Planning staff module overview

What is its purpose?

It reduces the manual workload and makes forecasting less error-prone. It enables you to import scheduled hours and base salaries from an external system(s). It enables you to forecast on both staff member level and total. You are able to review and adjust staffing with demand (SMART forecast) all in one screen. This article is divided into two sections, first part is how to populate/run the import and do changes. The second part is set up and maintenance and this includes explanations of terms used.

How to edit and update

Setup and maintenance

Tutorial video

Intended users and requirements

Financial Controllers and General Managers.

Part 1: How to edit and update in staffing

This needs to be triggered. It’s dependent on the routines at your specific property. Please note that the actual update of hours is run within the Staffing page from Tools.

You access the page via the side menu, PMI Planning, Profit & Loss, select relevant department, and then activate the staff view.

Chart – left hand side – RevPOLU and Productivity

Our example is Front Office, working on the forecast update looking at the year 2021.

  1. To import hours click on the Tools icon in the top right-hand corner.
  2. The RevPOLU chart uses the first revenue-based cost driver specified in the cockpit for the department. It is blank when the cockpit only specifies room nights and covers.
  3. The productivity chart uses the main cost driver specified in the cockpit for the department. In this example, both charts are the same, but this would show movement in your main productivity score. You can change which year is displayed on LY gray line from the drop-down in the header. Hover over the chart data to get a pop-up with all the values for that specific month.
  4. Click on the dots to switch between four-month and annual views.

After clicking on Tools, choose the time period and the departments you want and select Update. We recommend that you import data each month for three consecutive months ahead once schedules are completed in your timekeeping system. Now you are ready to review and adjust your forecast.

Main chart – summary of values in data table

The main chart highlights when you are likely to be overstaffed or understaffed. Staff is split into two categories. You have fixed staff, which are staff with standard salaries, and flexible staff, which are those who are on an hourly rate. The SMART hour’s line shows the hours needed to meet the productivity target for revenue in the Live Forecast. The yellow bars show how many hours we are from the productivity target in that month. 

Underneath the graphs, you have a detailed staffing table where you can view, edit and add notes to the hours that have been imported from your timekeeping system. There is a line for each employee which shows their hours and hourly rate. Items that have been imported from your TKS will be locked. To make a change, just click on the padlock in the column header, and update. To add a note, simply click on the 3 dots in the cell and write your comment.

Added note functionality

  1. Hover anywhere in the data table to see three gray dots to the left. Click on this to open a note field.
  2. You can add a free text note as required. In the second image, it shows who saved it last. The save button is only activated when there are changes to save.
  3. At the bottom of the pop-up, you can see details of the last imported value (labeled original value) and the last value overwritten manually if relevant. Just in case you need a reminder of the previous value.
  4. Once a data point has a historic value the gray dots will always be visible. Blue dots if there is a note saved, or if there is a note and a previous value.

As you can see below Front Office is forecasted to be understaffed by 2,365 hours in July.

As the schedule is not yet complete you can add in the hours in the Unspecified row. You can fill in the hourly rate as well. Before you can do that you need to unlock the padlock (click on icon). Then click Save.

Activate the sense check, this will highlight any data that seems incomplete or illogical compared to any other month in your staff forecast. We recommend using sense check to find discrepancies before moving on in your planning. Remember to deactivate (untick) as soon as you have completed this check.  

When we take a look at the chart, you can see that the hours for July now meet the expected work level. Any changes made here are added to your WiP Forecast in Profit and Loss, however, note, that changes here will not be updated in your TKS so you will need to go back and adjust in there accordingly. You can also see that no hours are scheduled here for Aug, Sep, and Oct, so the entire SMART forecast is understaffed. And for Nov and the first part of Dec, the staffing level (blue) is above the target, so the bars highlight overstaffing.

 Once your tasks are completed, you can return to a different P&L screen by clicking on the desired view.  

Part 2: Set up and maintenance

So where does all the PMI code mapping comes from and how it is maintained? You can import the values into the Staffing page. You can review and edit hours and rates for individuals. Staffing values appear in the P&L Forecast as specified in the formulas. This is of course dependent on the formulas set up in the P&L. If there is no or limited data in the P&L then it will be that is what you will get. There is Help text readily available in the entire module. Click on the ? to find out what a particular term means. The example used below is from Unspecified.

Staffing screen explained

Section 1:

  1. Selected department -Here you choose the department you want to work with.
  2. Back to view – Here you go back to one of 3 views, Accounts, Account summary, and Report.
  3. RevPOLU vs Actual YEAR – Here you see how RevPOLU for the specific department (using Room revenue), compares to budget or forecast and to the actual historic data. Here you select the year you want to review. There are up to 5 years of data in here. This is dependent on how much historic data is available. When you hover over the graph you see a snapshot of the information.
  4. Productivity Room nights/hours – Here you see how the productivity for this department compares to budget and historic data (selected year) using the cockpit productivity driver divided by hours. When you hover over the graph you see a snapshot of the information.

Section 2:

  1. Here you choose what you want to work with. It could be your current work in progress (WiP) Budget or Forecast or the latest approved Budget and/or Forecast.
  2. The date picker, You choose which period you want to review.
  3. Staff forecast – hours, Here you see if the total planned hours from fixed and flexible staff match the cockpit’s SMART hours plan. The bars show how substantial the overstaffing (dark orange) or understaffing (light orange) is in hours. By adjusting hours against staff in the Staff forecast table (Tile 3), you can reduce these differences and schedule the optimum staffing levels.
  4. By hovering over a specific month, you see what it entails. There will always be 12 months represented in this graph. Below we have used terms for various types of contracts, please note that this can vary from property, country, hotel chain and so on.

