RealNZ Case Study

Optimising costs and streamlining processes in a thriving tourism business.


A leader in the industry for over sixty years, RealNZ offers tourism experiences that share the beauty and heritage of some of southern New Zealand’s most memorable places.

In 2019, RealNZ set in motion plans to streamline their processes to gain more control and visibility across the business. Up until their partnership with Ento, rosters were managed across multiple spreadsheets and weren’t factoring in labour costs. Employees were also submitting timesheets retrospectively – a process that didn’t offer a true reflection of hours worked. This left room for manual errors and labour cost blowouts, two key challenges the business was keen to overcome.

“We were publishing rosters on spreadsheets, but we weren’t then factoring in what the roster cost was. So we weren’t able to act on it before we paid the wages. Tracking against budget before we run payroll and being able to make adjustments was a big thing for us.” shares Rachael Cameron, Head of People and Performance Operations at RealNZ.


The team was looking for a centralised solution to support real-time rostering and time and attendance tracking. This would help RealNZ to:

  • Centralise rostering
  • Control roster costs
  • Track timesheets
  • Manage their workforce across multiple locations


In short, the business wanted to optimise its processes, and achieve more with less manual handling.

RealNZ now uses Ento, making rostering and time and attendance tracking easier than ever through the all-in-one platform. Managers get real-time oversight of each roster’s labour costs, as well as schedule visibility across multiple locations. The time and attendance feature allows employees to clock in via the app, so management can see clock-in/out times as it happens and have their finger on the pulse should anything occur on location.

Better yet, RealNZ loved Ento’s modularity. With plans to take more processes digital in the future, it sealed the deal knowing they had the option of rolling out functions like onboarding and workflows down the line.


When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, RealNZ successfully minimised the manual work required for rostering and managing time and attendance.

“For managers to be able to see if employees are available or if they’re on another roster has helped with COVID because being able to share resources is invaluable” Rachel states. “We’re ready to hit the ground running, but we’re constantly looking for system improvements and things that can be automated. Ento helps us with that.”

The road ahead: fast, efficient onboarding

After launching the platform, RealNZ is planning to utilise Ento’s onboarding and workflows feature. This will help streamline onboarding around peak seasons, where the business welcomes between 300-900 staff each season.

“It takes a lot of manpower to onboard and offboard people. We’re now focusing on defining our process to get someone up and working on the boat with the uniform, with their staff benefits, with their employment agreements signed, with all the information in hand that they need for their first day.” Rachael says.

“Then, we’re looking at what the process looks like to offboard employees. So whenever they’re ready to leave at the end of the season, us confirming back with them what their final day will be, offering them out engagement surveys to find out how their time was with us, all those pieces, we’re trying to automate all of this.”

Despite the challenges COVID threw their way, RealNZ was able to create efficiencies around its foundational processes, and rethink its approach to attracting and hiring workers. “We’re exploring different things like: can we move our staff in summer? Can we offer them a year-round opportunity rather than being hired for a season? Could we offer some permanent opportunities?“.

Being up and running with Ento, means that RealNZ can onboard employees digitally, without the need for paperwork and manual processes. Once they’re up and working, real-time rostering means they can be scheduled across locations.

The next step for the business? Focusing on employee engagement and doing what they do best; “By automating some of the basic processes we do that take up a lot of time, we’re hoping that it will relieve us a little bit more to focus things like engagement, so we can get out on location rather than being behind the desk!”.

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