Planday caught up with Felix Bresser, the HR Managing Director at WOKI cinema in Bonn, Germany. WOKI cinema is not only a part of Cine Vision group, but it’s also recently been voted ‘Germany’s Favourite Cinema’ in 2017. We spoke to Felix about onboarding Planday and what the immediate benefits were for his team.

Award-winning cinema loved by its audience

The picture house and our company have existed in their current form since 1998, but the cinema itself dates back to 1956 when it opened under the name Universum Lichtspiele. Today, we have 33 employees in total – we employ a mix of full and part-time workers. We mainly screen blockbusters, but also show arthouse pictures and classics on a monthly basis.

We work together with Amnesty International to show selected films about human rights issues once a month, which are accompanied by an introduction and subsequent debate. Lastly, we boost cinema admissions by showing sneak previews once a week which is an immensely popular event. Winning the title of ‘Germany’s Favourite Cinema’ has definitely helped to attract additional visitors.

Choosing a workforce management platform

We first met Planday at the Cinema Congress in Baden-Baden. Our team immediately got on with the young and dynamic Planday team, who explained to us the key features of the system. We were looking for a system which was tailored to the needs of independent, smaller cinemas and Planday really stood out amongst the crowd. We’ve previously encountered many workforce management systems, which were not designed with the cinema sector in mind and we regularly came across solutions that were aimed at just hospitality.

We could immediately see that this was the solution for us, as we’d previously discussed our needs regarding daily scheduling, corporate structure and internal communications. The combination of the Planday team, our needs, the suitability of the product for the cinema industry and the extremely attractive pricing model led us to decide to adopt the system right away.

Bespoke settings for the cinema industry

While a ‘regular’ working week in hospitality starts on a Monday and ends on Sunday and is shown as such in most scheduling solutions – for cinemas the working week starts on Thursday and ends on Wednesday. We wanted our scheduling system to reflect this. All it took was one phone call to our Activation Consultant at Planday and this was changed for us right away – that is one example of what I mean by flexibility and suitability of fit for the cinema industry.

Simplifying weekly schedule planning

More intelligent shift mapping and scheduling templates are where Planday really made a difference. We also use the Payroll and Reporting functions extensively for wage and attendance evaluations. Additionally, after conducting an A/B test to evaluate the accuracy of Planday’s Punch Clock tool (running Planday’s mobile, geo-located solution against our legacy time recording system), we found that it improves time-tracking accuracy, so we now rely on this feature heavily.

We also use the communication feature on a daily basis. Planday’s News Feed enables us to share key business news, announcements and training easily and effectively. All important documents are now broadcasted and stored here. Thanks to the read receipt functionality, it is possible for us to make sure that all important documentation actually reaches employees and is read by them.

Streamlined communication and easy overview

Since onboarding Planday, all of our employee communications have been streamlined and we’ve become a lot more efficient. We send significantly fewer emails and no longer use WhatsApp groups for shift swaps. The employees’ response has been overwhelmingly positive and they could see the benefits right away. Already after a quick 15-30 minute training session, they were able to get the hang of it thanks to the intuitive user interface.

Our use of Planday rests on three key pillars:

  • scheduling
  • timekeeping and wages
  • employee communications

We are still relatively new Planday users and we are discovering new features every day so I am sure if you asked me again in a year’s time, I may have one or two more pillars to add!

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