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Heath and Company

The Heath & Company Philosophy

Trusted by hoteliers, asset managers and business owners, Heath & Company has earned its expert reputation by providing objective analysis, straight-forward conclusions and practical solutions for hotels, restaurants and private clubs.

Each Heath & Company consultant has a minimum of ten years of operational experience with some of the world’s finest hotel companies in a variety of disciplines. This breadth of knowledge enables Heath & Company to provide client businesses with real world experience and real world solutions.

State-of-the-art Solutions.
Extensive research & development coupled with hands-on experience have enabled Heath & Company to develop an array of easy-to-use management tools crafted to measure and improve employee productivity in hospitality businesses.

Heath & Company always works in tandem with the client management team. Our work programs are completely transparent with client personnel participating actively in every type of assignment.

  Heath & Company
Hospitality Advisors, LLC
Tel: +1-877-751-3964

Heath & Company partners with client businesses to manage labor costs and improve worker productivity.

Client facilities include:

  Hotels and Resorts Private Clubs
  Restaurants Casinos
  Spas Golf Operations

Typical engagements take four basic forms:

  Labor Management Systems Analysis
  Labor Management System Implementation
  Productivity Support Services
  Process Engineering

Labor Management Systems Analysis

Labor costs are the largest expense at any hospitality-related business, and controlling them is a key area of focus. This diagnostic assignment identifies existing payroll inefficiencies to improve systemic practices so that short-term gains can be maintained going forward. During our labor management systems analysis we:

  Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of current systems for controlling labor costs
  Identify and quantify potential savings opportunities through enhanced labor management practices and/or structural revisions
  Identify opportunities to generate additional revenue, improve operations and enhance guest service
  Develop recommendations to improve systemic labor management practices through management training and implementation of state-of-the-art tools.

Our work program includes three primary areas of analysis:

  Task 1- Variable Staffing Analysis.

Variable Staffing Analysis. Effectively adjusting payroll to meet changes in business volume is essential to meeting guest expectations and achieving profitability goals. Our analysis of variable staffing focuses on two major areas: historic utilization and current management practices.

We prepare computer models designed to record historical labor utilization and concurrent business volume for each department going back eighteen months to two years. This sampling enables us to analyze productivity and provide a historical comparison of labor utilization in each area. Our custom models measure the quantity of labor utilized at concurrent levels of customer activity to gauge the effectiveness with which labor is adjusted to meet changes in business volume.

  Task 2. Fixed Staffing Analysis.

Fixed Staffing Analysis. Fixed payroll tends to grow over time, negatively impacting profitability. Our analysis includes:

  Organizational Structure and Staffing Review. We evaluate the structure by developing detailed organizational charts reflecting perceptions of upper and middle management. We look for opportunities to improve operating efficiency and financial performance through structural revisions.
  Comparative Fixed-Staffing Analysis. Using the organizational charts described above, we compare fixed-staffing levels at the client hotel to our extensive hotel database enabling us to identify opportunities to improve service and/or achieve savings.

  Task 3. – Evaluation of Current Labor Management Systems.

We identify opportunities for improvement in current labor management practices. We conduct in-depth interviews with department managers in select operating departments, focusing on each component of the labor management process, specifically:

  Forecasting. Accurate business volume forecasts are essential to effective labor management. We recommend improvements after reviewing the existing forecasting methodology and conducting a series of forecast accuracy checks to determine the effectiveness of the current forecast system.
  Labor Standards. Labor standards in conjunction with accurate forecasts should be used to adjust staffing to changes in customer volume. We review existing labor standards and make recommendations for improving the standards themselves and how they are developed and employed.
  Scheduling. Payroll dollars are effectively spent not when paychecks are distributed, but when the supervisor posts the weekly work schedule. We examine current scheduling practices and recommend improvements to more effectively match labor to changes in business volume.
  Time & Attendance. The accurate and timely recording of employee hours worked is another key element of an effective labor management system. We examine existing time and attendance recording procedures to improve accuracy, timeliness and efficiency.
  Labor Reporting. Timely and accurate feedback to department managers is essential to effective payroll management. We examine the existing flow of information between senior and department managers and make recommendations for improving the information feedback process.
  Quality Metrics. Listening to the “voice of the customer” is critical too the success of any business, but most particularly in the hospitality industry. We examine guest satisfaction survey instruments to evaluate how effectively they measure customer perceptions and we evaluate performance trends throughout the property in relation to employee productivity.

