Labour force management is ranked as one of the four most critical issues facing businesses in 2016. Companies lose millions of rands annually through poor human resource, project and time management.
By Implementing a Time & Attendance solution you are equipping yourself with a powerful business tool that will improve you staff attendance and productivity.
Evidence shows that Biometric Time & Attendance solutions not only manages the attendance and punctuality of employees but delivers a tangible Return on Investment.
One of the immediate benefits you’ll see is a saving on you monthly/weekly payroll. In many cases companies will see savings of up to 15% within the first few months. This stems from implementing stricter controls and accountability that comes with a Time & Attendance solution.
Just a few of the benefits include:
A decline in absenteeism as unreported sick days no longer slip through the HR cracks.
Punctuality and work hours improve when closely monitored, ensuring that there is no unaccounted for Short Time.
Increased productivity through proper attendance reduces the need for unforeseen Over Time & where Over Time is worked it is closely managed.
The introduction of automation results in a drastic reduction in the time needed to manage employee attendance, sick leave and absenteeism..
With SmartPhone enabled technology supervisors can remotely manage their employees Time & Attendance, increasing their own productivity as a consequence.
Businesses of all sizes and in any industry can benefit from the introduction of the controls and automation coupled with the implementation of a biometric Time & Attendance solution.
The old way of doing time and attendance management has undergone a great overhaul.
Manual input is a thing of the past and today we have systems that automatically record and calculate times worked, overtime, annual or sick leave balances and even wages – based on these records.
Things have become easier
With the systems available to us in this day and age, even the trickiest calculations have become a breeze. Should an employee work shifts that run over two days (say 7pm to 7am) and one of those days fall on a public holiday, the system can easily calculate the different wage variations (normal vs. overtime). Leave can even be captured in advance and managed in a professional way.
These systems run automatically and can send out daily email reports if required. All that the administrator needs to do is capture the exceptions that the system will highlight, such as early or late clocking in, absent workers, special overtime and the likes. The system has easy to understand sections with filters that allow the user to view the information relevant to their particular query.
No more wage headaches
The best part is that these systems can integrate with your company’s payroll system, without much effort. No need for manual input anymore. The required information can be exported into the payroll system and paying wages becomes as simple as pressing a button.
All these functions immensely benefit your HR department – giving them more time for other issues that require their attention.
Your company also saves a great deal of money, as the need for additional HR personnel is reduced. Your records will be more accurate and it will be easy to spot any irregularities – as these systems can pinpoint repeat ‘offenses’ such as coming in late, not clocking in etc.
In this way you can manage your staff better, ensuring everyone is kept accountable for their hours.
Another great benefit of these systems is that they can capture time of arrival, breaks taken, overtime worked, leave submitted as well as time of departure. As an employer you can have a full record of each employee’s daily work schedule.
You can stay on top of things and ensure your business runs efficiently and successfully. And all the effort you used to have to go to when doing manual capturing of timesheets and the likes, can now fall away.
This truly is the future of time and attendance management.
Keeping track of your employees’ hours is an intricate part of running a business. Not only do you have to deal with shifts, overtime, annual and sick leave, but you also have to know about employees who regularly stay away from work, or only work a small amount of hours.
Back in the day
Companies used to have an intricate manual system where employees needed to fill in an attendance register when commencing and leaving work. This took up many HR resources and created a great deal of paperwork. Cost efficient? Not at all.
Then came punching in systems, where employees had cards that they needed to punch into a console in order to record their arrival and leaving times. This system could be cheated easily, as anyone could punch in a colleague, without management knowing. Later came access cards, and pin pad clocking in systems. These were more secure and also helped with reports on hours worked, but their data still needed to be captured and integrated manually with other business systems such as payroll and leave tracking software.
Today this is a thing of the past. With the new generation of time and attendance software all systems ‘speak’ to each other with ease. No more need for hundreds of manual processes – as the system is able to automate its output and link directly with your payroll system.
This saves time and therefore money. Fewer HR resources are required, freeing up time for other, more important things.
These time and attendance systems are quite clever – as they are capable of handling clock management, overtime (even preloaded overtime), shifts, leave, direct communication with payroll and delivering detailed reports.
Secure and accurate
When it comes to security, there are various ways to ensure that your system is accurate. You could, for instance, use fingerprint readers to recognise your employees. Such a system, in conjunction with a time and attendance system can work well in perfect conjunction.
Should you require somewhat less serious security, you could opt for an access card or token to be used when clocking in and out.
