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Crown’s the perfect fit for bespoke business

Crown’s the perfect fit for bespoke business

Crown Workforce Management Systems has turned out to be tailor-made for a global leader in bespoke consumer environments. AMS International which produces interiors for a number of retail giants has recently won another contract to fit out two new flagship stores for John Lewis in Leeds and Chelmsford.

The company, which has been using Crown’s Open Options™ for approximately a year, has found it a real benefit in managing people within a complex working environment.

AMS International, which is based in Redditch, has around 200 employees across various continents and time zones, with different employment rights and different holidays. These include 15 people across Singapore, Shanghai and Australia.

It not only manufactures in the UK, but also sources and manages products from a variety of low cost economy producers, bringing together all elements under a unique ‘shop in a box’ package.

Crown was asked to tender for a new workforce management solution at AMS by its then new Head of HR, Scott Murphy, in October 2014. AMS International, which was founded in 1919, was looking to build on its continued global growth and needed a system which could offer a “flexible solution”.

As Mr. Murphy explains, there were mountains of visible data and although there was a computerised system in place, there was excessive data entry and double-handling of input which did not produce any meaningful analysis.

“We had enough data to do what was necessary, such as pay people, but not enough to give us reliable and consistent information to manage our resources effectively,” he says.

“We had talked to our previous system supplier about our requirements, for example, producing supported working time regulation (WTR) reports, but they were not willing to provide this unless we signed a new contract half way through our existing arrangement, and even then the reports could not be produced in format that we could do anything with in other applications, only PDF.”

When Crown won the contract with AMS, it helped the company transition from one system to another. It built and configured its core Open Options™ module for time and attendance and business process management. It helped the business map the workforce, its contracts of employment, working times and locations with shift patterns, allowing it to operate more effectively.

Adds Mr Murphy:

“The WTR summary screen has been a Godsend and we have devolved a lot of responsibilities to line managers, freeing up senior managers’ time and that of my Payroll officer. We are looking to introduce the HR Module next which incorporates a number of new advances that we would find useful.”

The HR module has functionality to develop organisational charts, generate job descriptions, pay and grading, terms and conditions, training and appraisal records, talent management and succession planning, recruitment and events. It fully integrates with the other Open Options™ modules that in turn can ‘talk’ to existing systems such as payroll and finance.

David Bacon, Head of Sales for Crown Workforce Management Systems, is delighted that two West Midlands firms that are in the business of developing bespoke solutions are working together.

“AMS International is a great example of a business developing and providing services to meet the exact needs of its customers and in our own way, Crown Workforce Management, does the same by clearly understanding the nature of our clients’ businesses, the make-up of their resources and the conditions in which they operate – be they determined by UK or international requirements or operational needs such as shift working patterns. By working closely with our customers, we can continue to develop our products and make them adaptable to specific requirements and the changing needs of world markets,” he says.

AMS International has a remarkable client portfolio with blue chip brands including Marks and Spencer, Debenhams and Tesco. They have delivered interiors for businesses as diverse as car showrooms (Infiniti) to duty free outlets at airports (Dufry). The faultless performance in delivering bespoke fixtures for John Lewis’ iconic Grand Central store in Birmingham, helped the business scoop new contracts for the supply of beauty, beauty spa, fashion, home and electronics departments for John Lewis’ new Leeds and Chelmsford developments.