At the conclusion of our work, we meet with on-site management and others, as deemed appropriate, to present our findings, conclusions and a recommended action plan. At this meeting we submit a written report of our findings, conclusions and recommended action plan in PowerPoint® format. The complete cooperation of on-site management is critical to the success of this type of project. We work closely with management and keep them fully informed of our entire work program throughout the course of the assignment. A coordinated team effort yields the greatest positive results.
Labor Management System Implementation

Our clients understand the cyclical nature of the hospitality industry and seek to maintain profitability in a constantly changing business environment by equipping their on-site management teams with state-of-the-art tools. As the largest and most controllable expense at any hospitality related business, labor cost is a central area of focus. An effective labor management system is invaluable for maintaining desired quality levels while achieving labor savings.

Training Concept. Heath & Company uses a “train the trainer” concept in which client personnel participate actively in the Labor Management System (LMS) implementation process and learn to become trainers themselves.

  LMS Sponsor. We recommend that a single senior leader assume overall responsibility for the labor management system. This role is typically filled by the resort’s Director of Finance, General Manager, Resort Manager or Human Resource Director. The LMS Sponsor chairs the weekly labor management meeting, spot checks LMS information to insure compliance and accuracy, reviews labor management reports and initiates corrective action. The post-training time commitment for the LMS Sponsor is one to two hours weekly.
  LMS Champions. One representative each from the property’s key divisions undergoes intensive labor management training. Typically, LMS Champions have the following qualifications:
  Above-average communication skills
  Above-average computer skills
  Good understanding of operations within their divisions
  Future growth/leadership potential within the organization
  LMS Stars. Maintaining the labor management system requires a modest level of administrative work including system maintenance and the distribution of various reports at specified times. We recommend selecting two individuals for backup capability when one individual is unavailable. The time commitment for an LMS Star is typically about one hour daily during training and then approximately two hours weekly thereafter.

Labor Management System Training. LMS Training includes but is not necessarily limited to the following:

  Forecasting. Most hotels and resorts adequately predict customer volume for annual budgets and monthly forecasts. However, payroll dollars are spent in the weekly forecast that department managers use to schedule employees. Accurate weekly forecasts for all key business indicators are central to effectively managing labor and material costs.

Forecasts for guestroom occupancy and banquet business volume tend to be reasonably accurate. However, forecasting for food & beverage outlets are more challenging. Additionally, managers need feedback to improve future forecast accuracy. This comparison of actual volume to forecast is the final critical step in ensuring forecast accuracy.

To upgrade forecasting systems at our client hotels we:
  Provide the property with access to our customized web-based GamePlan® forecasting tool for spa, golf and each food and beverage outlet
  Provide individual training to select managers to use the GamePlan® tool to forecast weekly volume for their departments
  Provide written training materials for new managers to be able to gain familiarity with the forecasting tool
  Staffing Guides. We work closely with the local management team to upgrade existing staffing guidelines or, in their absence, develop new guidelines for each job classification to reflect operational requirements. Specific areas addressed include:
  Providing the property with our customized web-based PeakPerformance® labor productivity tool configured for each resort department
  Refining staffing guidelines to insure that quality standards are maintained in the most cost-efficient manner possible
  Ensuring that the labor standards developed for each workgroup are accurately input into the PeakPerformance® tool
  Ensuring that the standards are accurate and are being correctly employed

Scheduling. Heath & Company’s TeamWork® is a user-friendly automated scheduling tool designed to maintain quality levels and achieve financial objectives by making it easy to schedule employees working in multiple departments and schedule and track contract employees.

