The US-based company operates hotels on behalf of independent owners across the state of California. Managing employee data across multiple sites was becoming a real challenge as the business grew, particularly as the management team travel between sites and work remotely for the majority of the time.
“It was becoming cumbersome and errors were beginning to creep in – and not only are errors not a good thing, they can also cost you money,” said Vice President of Operations Braxton Myers.
The company began to look around for an HR solution that would allow it to house all employee information in one central place and would provide managers with access to the data from wherever they might be.
“In the State of California there are 27 different forms you have to issue when you hire an employee – so we needed a system that would give us access to all the forms when we were travelling or working on site,” explained Braxton.
Cezanne OnDemand appealed because of its flexibility and the fact that it was a totally Cloud-based solution. The document storage and international features of the product, especially its availability in multiple languages, was particularly important for Blackstone, whose employee base is 40 per cent Spanish speaking and in many cases, not particularly tech-savvy.
“The fact that staff are able to see the system in their own language is a huge benefit and will give them much more confidence in their ability to use it,” says Braxton.
With the help of the support team at Cezanne OnDemand, Blackstone was able to get the system up and running in an extremely short two-week timescale. Cezanne managed the transfer of data from existing spreadsheets and helped to tweak some of the language so that it would be more familiar to users.
Rolling out the performance management module has been a priority for the business, who operate in a litigious environment and need to protect themselves from claims of unfair practices. “There has been a lot of case precedent so we have to ensure our entire operation is consistent – so if we are giving one person a percentage increase we are doing it at the same interval for other employees,” explained Braxton.
“We were previously doing this on Excel, but it didn’t alert the hotel managers to take action when a raise was due. Cezanne OnDemand will take care of that and will make the whole task much less cumbersome.”
Looking further ahead, the business plans to gradually introduce other elements of the system – with absence management next on the agenda. “We like the fact that it is scalable and you can add on more features as and when you need them,” said Braxton.
He has also been particularly pleased with the customer support and the fact they have managed to work effectively around the time difference. “The time difference has actually been a benefit – if I send out a request it gives them the whole next day to work on it, so by the time I get to work the next morning I have a solution,” he says.
“Even though it is early days, it is already saving us a lot of work and allowing us to operate more effectively as a remote business. It has proved to be a phenomenal system so far and I am thrilled with it.”