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Courtyard by Marriott Vilnius Story
How They Reduced Their Timesheet Management From Several Hours to 30 Minutes

Imagine opening a new hotel in a saturated market. To stand out, you have to do everything in your power to not only offer excellent services but also work on optimizing your operations and costs. Our client, Courtyard by Marriott Vilnius Hotel, right from the start of their business, was looking for ways to optimize and automate their employee scheduling. Now, they're one of the highest-rated hotels in the capital of Lithuania and continue to thrive even in challenging times.

In short:

  • Courtyard by Marriott Vilnius Hotel chose OPTAS automated employee scheduling software to simplify employee scheduling.
  • We began by onboarding restaurant workers, followed by the reception and the kitchen staff.
  • The hotel has improved its employee scheduling, reduced timesheet management time to minutes, and started using a centralized system to store all schedule-related information and communicate better with its staff.

The challenges

We first got in touch with Courtyard five years ago when their CFO contacted us, looking for a solution to their manual scheduling problem. She saw that her team needed better tools to organize work schedules and shifts, reduce labor law errors, and have one system that everyone could easily learn to use. Like most hotels, they dealt with tons of manual work and word-of-mouth communication. That meant a lot of shift planning or swapping went unnoticed.

The challenges we worked on

  • No digital system in place where everyone, from managers to employees, could access shift schedules and organize work
  • The thing about Courtyard is that it not only functions as a hotel but also includes a busy restaurant. Most reception, room service, and restaurant employees work based on banked hour accounting and different rotating shift patterns. Explaining, and even worse, implementing a banked hour system manually was too difficult, even for experienced workers. They had to find a system that worked for everyone, even those who had never heard of banked-hour accounting.
  • Manual data input made it almost impossible to avoid mistakes and inaccuracies. They had difficulties in implementing labor law requirements and dealing with scheduling issues like missing shifts or miscalculations.
  • Finally, like any other company, Courtyard managed all its administrative processes using Microsoft Excel. Since each team had their own spreadsheets and workflows, a lot of data was siloed, missing, or inaccurate.

Our solution

When the Courtyard's CFO contacted us, we knew it was going to be an interesting project. However, it took us a few more years to actually start working together as we were just developing OPTAS. They waited for us to launch our software solution, so we knew we had to put in 110% effort to create a solution that could make their work seamless and push them ahead of the competition.

We first started by working with the restaurant. We onboarded the restaurant staff and showed them how to use the OPTAS employee scheduling tool, input their preferences, and assign shifts. Soon after, employees could use the tool without our help. They then moved on to the hotel reception, followed by the kitchen staff.

In the end, it turned out to be an amazing collaboration and the beginning of a long-term partnership. The hotel staff soon got the hang of OPTAS features and functionality, and they didn't need us to help them. In case of any issues or questions, teams would chat and find solutions together

The solutions we provided:

Schedule automation

It was our initial solution that allowed administrators to automatically generate schedules in seconds. The hotel also uses our manual scheduling feature with AI functionality that detects mistakes and inaccuracies.

Easy employee preference tracking

As the hotel employs many young people and part-time workers, the ability to input preferences was appreciated. OPTAS allows employees to enter the times and shifts they prefer working, the days when they need time off, and vacations.

Access to schedule templates

OPTAS allows hotel administration to use schedule templates and copy and paste them for upcoming months. If people work in similar shift patterns, templates can make their work much faster and simpler.

Salary calculations

As OPTAS is designed to simplify banked hour accounting, employees can see how many hours they've worked each accounting period to predict what salaries they will get in the upcoming month.

Better attendance tracking

We offered them a TimeClock feature. The hotel staff can use it on their phones or computers to register the time they come and leave work. Administrators can use this data to plan upcoming shifts better and to make attendance reports.

Payroll integration

OPTAS easily integrates with other systems like payroll. Courtyard used this functionality to integrate OPTAS with their payroll system, PayPremium.

As we continued working together, they also inspired us to add more features to OPTAS. They suggested a feature where staff members can add profile pictures to their digital cards. Now, when you plan schedules for your team, you can add pictures for each worker to see their faces instead of just initials. While it seemed like a tiny improvement, this little feature alone makes planning much easier and lets employees feel more like a team.

The results

Our biggest achievement working together with Courtyard by Marriott Vilnius Hotel is our partnership for over 3 years and counting.

During this time, using OPTAS, they’ve managed to:

  • Reduce timesheet management from hours to 30 minutes.
  • Easily delegate scheduling and administrative tasks to people who have never used the system, without them getting confused.
  • Integrate employee schedules with payroll to speed up information exchange, avoid manual work, and forget about mistakes.
  • Minimize labor law mistakes and avoid manual data input errors.
  • Eliminate manual overtime tracking, reducing inaccuracies, and providing transparent records of employee overtime.

Mainly we are solving workload, schedules, and compliance with local laws. OPTAS improves the overall experience and gives an opportunity to involve employees in the scheduling process. The system is flexible and innovative. Needless to say, OPTAS has TOP-NOTCH customer service.

- Artūras Kuginys, Operations Manager at Courtyard by Marriott Vilnius Hotel

Long awaited tool for scheduling!

We are happy to work with innovative and forward-thinking companies like Courtyard by Marriott Vilnius Hotel. As we continue working together, we bring new features and see their business grow. If you're interested in growing your hospitality business, we invite you to schedule an introductory call with us. During the discovery call, we'll get to know your main problems and find possible solutions.

Kristina Laukaitytė
May 10th, 2024