Fixed staff / Complex monthly salary (dark blue line in the graph) – Here the TKS import provides a monthly salary. To display an hourly rate, the FTE hours are divided. If you have part-time staff, for example, staff with fixed contracts less than 100% then the import must contain a pro-rata salary.

Flexible staff / Hourly rate (light blue line in the graph) – Here the TKS import provides an hourly rate which is displayed directly.

Hours shown – these are hours imported for a specific name are the total sum of productive and non-productive scheduled hours for each month. It uses the same Mapping – Timekeeping system (TKS) as cockpit hours. This means some monthly schedules will include more non-productive hours and it can appear overstaffed compared to the SMART forecast. However, in some cases, it can appear understaffed.

SMART forecast hours (purple line in the graph) – Budgeted, forecasted and last year’s hours are recalculated based on the actual activity level, using the productivity from budget/forecast/last year – SMART

Section 3:

  1. Staff forecast – This table has a summary, and then details per person of how the staffing schedule looks in hours and cost. Local currency is used. When a month is imported (run from Tools, see section above), all existing data will be cleared out to show only the imported schedule. You are still able to make changes if required.
  2. Expand all – depending on what you going to work on you are able to expand and collapse.
  3. Sense check – by activating (tick) it will highlight any data that seems incomplete or illogical. Use this to make sure you haven’t made any errors in your planning.  
  4. Summary hours – This shows the total hours being forecasted for a specific department, which is the sum of hours listed below for each staff member. Expand the view to see the split of Fixed and Flexible.

  1. SMART forecast (Room nights) – This shows how many hours should be scheduled according to the SMART forecast for this specific cockpit. In brackets is a reminder of the driver used (driver multiplied by productivity target equals hours shown here). If this line has 0 (zero) in future months, it may indicate the cost driver (room nights, covers, etc) has not yet been forecasted for the period. Check the relevant cockpit.
  2. Understaffing / overstaffing – This shows how many hours should be added (if understaffed) or removed (if overstaffed), in order for a schedule to be aligned with the SMART level of hours for the forecast activity (driver) levels. Please note that an accurate forecast will not always match the SMART hours’ line.
  3. Summary basic pay – This shows the total cost forecast for basic pay. Staff is split into Fixed and Flexible depending on the settings in your timekeeping system (TKS).
  4. Columns showing a padlock contain data imported from TKS schedules. Only future months can be unlocked for editing. When a month has been closed it cannot be edited.
  5. Columns where there is no padlock are future months and nothing from TKS has been imported.
  6. Save – Always press save when you have completed your tasks.

The cost shown – cost is the hourly rate multiplied by scheduled hours in each department. Cost does not include payroll-related costs, social costs, overtime, etc, and will only match the final salary cost line where hours imported agree to Full-time equivalent (FTE) hours. This enables us to show the same hourly rate for a staff member in all departments where they are scheduled. We can use the imported information, irrelevant of how many departments a staff member has worked in, the same hourly rate will apply in every department.

For future months where salary is not yet imported, the screen will display the same hourly rate used for the last available month. This means that if you have imported three months, June, July, and August. Then we use the hourly rate paid for the current month, which would be June, as a guideline for the upcoming two months for future salaries.

  1. Fixed – This section shows all the hours scheduled in a specific department for staff paid on a fixed salary basis. The hourly rate shown uses basic monthly and the standard FTE hours for the month to calculate a rate. Note that the overall cost shown on the name line (staff members’ names) will not match the actual salary if the scheduled hours imported do not match standard FTE hours.
  2. Unspecified – This is a generic person and can be used to add more shifts/hours in the forecast when you don’t know who will be taking the shifts. This can be a lump sum. This is great to use when you have to forecast several months into the future. It will never be populated in imports from TKS. Remember to add an hourly rate for these hours.
  3. The 3 blue dots appear when you have written in a note that you want to remember for future reference.
  4. The 3 gray dots appear when values have been edited manually.
  1. Flexible – This section lists all the hours scheduled in a specific department for staff paid on a flexible (hourly paid) basis. The hourly rate shown is imported from the TKS. It does not include overtime, bonus, etc. Payroll-related costs should be forecasted separately on the P&L WiP Forecast page as required.
  2. Unspecified – This is a generic person and can be used to add more shifts/hours in the forecast when you don’t know who will be taking the shifts. This can be a lump sum. This is great to use when you have to forecast several months into the future. It will never be populated in imports from TKS. Remember to add an hourly rate for these hours. This is an average hourly rate.

Below is a flowchart of the task flows for Monthly staff forecasting

The flow chart below shows the Timekeeping system (TKS), Revenue & Productivity module (PMI R&P), Staffing module, and P&L Forecast. The exact process depends on the policies and procedures in place at your specific property. However, we recommend these key steps are followed in this order.

  1. Check that the TKS has complete schedules for the months and departments you wish to update in your forecast. This is important because the update process will clear out all the old data from those months and replace it. If the schedules are not complete for a calendar month an update will end up showing partial cost and hours for the month which should be avoided.
  2. Open the Staffing page. This is an option from the Profit & Loss module. For the first few weeks after the upgrade, you may be able to see a read-only copy of the old staffing page for reference.
  3. From the Tools menu select periods and departments to update from the TKS schedules. After the update, you will only see the hours scheduled in your external system.
  4. Review the graphs and see how well the schedules align to your SMART forecast, making changes as needed.. Changes can be made to individuals in the data table or on the Unspecified rows if preferred. Remember that changes here will not update the actual staff schedules.
  5. Once you are satisfied with the forecast for imported months and for the rest of the period remember to save. Once saved the values will be picked up by the formulas in your main WiP Forecast P&L.

Tutorial video:

PMI Planning Staff Module overview

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