprises Company is a hotel owner and developer operating under brands such as Marriott, Hyatt, and Hilton, with 90 hotels and more than 4,000 associates in the United States and Canada. Formed in 1985, Concord properties have won several top honors for operating and development excellence.
Previously, Concord Hospitality had 80 individual business units in the U.S. and Canada with different methods and processes for people management. After Debra Punke moved into the role of vice president of human resources, she realized she had an opportunity to deliver a range of business efficiencies and strengthen the company’s relationships with current and future associates. With the right HCM technology, Concord could increase associate engagement and productivity, and then add value to the overall business. Punke sought an integrated system for the U.S. and Canada that could manage the entire employee lifecycle, improve compliance, and enhance Concord’s business intelligence and reporting capability across the enterprise.
Since activating UltiPro in July 2011, Punke has unified Concord’s companywide people management processes and improved the way the company connects with its workforce.
“What I love most about UltiPro is the way the values of Ultimate Software and Concord align with each other,” said Punke. “Trust is the cornerstone of any business relationship, and Ultimate and Concord have built a special partnership together. Our mutual focus on people also helps us provide the best experience for our associates from hire to retire.”
According to Punke, UltiPro has given Concord tools for more communication with applicants and improved collaboration between HR and hiring managers about open positions. In addition, Concord has configured an online onboarding package that enables new associates to follow a step-by-step guide through the orientation process, including the completion of required government and procedural forms.
UltiPro also helps manage logistical details before new associates arrive for their first day of work. Automated task notification with built-in reminders ensures a documented, auditable process—eliminating the need for HR to track down colleagues and vendors to confirm that the right provisioning has been set up for the new hire. For example, IT can be alerted to provide a computer with network access, and facilities can be notified to assign a work station and order a telephone for the new associate. Tasks can also be assigned to external vendors, such as a business card vendor or cell phone provider.
“Before UltiPro, the onboarding process was rather unstructured, different from location to location, and mostly manual,” said Punke. “By using UltiPro to quickly onboard our associates, we are able to make them productive more rapidly, notify everyone who is impacted by the arrival of the new associate, and conduct this process very professionally and consistently. The overall result of using UltiPro for recruiting and onboarding is that we can identify and hire new associates more quickly than before, and the new hires already know about Concord and our culture before they even start. UltiPro helps us present a much better first impression of our company.”
Once they begin employment, Concord’s thousands of associates in North America rely on UltiPro to access their personal HR information and to initiate changes to their selections for benefits, direct deposit, beneficiaries, and more.
“We have used other systems, but our associates have really embraced UltiPro because the interface is intuitive and very easy to use,” said Punke. “Adoption for Ultimate’s technology is high because our associates find UltiPro is actually beneficial to them. They can see everything related to their employment in one place, and we have branded the portal as myconcordhotels.com. More than just another piece of software, UltiPro helps us provide a consistent experience for our associates—one message, one process.”
By using UltiPro as its single solution of record to manage its people, Concord’s executives, HR team, and managers now have the advantage of complete visibility into employee information, which can be used to evaluate and improve productivity, monitor and control manpower costs, and even make forecasts about future trends or Concord’s workforce.
“We believe it’s important to use a centralized approach for HR, benefits, and payroll, especially for a business like ours with a large workforce in many locations and two countries,” said Punke. “The comprehensive data in UltiPro combined with its flexible reporting tools allows our teams to have a business impact. We use the business intelligence tool to slice and dice the data and then deliver useful analytics for decision-making. UltiPro is also very scalable and lets us grow without needing to add additional headcount for HR administration.”
Concord used UltiPro to roll out a new talent management process in 2015, and HR is making talent dashboard retention scores available to executives so they have the tools to lower turnover at the corporate office.
“UltiPro is enabling us to adopt the cutting-edge performance management practices that are simpler, easier, more frequent, and less time-consuming,” said Punke. “The solution’s mobile access has been especially well received from the corporate level down to the hotels, as managers are able to provide quick associate observations—constructive feedback—from their smartphones.”
Senior leaders at Concord sought to determine the total cost savings from using the HCM solution, including direct costs, productivity gains, and improved efficiencies.
“After three years of using UltiPro, we recorded $800,000 in savings, with the majority coming from hard costs and boosts in productivity,” said Punke. “At the corporate level, we were able to minimize accounting expenses by reducing the time the accounting department spent auditing GL information. Accounting was also able to increase productivity by using UltiPro Business Intelligence to quickly generate complex reports. At the hotel level, we have alleviated the need for duplicate data entry. With UltiPro as our system of record, data entered only once populates everywhere.”
Punke reports that UltiPro’s contribution to Concord’s bottom line is helping grow the business, with more hotel openings and career opportunities for the company’s associates.