The hotel, spa, and restaurant operating in Vihula Manor in Lääne-Virumaa belong to the Unique Hotels Group together with four hotels and five restaurants in Tallinn. Several years ago, people began looking for a way to get rid of the manual registration and management of the working hours of its nearly 100 employees. This is a big job in an accommodation and catering company, as staff hours can vary significantly from period to period and the need to change schedules may arise unexpectedly.
Work planning in the hotel industry differs significantly from the work plan of a factory or shop, for example, where shifts are known fairly stably in advance. If, for example, a group of 50 people is booked for lunch tomorrow, adjustments must be made and the waiters must be called to work. As wages are calculated on the basis of actual working hours, accurate data on working time is very important.
The Vihula Persona program has been used for personnel management since 2016. Some departments also made work schedules using Persona, others had their own Excel and other spreadsheets. Each month it took a lot of work to assemble this data together correctly and in one format from different units before payroll calculations. About 3 years ago, a fingerprint reader registration device called ZKTime Net 3.0 was purchased as a sample. It helped people get into the habit of going through it to record the start and end time of their work. The software that came with the device allowed the recorded times to be exported, but it was quite complicated. They then had to be re-entered manually again.
In the autumn of 2020, it was decided to test the Estonian company Valnes AS's WebLock solution.
The code panel / card reader registers the passcard or the code selected from the keypad. It is very simple for the user – it consists of only one controller and two code panels / card readers that register the passcard or the code selected from the keypad. One controller is designed to “enter” or register the start time and the other to exit or register the end.
Fujitsu and Valnes have partnered to create an interface that brings registered working hours to the Persona program.
Kristo Palo, developer at Fujitsu Estonia AS:
“Vihula is our pilot customer with Valnes’ equipment. In the past, we have made similar interfaces for other access control systems (see the Lunden Food solution HERE).
The principle is as follows: unit managers plan their people’s working hours in the Persona work schedules module, employees record their arrivals and departures. The interface imports the actual times into Persona, where they are compared to what is planned. In the comparison view, the driver can also make changes, correct errors, and confirm the correct data that goes into the working time table.”
Maarja Veskila, accountant at Vihula Manor Hospitality OÜ:
“In the first month of use, people were anxious, but they took care of it and everything went well. We have now calculated the two-month salaries on the basis of the data thus collected. Everything is going well, the solution is reliable. There are a few mistakes, but they are probably due to people’s own errors. We can correct the data, for example, if an employee forgets to log in. Now everyone is very happy and understands how easy this solution is for the user.”
What has this solution provided?
“In the past, the head of each department spent 2-4 hours a month on manual entry of working hours. We have 9 such managers. It now takes about 20 minutes to accomplish this. So we save at least 3 full working days each month! In addition, input errors disappear and the calculation of working hours and fees becomes more reliable. This whole task became more efficient, easier, and more economical. We have recouped all the costs of this project, including the purchased equipment, in 2-3 months.
I would definitely recommend the interface solution of Persona and Valnes WebLock to other hotels, which are not quite small, as well as companies with a few employees, but also not in large chains, where they usually offer their own software to operate.”
Previously, the head of each department spent 2-4 hours a month manually entering working hours. We have 9 such managers. It now takes about 20 minutes to accomplish this. So we save at least 3 full working days each month! We have recouped all the costs of this project, including the purchased equipment, in 2-3 months.
Taavi Kalvik, head of the electronics department of AS Valnes:
“Vihula Hotel is the first of our approximately 300 customers to use WebLock devices to record working hours. In the field of accommodation and service, we have so far offered check-in related to the reservation system, automatic entry to tennis courts, saunas, and gyms where you can open doors, turn on lights, etc.
Getting started with our solution is easier and faster than with most other access control systems. For example, the equipment used in Vihula was immediately available from our warehouse and the installation took a few hours.
It will be interesting to see how customers find new usage stories for our solution, which we ourselves have not been able to anticipate. In this situation, our device does not work as a lock at all. Additions are made in cooperation with customers and partners. Vihula also had some needs that we were able to address.”