Vail Resorts, a leading global mountain resort operator, manages nine mountain resorts and three urban ski areas through its subsidiaries. Given the seasonal nature of the business—during ski season, the staff grows from about 8,800 to 25,000 individuals—managers got overwhelmed by the need to explain the calculations behind the payouts to workers.
Vail Resorts was using the PeopleSoft Human Capital Management (HCM) system. The problems were that data was distributed across multiple systems, and the compensation processes entailed manual inputs with Excel spreadsheets. As a result, there was no easy way to track compensation, which left workers unsure about what their salary and bonus amounts should be.
Tammy Mollhoff, Vail Resorts’ HRIS director, explains that this process caused some frustration for employees, and even more for managers, who were asked to provide explanations to workers about what went into the numbers when they didn’t fully understand it themselves. To solve that problem, the company wanted to centralize the process in way that would allow the managers to review the figures and then show workers the statements on base wages, discretionary bonuses, long-term incentives and other adjustments.
In 2015, Vail Resorts explored the offerings of five vendors, which they then narrowed down to three. Mollhoff reports that Oracle’s system was the strongest candidate because of its integration with PeopleSoft. She added that they also found the system more intuitive to work with than the others under consideration, particularly with respect to handling their complex system.
Selecting an Implementation Partner
Once the team had chosen the Oracle system, it evaluated a few vendors to help with the implementation. There was “no question,” Mollhoff says, “that we needed an implementation partner.” Taking a manual approach to data on more than 30,000 employees from the four most recent years would have taken far too long.
They chose TCS because of good recommendations and its ability to handle the challenge of their workforce data within the 14-week timeframe. Leveraging TCS’ Cloud Converge tool reduced Vail Resorts’ integration and data migration time by at least 40 percent.
“As we were converting data and working through some of the challenges, TCS, in conjunction with the IT team, had to get creative about getting it done within the timeframe,” Mollhoff recalls. To deal with those issues, TCS developed a hybrid cloud solution to transform the company’s compensation processes as it combined the on-premise PeopleSoft HR solution with the Oracle Cloud HCM solution.
“This is our one tool,” Mollhoff declares. Putting together the data from PeopleSoft “with the data from our success factors tool” means there are no processes external to the system that have to be attached. That saves time on compensation calculations and translates into greater confidence in data accuracy.
When the calculations were done manually with spreadsheets, Mollhoff explains, there was some doubt that the totals were accurate. There was always the possibility that something inadvertently got left out of the calculations. In contrast, with everything contained in a single system, there’s a lot more confidence that the numbers are the right ones.
As a result of the solution, Vail Resorts achieved the followed benefits:
reduced total cost of ownership by 15%
achieved 100% automation
attained a 100% integrated process
improved compensation process cycle time by 20%.
Aside from those measurable results, there’s the priceless benefit of increasing happiness all around. The employees are happier because they get clear, correct information about their compensation, and managers are happier because they are able to easily provide that information.
The team members using the system are also happy because they find it very easy to use. And Mollhoff anticipates getting positive feedback from the executives at the end of the cycle.