Dolphin Stadium Uses Optimization Analysis to Uncover and Solve Hidden Operational Challenges
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No organization is static: Business needs evolve over time. Such was the case with Dolphin Stadium — home to the Miami Dolphins — in the years following its initial Kronos® workforce management installation. “Our business changed a lot in four years,” confirms Director of Finance Robert Riesenberg. “Now we have more employees, dual pay rates, dual positions — challenges and requirements we never had before.” In fact, it was because of these and other changes to its business that Dolphin Stadium engaged Kronos Professional Services to conduct a Workforce Optimization Analysis.
“A small city”
In addition to housing Miami’s NFL team, Dolphin Stadium is home turf to the Florida Marlins and the University of Miami Hurricanes. It is also “the biggest sports venue in the country, if not the world,” says Riesenberg. “We host the Orange Bowl every year, national championships, and,” he chuckles, “the occasional Super Bowl.”
“On a nonevent day,” says Riesenberg, “we’re like any company, but on an event day, we’re like a small city. We have our own police force and our own fire department.” With 75,000 people on site during a typical event, Dolphin Stadium is transformed almost instantly into one of Florida’s more sizable self-contained cities. To run this densely packed metropolis, the organization employs 110 full-time and more than 3,000 part-time workers. All the part-time workers engage with the Kronos system, while about 40 percent of the full-time employees are users.
Goals: Control labor costs, increase productivity
Four years after the installation of Workforce Timekeeper™, it was becoming increasingly apparent that certain inefficiencies were driving up operational costs and hurting workforce productivity. After consulting with the Kronos Workforce Optimization Analysis team, Dolphin Stadium management ultimately agreed that it was essential to:
• Substantially decrease after-the-fact payroll manipulation
• Accommodate multiple pay rates for employees working multiple positions
• Streamline complex, time-consuming employee scheduling processes
• Gain control over inflated payments linked to abuse of the timekeeping function
Gathering information: “life on game day”
Riesenberg says, “One option was to do the analysis remotely. But I wanted [the Kronos consultants] to see what life was like on game day.” As a result, in-person interviews were conducted with managers and administrators representing Human Resources, Ticket Operations, Parking, Engineering and Grounds, Housekeeping, IT, Payroll, and Finance. Kronos also deployed a customized online survey to frontline and department managers as well as key corporate employees, garnering a response rate of 100 percent. “I think Kronos got more honest answers than we did,” Riesenberg enthuses.
Key findings and recommendations
The findings that Kronos presented in the Workforce Optimization Analysis focused on:
Scheduling: Results indicated that 100 percent of frontline managers were using spreadsheets or paper to manage their complex scheduling needs. Kronos found that 33 percent of these managers were spending 5 to 10 hours each week on scheduling tasks alone.
Timekeeping and payroll: Some managers felt uncomfortable about having their employees use the previously installed Kronos 4500™ terminals. These managers would punch in their people themselves in an attempt to ensure accuracy. This meant that time was recorded inaccurately and Dolphin Stadium ended up paying employees for time not worked.
Training: The Workforce Optimization Analysis team found that, because seasonal, part-time event workers make up such a large portion of the stadium’s workforce, 77 percent of employees had taken no Kronos training in more than two years. And 33 percent had received no Kronos training at all. This situation had hindered adoption and workforce productivity substantially.
Given the findings, the recommendations offered by the Workforce Optimization Analysis team were straightforward:
• Install additional Kronos 4500 terminals and standardize on their use
• Upgrade to the Workforce Central® suite
• Configure and apply standard rounding rules
• Modify break rules and auto deductions, as appropriate, by pay rules
• Create a wage rule profile to accommodate multiple pay rates
According to Riesenberg, “the Kronos survey and findings were eye opening.” So much so, that instead of presenting the recommendations to the president directly, Riesenberg insisted on going over the survey results first. Going into the president’s office, he says, “I had the quote in my hand and the questionnaire in the other … We went through the questionnaire first and that sold him … In his mind, the savings went above and beyond what Kronos had estimated.”
The results: lower costs, higher productivity
In the process of upgrading to the latest version of Workforce Timekeeper and rolling out Workforce Scheduler™, Dolphin Stadium has witnessed important savings in workforce productivity and costs:
Zero time to calculate multiple pay rates: A single employee can be paid a different wage for performing different work at different times. Before the upgrade, Riesenberg had to calculate manually the difference in pay rates for each employee during each payroll period. “It was an all-day process. Now we do nothing: the wages are simply in Kronos. If they’re coded to Dolphins, it’s one rate, if Marlins, it’s another rate. This alone is a huge, huge benefit.”
The end of manual payroll manipulation: “Generally speaking, we’ve eliminated the need to manipulate data once it’s in the system,” according to Accounting Manager Carol Gans. “Before we were only bringing hours into payroll. Now we bring in wages. This improves our ability to complete payroll in a timely manner.”
Right employee, right place, right time: Dolphin Stadium is now optimizing employee scheduling by upgrading to Workforce Scheduler. Automated scheduling permits managers to create preset templates based on projected game-attendance levels for each type of event: a single staffing level for Dolphins games, three for Hurricanes games, and four for Marlins games.
Control equals measurable savings: Upgrading to the Workforce Central suite has helped to control labor costs. Says Riesenberg, “Now with Workforce Scheduler and badge terminals, people get paid only when they show up and when it’s their shift. We estimated that this alone could save us $300,000 per year.”
Quite apart from the results Dolphins Stadium obtained, what impressed Riesenberg was that “the Kronos Workforce Optimization Analysis people seemed genuinely concerned with making sure all this would work. What we needed was for the Workforce Optimization Analysis team to come in and treat us like we were a brand-new customer — to learn our business all over again. And that’s what we got.”
• Substantially eliminate manual payroll changes
• Accommodate multiple pay rates for multiple-position employees
• Streamline time-consuming employee-scheduling processes
• Reduce inflated payments linked to abuse of the timekeeping function
“The Kronos survey and findings were eye opening.” Going into the president’s office, “I had the quote in my hand and the questionnaire in the other … We went through the questionnaire first and that sold him … In his mind, the savings went above and beyond what Kronos had estimated.”
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