Headquartered in Hong Kong, Melco Crown Entertainment (MCE) owns and develops casino gaming and entertainment resort facilities in Asia. The company operates City of Dreams and Altira Macau, two major luxury casino resorts in Macau, China, one of the world’s largest gaming hubs. MCE is also in the midst of expanding into the Philippines with its new integrated resort, City of Dreams Manila. To support this growth, MCE expanded its operations and more than tripled its workforce from 4,000 to 15,000 employees in 2009.
However, MCE was relying on a combination of human resource (HR) management and accounting software systems from various vendors, customised with internally developed programs. Each casino resort was a distinct legal entity operating with its own software, procedures and policies. Maintaining these separate systems had quickly become error-prone and costly. Meanwhile, MCE’s existing processes were no longer sufficient to effectively manage records or support day-to-day operations, with employees spending hours entering and checking data manually.
MCE decided to replace its IT systems with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to standardise processes and information sharing across the whole organisation. The company also needed a flexible enterprise payroll solution that could process 15,000 employees in multiple currencies across more than 30 different financial entities.
Working with HCL Infosystems, a Loki Systems partner, MCE assessed which solutions could address its requirements and selected LOKI Systems’ Advanced Payroll AX due to its flexibility, scalability and seamless integration with Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP. As part of MCE’s payroll implementation project, Loki Systems’ experienced consultants worked directly with HCL to help capture and refine MCE’s existing payroll processes.
“As Melco moved to open a major new casino we recognised that our existing HR–Payroll solution was not capable of dealing with complexity and the volume,” says Raymond Voon, director of HR systems at MCE. “We considered various alternatives, but the cost of the implementation and ownership for the big name solutions capable of meeting our requirements was excessive until we found Microsoft Dynamics AX and Advanced Payroll AX an affordable Tier 1 solution.”
MCE also wanted a solution that would standardise payroll across legal entities and offer the flexibility to handle local differences if necessary. Advanced Payroll’s adaptable rules engine enabled the company to configure complex calculations without custom development and easily enrol new employees into the right set of rules with a simple click. This makes it easier to manage the administration of diverse employee groups, such as expatriates and locals in Macau, and to better control inter-company billing. In addition, a position management feature allows employees to be set up in more than one legal entity without duplicating any records. In addition, MCE integrated payroll and compensation in HR to generate and share pay information. This permits MCE to better manage employees via a central system, while still complying with diverse payroll requirements across groups.
Loki Systems identified some key areas in MCE’s pay process where time and effort could be significantly reduced through process change and new software capabilities. The key focus was eliminating manual steps and simplifying reconciliation. For some procedures, the new system was able to cut processing time by 50% or more. Through its native integration with Dynamics AX, Advanced Payroll AX is able to easily share payroll data in real time with the rest of the AX modules, further reducing the need for manual entries. This integration also allows payroll data to be combined with the rest of the data in the AX database to provide flexible financial reporting and analysis on all aspects of the business.
MCE now manages more than 15,000 employees across 32 different financial entities using a single consolidated human resources and payroll solution. Despite more than doubling in overall size, MCE is able to maintain the same headcount of payroll administrators, lowering the administrative cost. Payroll run times are now measured in hours instead of days and MCE no longer has to worry about a costly payroll software change when it expands in future. The company now has the payroll capabilities, enterprise business processes and processing power to support its growth strategy of expanding to 25,000 employees over the next two years and beyond.
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