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Case Study

Supporting Princess Yachts' Growth With a Smarter Workforce Management System



Princess Yachts International, a division of luxury brand family LVMH, are one of the UK’s leading luxury yacht manufacturers, with a reputation for producing craft of the highest quality. The company wanted to replace its labour-intensive, clunky and ageing time and attendance system with one that would address their management needs well into the future.

Read on to discover why Crown Time and Attendance was chosen as the perfect solution for Princess Yachts’ needs, and how it has helped the company boost efficiency and improve processes around payroll and workforce activity.

Understanding Princess Yachts’ requirements for real-time workforce management

Princess Yachts was founded in 1965 as Marine Projects. Initially manufacturing just 20-30 boats a year, the company has expanded into a business that has almost one million square feet of factory floor space over six sites in the city of Plymouth and builds more than 200 boats each year. The company is now part of the renowned LVMH – Moët Hennessey Louis Vuitton – family of luxury brands and continues to grow quickly, having recently ventured into super-yacht construction territory.

Princess Yachts’ previous time and attendance (T&A) system dated from the 1990s and had become unsuitable for the type of company they had grown into. Like many such systems it was extremely labour-intensive and cumbersome to use. For crucial activities such as labour analysis, the system could take up to a week to retrieve information and compile it into the right format.

It was because of this that the company decided an upgrade was needed. Above all, they required a smarter system that could:

  • Smoothly deal with numerous payroll shifts and hours 
  • Handle the management of workforce activity and boat build times
  • Adapt rapidly to Princess Yachts’ way of working
  • Show real-time information
  • Help the company improve their processes

Building an adaptable solution for Princess Yachts’ needs

After investigating a number of potential solutions, Princess Yachts quickly settled on Crown Workforce Management to supply their new time and attendance system. Payroll Manager Peter Bryson-Meehan explains why Crown were the standout choice:

“Crown won the business because we felt the product on offer was the best for what we needed. It was very quick, very smart, simple and adaptable. The people we’d met from Crown were very willing to work with us and look at developing the system alongside us – as well as within their own remit and the system’s capabilities – to achieve what we needed.”

For Princess Yachts, one of the most attractive features that the Crown system provides is full management of the company’s varying shift patterns. Bryson-Meehan explains:

“Within the manufacturing scope, there can be a lot of changes to what the staff are working shift-wise and now it’s very simple, easy and quick to make those changes. Another major attraction is the speed of clock data recovery, which is instantaneous. This gives our managers greater autonomy over their own environments so they can deal with absences and anything else that comes along more or less instantly.”

A rapid system implementation with comprehensive support from Crown

To help bring Princess Yachts’ staff up to speed with the features of the system, Crown organised and managed preliminary user training. This training, initially conducted through a two-day session at Crown’s offices, proved a strong start to the partnership. Bryson-Meehan says the session was invaluable for him and his colleagues, allowing them to interrogate the system with an expert user present. He adds:

“After that we received a lot of remote assistance from the help desk – we can ask them questions and they will walk us through solutions and fine-tune the system as they go.”

Princess Yachts’ utilisation of its Crown system is growing almost as fast as the yacht builder itself. Bryson-Meehan explains:

“We’re currently utilising the business process management module, which we use for a return-to-work process. Previously that had been a seven-step process, but Crown enabled us to reduce it to just one and that greatly helps the various managers administer absence and health and safety aspects of staff returning to work. We also use the system’s activity management tool and this allows us to allocate hours to specific boat lines and other activities, and therefore enables us to control and interrogate the time taken for certain things. That in turn allows us to improve the processes and also the boat build times.”

Looking to the future

The success of the software implementation has meant Crown and Princess Yachts have built a strong relationship, with the new workforce management system clearly promising a bright future at the manufacturer. Bryson-Meehan is excited about the potential for expanding the scope and influence of the Crown system over the coming years:

“Today the main focus for the payroll department is the use of Workflow to improve business processes. We use Workflow currently for managing the return-to-work aspect but we would also like to start doing so for other areas where management authorisation could be required, such as overtime, skill updates and training. Any of these could be used to trigger an event within the system that allows a manager to monitor and approve anything that needs to happen.”

Reflecting on the tangible business benefits that Crown has been able to provide Princess Yachts with, he explains:

“Firstly there’s the speed and efficiency with which the Crown system works and its adaptability. Another major benefit lies with the helpdesk and Crown’s staff and the fact they are friendly, always willing to talk to us and tackle problems as they arise and try to find the best solution for what we need.”

It’s this combination of the smart, flexible nature of the workforce management system and Crown’s unparalleled customer service that is making the partnership such a success, helping Princess Yachts keep up with their changing time and attendance needs as the company grows rapidly.

To learn how Crown could give you the same visibility and control over staff attendance, activity management, scheduling and much more, speak to one of our specialists today.

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