Casino Stops Time (And Attendance) Difficulties
A VAR partnership enables a California casino to bring payroll in-house and improve the accuracy and automation of its time and attendance system.
Some might think cold call sales fall into the "got lucky" category. While there might be some luck involved initially, it takes an understanding of business processes to recognize when a cold call has the potential to become a profitable sale for you and your partners.
Wanier Software Solutions (Sacramento, CA), a payroll and human resource software reseller, used more than luck to earn the business of Jackson Rancheria Casino (Jackson, CA), the second largest Indian reservation casino/resort in California. Susan Wanier, owner of Wanier Software, first called the nearby casino to see if it needed payroll or human resource software for its then 1,000 employees. Though Jackson Rancheria was already investigating new software, it chose to work with Wanier because her company resold Abra Suite human resource and payroll software from Best Software, Inc. (Reston, VA) (one of the packages the resort was considering). Jackson Rancheria was also looking for a local VAR so it didn't have to work directly with a vendor. As the VAR got further into the project, Wanier recognized that the casino/resort needed more than technology; it also needed to change its internal processes to become more efficient. The VAR called in its partner, Galaxy Technologies, Inc. (Madison, WI), to provide new time clocks and time and attendance software to integrate with new payroll and accounting software.
Time For Centralized, Internal Payroll Processes
Jackson Rancheria has now grown to 1,500 employees ranging from day care employees and desk clerks to servers and security guards. With such a diverse workforce, the resort had to deal with various compensation plans and pay periods, but was experiencing numerous problems with its outside payroll service provider. The resort decided it needed to operate, and therefore control, its payroll internally. But before the resort could gain control over its payroll, it had to reexamine some of its internal processes. "Supervisors were tracking their employees by using their own eyes and a spreadsheet instead of basing their payroll decisions on the time clock information," Wanier said. The resort needed a way to securely collect time card punches and relay that information back to a centralized data processing facility.
Hardware Use Enables Payroll Efficiencies
Part of Jackson Rancheria's problems stemmed from there being only one time clock, located outside the payroll office. With 1,500 employees who work in various areas of a large facility, some people would clock-in and then walk 5 to 10 minutes before they started their jobs. And not all the employees were required to punch in to the time clock, which made payroll tracking even more manual. Jackson Rancheria looked at three time clock vendors to install more clocks throughout the resort.
In addition to there only being one time clock, it was based on biometric technology and could not consistently or quickly recognize employees' hands. Although a main selling point for biometric time clocks is to deter buddy punching by employees, Jackson Rancheria didn't have a problem with employees punching in for each other. "The casino employees don't take their badges home like many companies do. Employees turn their badges in to a security office when they leave and pick them up before their shifts," Wanier said. "Once we realized that, we suggested the resort install electronic badge reading time clocks, which saved the resort about $1,000 on each clock." This added up to a significant savings when Jackson Rancheria decided to install 14 TimeStar time clocks from Galaxy Technologies throughout the resort. The clocks communicate via an Ethernet connection to a central PC-based server in the main building, which runs TimeStar time and attendance software from Galaxy. TimeStar enables employers to allocate, track, and analyze labor more effectively, resulting in improved labor management, productivity, and employee relations. The software eliminated the need to manually enter time card information and centralizes all of the casino's personnel data.
In remote buildings, PCs running Galaxy's PC Professional Web allow employees to punch in and out using a standard Internet browser. Data is systematically transferred over an intranet connection to the main server. TimeStar applies both standard and custom work rules regarding breaks and overtime, for example. That information is then passed to Abra Suite, the in-house payroll software. "It now takes the company much less time to process payroll, the payroll is more accurate, and it requires less people to do the job," Wanier said.
Partners Supplement Payroll Knowledge
Wanier Software will use the experience it had with Jackson Rancheria at other casinos/resorts, but also in various vertical markets. Wanier has installed payroll and human resource software for retailers, lawyers, banks, and manufacturers because payroll rules are somewhat universal, unlike other software packages. Wanier's partnership with Galaxy has allowed it to provide payroll software extensions such as time and attendance software and hardware while she stays focused on the payroll side of the business.