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Time Spot System Helps ARAMARK Serve Up Improved University Workforce Management

Food Service Giant Helps Clients Simplify Labor Management and Reduce Payroll Costs With Automated Solution

Overview
Food services giant ARAMARK Corporation improved the recipe for its labor resources management processes and systems recently when it implemented a comprehensive new employee time and attendance system.

"In the food-service business, managing labor properly is a key part to being able to grow profitably," says Dominic L. Boffa, CIO and vice president, Information Technology, ARAMARK Campus Dining Services. It?s a big part of the reason why, in 2002, the food services giant sought to supplement its legacy TimePlus? application for its timekeeping and payroll functions.

Based in Philadelphia, ARAMARK Corporation is a world leader in providing award-winning food and facilities management services to health care institutions, universities and schools, stadiums and arenas, international and domestic corporations, as well as providing uniform and career apparel. The company?s 200,000 employees serve clients in 18 countries.

Seeking Improved Labor Management
Executive management helped spearhead the search for a next-generation time and labor management system for the company's Campus Dining Services division, with over 400 college and university clients nationwide. "We identified the processes and tools that were needed to effectively manage labor costs and improve customer service," says Mr. Boffa. "The effort included labor 'champions' from all our regions who brought their best practices to the table. These best practices formed the basis of our revised workflow and processes."

After evaluating various system options, ARAMARK decided to work with Time Spot, Inc., a leading provider of advanced time and workforce management solutions designed to help executives, managers and employees solve a wide range of human resource issues. ARAMARK Campus Dining Services selected an automated system from Time Spot ?based on the company?s flexibility and dedication to customer service,? says Michael Tuno, Project Lead, Information Technology, ARAMARK Campus Dining Services. The workforce management system is a tightly integrated time and labor management suite that combines client-server software with a wide range of data collection devices to automate the process of tracking, managing, auditing and reporting the many aspects of employee time and attendance.

ARAMARK Campus Dining Services selected Time Spot's HourTrackTM system "based on the company?s flexibility and dedication to customer service," says Michael Tuno, Project Lead, Information Technology, ARAMARK Campus Dining Services. HourTrack is a tightly integrated time and labor management suite that combines client-server software with a wide range of data collection devices to automate the process of tracking, managing, auditing and reporting the many aspects of employee time and attendance.

?We installed our first pilot account in February 2002,? says Mr. Tuno. ?Time Spot helped us develop a bridge providing bidirectional data transfer between [the automated system] and our existing timekeeping and payroll applications. The company?s implementation team also helped to develop the custom reports that we needed.

?Since then, we have implemented [the same solution] at many other accounts,? Mr. Tuno says. ?We?re using the time and attendance, timesheets, workforce scheduling and management reporting functions. As our users become more experienced, they will make greater use of the ?leave management? module,? which accurately logs leave records and allows sick, vacation or personal time to accrue automatically according to an unlimited number of accrual policies.

Key Benefits
By selecting an automated solution from Time Spot, ARAMARK has reduced payroll expenses by better managing employee work schedules while also reducing overtime, according to Mr. Tuno. The company also eliminated many manual calculations, resulting in more time for its office staff to focus on other areas.

"This new system, in conjunction with solid labor management processes, have given us the tools to predict and plan our labor more effectively based on customer needs and have given us the data to measure performance on a monthly basis," says Mr. Boffa. "Labor management reporting has become a key financial metric. Another key benefit, according to both Mr. Boffa and Mr. Tuno, are their happy "clients" at ARAMARK locations nationwide.

One such location is West Chester University, located near Philadelphia. The system has been live at the university since mid-December 2003, according to Lauren Saar, Administrative Assistant, ARAMARK at West Chester University, who says that with 275 employees, ARAMARK serves approximately 900,000 meals per year at four locations.

"The biggest change we?ve seen is that now the managers can help with different aspects of labor and payroll that I used to handle on my own," Ms. Saar says. "This has freed me up to spend more time using a variety of labor tools within the system.

"The system's best feature is its networking, which gives all of our managers the ability to view their departments from multiple locations at any time they choose," Ms. Saar says. "Another great feature is the ability to view a 'live log' of who is currently on the clock or on break."

Ms. Saar says that her department is working on implementing all of the system?s scheduling tools and is already gaining better control over labor scheduling. She also points to benefits seen with the use of the sales analysis function and the ability to restrict employees to their exact assigned schedule, which, over time, Ms. Saar explains, "will help us save quite a bit of money, because we will be able to improve the utilization of our labor resources."

Lessons Learned
In the two years since ARAMARK Campus Services began utilizing the automated workforce management solution, the organization has installed the system at accounts ranging from 50 to over 450 employees. ?The processes and systems we put in allow us to schedule employees? time and plan for the right mix of labor to support our operations cost- effectively. This translates to better customer service and an efficient application of labor,? says Mr. Boffa. ?Improved payroll/timekeeping is a positive byproduct of those processes and systems."

Says Mr. Tuno, "we evaluate our clients' business needs on a case-by-case basis and will recommend [this automated solution] to them whenever it makes good business sense".

     
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