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October 8, 2013

Case Study: Hall & Woodhouse serve up Kronos as part of 5-year plan

A Dorset-Based public house and brewery chain say it can achieve its five-year transformation plan with the help of Kronos workforce applications.

By Ben Sullivan

Public House and brewery chain Hall & Woodhouse has completed its roll out of a Kronos workforce management solution across 54 of it public houses and 1,500 team members as part of a five-year transformation plan which hopes to see the company become the most highly regarded public house/restaurant chain in the UK.

The chain needed new methods to improve its workforce control and to optimise its future running to take into account the massive variation in stock and sales the hospitality industry face in today’s climate.

For that job Hall & Woodhouse chose Kronos. Kronos is a global workforce management solutions provider based in the cloud. They have thousands of clients across more than a hundred countries, including more than half of the Fortune 1000.
Optimum schedules based on sales forecasts.

As the fastest-growing regional brewer of bottled ales, the company has an ever expanding chain and workforce. Hall & Woodhouse has been moving into new counties and with those come new challenges. The company needed a high-quality and succinct solution to improve its sales, which in turn will increase notoriety of its public houses across the country.

Duncan Rouse, transformation manager and Hall & Woodhouse said: "We looked at a number of labour management systems, and in terms of what we were looking for and long term support, Kronos was the best."

"A significant driver for this project is to increase sales per labour hour – a key performance indicator in our sector. It’s not an exercise in cutting costs – more an opportunity to accurately align team members with forecast demand, eliminate under- and over-staffing, and ensure that we have enough people in the right areas to deliver the high levels of service expected from our customers.

"Kronos gives us visibility on a wealth of information we never had before. Our labour costs are one of our biggest consumable parts of our business. The system gives is that visibility we need. We know through biometric clock and fingerprint scanner systems that the employee is there at their allotted time."

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Dorset-based Hall & Woodhouse, which is family run company, is using these ‘time and attendance’ and ‘forecasting and scheduling’ applications to accurately forecast team member levels based on sales data and known labour standards. It then creates optimum schedules based on sales forecasts and employee skills.

Additionally, Kronos offers Hall & Woodhouse the chance to use a biometric system to increase confidence in the hours worked by staff, thereby improving the ability to forecast, leading to increased stock control, team morale and better hospitality.

When asked how the staff have responded the new system, Duncan said: "The staff are happy. We Recently ran a feedback session, and got employees to be honest with us. The feedback from frontline teams such as chefs, servers, and waitresses was all very positive. They’ve had no issues with it all., chefs, waitresses, no issues with it at all. It’s been accepted by everyone."

‘People management processes are key to achieving goal’

With 250 pubs now spread across Southern England, from Dorset to London, Hall & Woodhouse is in its 5th generation of family brewing. First started when an entrepreneurial Charles Hall served beer to troops stationed in Weymouth in 1777, what Hall & Woodhouse needed was a global leader in cloud based workforce management solutions, something that Kronos does very well.

"Hall & Woodhouse is committed to its five-year transformation plan and understands that its people management processes are key to achieving this goal.

"The ability to automate and accurately forecast sales alongside the optimum number of employees required to meet this demand will contribute significantly to its transformation plan," says Simon Macpherson, senior director of operations, Kronos EMEA.

Hall & Woodhouse is also implementing Kronos InTouch to record employee working time, and offer an intuitive interface for team members to access their own information. This further reduces the level of manager administration required to answer queries.

"Kronos ensures that the right people are scheduled in the right place, at the right time and at the optimum cost, with schedules that start and end at 15-minute intervals. This reduces the possibility of over-staffing which often happens when employees are scheduled at hourly intervals," say Kronos.

Duncan said: "The biggest benefit so far from using Kronos is in terms of absenteeism. We can track who’s off, when they’re off and why they’re off. Before, it was a real paper exercise."

Here at CBR, we recently saw reports of the decline of pubs due to not keeping up with modern technology.

"Introducing something this hi-tech has been a challenge in some areas, but we are definitely getting there with it now. The managers in the pubs are seeing the benefits the system can give them," said Duncan.

"With Kronos, we’re able to have a competitive advantage into the next 5 years."

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