Case study: Hyatt

Sometimes the smartest decision is the simplest

Case Study: Hyatt



Like it or loathe it, administration is a necessary part of the effective functioning of any organization. It keeps things running smoothly and reassures the workforce that the appropriate systems are in place.

Approaches can be standardized or bespoke, outsourced or handled in-house, and the size and structure of a company will often dictate the best-fit solution. However, bigger does not have to mean more complex.

Chicago-headquartered hotel group Hyatt International wanted to ensure it was coordinating and managing the collection of monthly retirement plan contributions for senior executives from across its 200+ participating hotels worldwide. Hyatt’s incumbent advisors had attempted to resolve this as part of their overall management of the fund, but the approach was too dissimilar to their normal course of business and did not fit well with their existing systems. An external solution was needed. Enter Crowe…


Faced with a challenge with so many moving parts, there is often a temptation to delve deep into specific details and painstakingly run through any and every possible option.

While such an approach can be thorough and effective, it also brings with it a risk of the overarching objective being lost in the nitty-gritty. Crowe was enlisted to review the assignment and recognized from the outset that there was no need to drown in details; the bulk of the processing required for the collection of monthly retirement contributions followed the pattern of a typical Accounts Receivable function.

Rather than seek to reinvent the wheel, the secret of the proposed solution was its simplicity. A walk-through prototype system was subsequently built and presented to the Hyatt Global Total Rewards team. 

A key driver for the solution was the need to ensure that data provided monthly by the Rewards team in Chicago could be traced through to the invoices Crowe would issue to the hotels and then to the contributions passed through to the fund trustees for investment. It was essential for the client that manual intervention in the process was only by exception, while data protection and systems security was also vital.


The walk-through prototype developed for Hyatt remains at the heart of the organization’s administrative functions to this day.

Thanks to the simple streamlining solution, the month-end balance of outstanding contributions has reduced from more than $400,000 to ~$80,000.

The knock-on impact on efficiency is also freeing up staff to focus on other, value-adding tasks, without being burdened by time-consuming trivialities. Regular briefings to discuss unpaid balances previously required hour-length meetings. With the new administrative infrastructure in place, these meetings now take just a few minutes.

By invoking the words of physician and author Martin H. Fischer, a straightforward decision has led to beneficial outcomes for Hyatt across the globe: “knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification.”