TeamWork® is fully integrated with Heath & Company’s other OnTrack™ Performance Tools. Senior management can track scheduled hours, dollars and productivity in an easy-to-use format. Our scheduling efforts include:

  Providing department managers with access to Heath & Company’s TeamWork® web-based scheduling module
  Training users to schedule employees to achieve productivity and financial targets based on forecasted volume developed in the property’s GamePlan® forecasting tool and staffing guidelines from PeakPerformance®
  Implementing reporting mechanisms to compare scheduled hours to standard so that appropriate adjustments can be made before employee hours are wasted
  Time & Attendance. Heath & Company’s suite of productivity tools works hand-in-hand with all of the major time & attendance systems. Our work with respect to time & attendance includes:
  Review time & attendance procedures to ensure that labor hours are accurately recorded and that employee timecard edits are completed on a timely basis
  Develop, document and provide procedures to effectively transfer hours from the time & attendance system to PeakPerformance®
  Management Information. Department managers need timely and useful feedback on the accuracy of their forecasts and the effectiveness of employee scheduling. To provide timely and accurate management information, we:
  Ensure that the labor management reports produced by the PeakPerformance® system are properly configured and that they reach the appropriate individuals in a timely manner
  Configure and provide secure access to our custom InsideView® productivity windows displaying actual and standard labor utilization related to concurrent business volume on a daily, weekly and monthly basis
  Test and validate reporting systems to ensure accuracy.
Follow-Up.To protect the client’s investment in the labor management system, we return to visit each client property following implementation. During each visit, we:
  Meet with the property’s senior managers to discuss their concerns and any challenges they have encountered in using the system and in adhering to the agreed-upon standards
  Meet with department managers as appropriate to:
  - Identify and illuminate any difficulties the managers may have in meeting the standards and/or using the system
  - Ascertain the causes for any significant variances between actual hours and standards hours
  - Understand the rationale for any modifications to the original standards made since the initial installation
  Work with management to develop an action plan to rectify any identified deficiencies in the system or the standards
Success Factors. The complete and spirited cooperation of on-site management is critical to the success of the labor management system implementation. The Heath & Company team works closely with local management, keeping them fully informed of our entire work program throughout the course of the assignment.

Productivity Support Services.

Heath & Company consultants work closely with each local management team to ensure service delivery at desired quality levels for an optimal cost. We help hospitality business owners and operators protect their investment in labor management by ensuring that the system is effectively utilized. We conduct a series of quarterly visits in which we:

  Meet with the property’s senior managers and department managers to discuss their concerns and any challenges they have encountered in using the system and in adhering to the agreed-upon standards
  Examine labor standards to identify any required modifications from the initial installation and/or prior visits
  Run a series of reports for sample test periods to identify any significant variances between the actual labor hours incurred and the standard hours that should have been used
  Meet with any new managers who may have joined the property since our prior visit and train them in the concepts and utilization of the system
  Work with management to develop an action plan to rectify any identified deficiencies in the system or the standards

At the conclusion of each visit we meet with senior leadership to provide a verbal assessment of our findings. Following each visit we prepare a brief letter report of our findings, conclusions and recommendations.
Process Engineering

Heath & Company personnel work closely with management to restructure and reengineer work process to increase efficiency so that fewer employees are needed to complete all required tasks at desired quality levels. Our role includes the following:

  Quantifying work in terms of volume (the number of tasks to be performed), frequency (how often tasks must be performed) and reasonable time expectancy (how long does each task take a trained individual to complete)
  Reviewing and evaluating internal reports and reporting mechanisms
  Conducting time and motion studies in order to evaluate current work efficiency
  Mapping work processes to identify precise steps of service in order to streamline tasks and improve productivity
  Challenging the management team to rethink the way work has traditionally been performed and encouraging them to experiment with new processes
  Providing hands-on coaching as work processes are proposed, tested and implemented