Industry – Hospitality & Travel Location
Location – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Number of employees – 850+

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts is a global leader in luxury hospitality with unique Asian heritage.

Headquartered in Hong Kong, it have over 100 hotels and resorts under four brands nested in key cities and beautiful beachfront locations globally. Shangri-La are expanding rapidly with a strong development pipeline throughout Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

Regarded as one of the world’s finest hotel ownership and management companies, Shangri-La is dedicated to delight guests around the world with legendary service, finely tuned from over 45 years of hospitality from the heart. Shangri-La has an affinity with Asian travellers and we offer them a gateway to the rest of the world, positioning them a leading brand in luxury hospitality.

With 5,000 employees across nine properties in Malaysia, Shangri-La Group needed to improve workflow efficiency in its HR and payroll processes, with its diskette and spreadsheet-based approach being too time-consuming and prone to errors. By deploying a robust payroll solution from Orisoft running on Microsoft Azure, Shangri-La gains improved financial visibility over HR activities and saves a lot of time in payroll processing.

Shangri-La International Hotel Management Pte Ltd manages nine properties in Malaysia including hotels and resorts, where it employs 5,000 individuals. In Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur alone, the organization has around 850 employees in various shifts and functions. Apart from Malaysia, the company also owns and operates properties in other countries in the region, including Singapore and the Philippines.

With a large and still-growing organization, the company’s human resources department sought to streamline its workflow in order to improve efficiency, as well as enhance service delivery to constituents. The group utilized different payroll systems across its various properties, and this has been identified as one bottleneck of information, often resulting in delays in processing and requiring manual efforts to resolve.

“Using our old software, it took some time to update the regular payroll and get reports up,” says Mr. Jason Tan, Payroll Manager at Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur. This meant that HR and finance managers did not have adequate visibility over manpower costs and resources. “The systems were not very flexible. We could not easily get the reports we needed in order to address our HR-related financial needs in a timely manner, because it took a few days to gather information and prepare these into reports.”

Another difficulty was actually processing the regular payroll, which required staff to save data on a diskette and manually submit it to the bank for payments.

“Whenever an error occurs, the bank had to return the diskette to our office, and we had to repeat the submission,” adds Tan. “This means we needed to get the payroll ready three working days before payday, to ensure that all information is properly submitted and processed.”

An additional challenge was providing employees copies of their pay slips. Shangri-La’s old system involved preparing printed copies, which had become a burden for the Payroll department.

Given the need for a better way to manage payroll, Shangri-La explored different options and decided to migrate its system to Orisoft’s unifiedPAY solution, a cloud-based platform that runs on Microsoft Azure. More than a simple payroll application, unifiedPAY also serves as an analytics platform that enables management to make data-driven decisions on HR matters.

As unifiedPAY is developed by a local company, Shangri-La is assured that the solution is compliant with strict government regulatory standards, and that it is compatible with external ledger accounting systems to ensure a good interface with other platforms. The solution is also compatible with other jurisdictions in the region, as Orisoft is able to quickly adopt the solution to financial and regulatory requirements in Singapore and the Philippines, for instance.

The migration to unifiedPAY was seamless for the most part, reports Tan: “Even in the first month after deployment, we had no issues at all when it came to paying staff.” In addition, Orisoft provided 24/7 support to address any concern during the early stages of deployment.

After migrating its payroll solution to Orisoft’s unifiedPAY, Shangri-La gained a single standardized solution that covered the different properties that it managed. The ease of data consolidation means that finance and HR managers are able to generate and access reports in a timely manner, thus making better-informed decisions.

High availability through the cloud

Being a cloud-based platform running on Microsoft Azure, Shangri-La is assured that unifiedPAY is available and accessible 24/7, and that it could be accessed remotely when necessary. Running on the Azure cloud also ensures business continuity and disaster recovery, meaning Shangri-La no longer has to worry about data loss or corruption.

Improved decision-making through visibility

A flexible solution, unifiedPAY provides the capability to generate reports on a regular basis and as needed, which ensures better visibility over the organization’s finances. “This lets our finance managers assess property reports in a more regular and timely manner,” says Tan. “While it previously took several days to consolidate and email Payroll/HR reports, now it only takes a few minutes to log in to the system to generate and analyze reports on all properties.”

Cost savings through mobility and electronic portal

With unifiedPAY, employees can access their pay slips on their own computers, tablets or smartphones through Shangri-La’s electronic self-service (ESS) portal. This saves the Payroll department time and effort, because it no longer needs to print out and distribute paper-based pay slips. In addition, it also contributes to the hotel’s environmental initiatives, with reduced paper usage.

Time savings through improved workflow efficiency

unifiedPAY processes payments directly with the bank online, which takes out the need to manually bring diskettes for processing. In addition, the platform also interfaces directly to facilitate payment requirements for government agencies, such as the provident fund. “This means it no longer takes three days for payroll to be processed and paid,” says Tan. “With Orisoft’s unifiedPAY, it takes less than a day to have everything processed and paid.”

In view of these benefits, Shangri-La is currently exploring additional deployments of Orisoft and Azure solutions to other areas in its HR department, and likewise plans to integrate other properties around the region into the system. “Both managers and staff are happy with the time savings and improved financial visibility that we enjoy after migrating to Orisoft’s unifiedPAY platform powered by Microsoft Azure,” says Tan. “If we knew Orisoft and Azure had so much to offer, we would have migrated much sooner and had much less headaches with our payroll solution.”

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