Time and attendance data input used to be tiresome first act for the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) in preparation for every payroll run. The leisure giant, which operates 30 UK theatre, music and cinema venues, has a ‘cast’ of thousands, and it would take many hours to amass the entries from its old paper-based system.
But the tedious process has now taken its final bow – saving time and money – replaced and automated by Crown Workforce Management’s system.
From front of house and technical, to ticketing, customer experience and catering, all ATG’s players now directly input their attendance into the time and attendance program – simply recording complex working arrangements.
Tamsin McDowell, HR Systems Partner, at ATG, explained: “Venues were functioning fine but as a central head office resource, we had no access to any time and attendance information and therefore no oversight of what staff were doing at various venues and their associated costs. In addition, payroll had become very time-consuming. We needed something more effective and efficient that allowed us an overview of all venues so we could measure and compare the sites to establish best practice and address any issues. The added advantage was that we are able to give show producers more accurate venue costs ahead of time.”
ATG and Crown worked closely together to roll out the system – initially at a pilot venue, then more widely. ATG ensured that each venue had someone in place who fully understood the system, were trained in its roll out and could answer questions from staff.
Peter Fry used to spend six hours every Monday inputting the timesheets and although the company has continued to grow, this process now takes just two hours.
He said: “The system can easily cope with very complex staffing arrangements – for example, we might have people in London working at two or three venues in one day, doing different jobs in each. Now, we know exactly where they are and what they are doing. This not only improves our oversight but ensures staff get paid accurately and promptly when working away from their ‘home’ venue.
“The system proactively picks up on any anomalies regarding payment so we can address it, and it copes with the range of salaried permanent, temporary, full and part-time staff alongside those on casual, zero-hours and variable hours contracts.”
ATG has also found that the system clarifies the chain of accountability, aiding transparency regarding management and the fulfilment of roles.