Either way, by using a time and attendance system, you are in a position to understand the trends of your employees’ work hours and habits. With the system it is easy to track late-comers, regular absenteeism, employees that work shorter hours than they’re supposed to, and much more.
It is also simple to capture any exceptions on the system, such as special leave, or meeting attendance off-site.
All in all this system will save you time, money and effort, and it might just make you sleep better at night.
From the humble beginnings of having to sign a register whenever you showed up to work, or using a punch card to punch yourself in, things have certainly changed a lot.
Enter the new millennium
Nowadays, you find all kinds of ways to track the hours worked by your employees, from access card terminals, clocking in systems and even fingerprint readers. Employees can be tracked from arrival at work, how long they stay and when they leave, making time management really easy.
The problem comes in when your employees work offsite at remote destinations. Say for instance you have a project manager working at building sites all over the country. How do you keep track of these employees?
In the past it was virtually impossible to track the times worked by such employees who work offsite, due to the intricate logistics. One had to rely on their word and a lot of incorrect info and even dishonest ‘clocking’ was being put through.
But with the invention of GPS and phone apps this has all changed. Today you can track each and every one of your employees, wherever they work with the new generation of smartphone clocking apps.
By simply using a phone app, these off site workers can clock in when they reach their destination, and clock out when they’re about to leave.
The GPS coordinates show up on Google Maps and the employer can verify that they are in fact where they should be, track how long they stay there, and see when they leave. Their time is tracked on the company’s software, making time and attendance management a breeze.
This takes away the risk of any inaccurate or dishonest clocking, and ensures that the hours worked from a remote location are always accounted for. Employers can now easily track their employees, no matter where they go.
The best part is the ease of use. It is really simple to use – from the time you download the app to when you need to use it.
The app links to software that does the tracking, making reconciliation of hours at the end of the month really easy for the employer. In fact, as the system does this reconciliation itself, there isn’t much for the employer to do.
This new generation of time and attendance management has brought a new way of tracking productivity, and it is possible for any company to make use of its great services. What could be simpler?
Many companies nowadays have the need for biometric security devices such as fingerprint access readers. Either they want to restrict who enters their premises, monitor staff attendance, control visitor access or ensure only authorised personnel enter restricted areas such as laboratories, server rooms and the likes.
In the old days the simple honesty system of signing your name in an attendance book would have been good enough, but with today’s heightened security threats and sophisticated criminals, the need for systems such as fingerprint readers has become much more obvious.
There are numerous fingerprint readers available out there, but they basically do the same thing. The fingerprint is scanned (be it via photograph, ultrasound or electric charge technology) and compared against a set template that was created when the user did the initial set-up of his or her fingerprint data under the supervision of an administrator.
As no two fingerprints are ever the same, fingerprint access technology is a great way of identifying individuals. Letting the ‘good guys’ in and keeping the ‘bad guys’ out, as it may. Each person’s fingerprints can display three specific kinds of ridges that are mapped on the template. They are aptly named arches, loops and whorls. The Wikipedia descriptions of these are as follows: • Arch: The ridges enter from one side of the finger, rise in the centre forming an arc, and then exit the other side of the finger. • Loop: The ridges enter from one side of a finger, form a curve, and then exit on that same side. • Whorl: Ridges form circularly around a central point on the finger.
How and why
A typical scenario where fingerprint access would be a beneficial way of managing time and attendance in a company would be where people work without the constant supervision of a manager. They either work for set hours from point x to point y (e.g. from 8 to 5) or they are accountable for a set amount of hours – how they make up those hours does not matter, as long as the hours add up to the total required in the end.
Another scenario would be at a medical facility that processes human blood for transfusion purposes. The safety of the blood is of the utmost importance and therefore fingerprint access is required for all employees that have clearance to enter the laboratories. In this way the safety of the blood can be guaranteed as employees will have been trained to adhere to certain health and safety regulations.
Whatever the need of your company, a fingerprint scanner for fingerprint access could just be the deciding factor when it comes to your companies security and/or time management system. Do your homework, look and ask around and you’ll be sure to find the best biometric system for your unique needs.
Globally the need for quick and accurate identification has become critical for a number of reasons ranging from security concerns to access control. Biometrics is the best solution to cater to all these needs. The growth of the industry as a whole has as a result been tremendous over the past few years.
Whenever the need arises to identify individuals there are usually a wide range of possible problems, often as a result of human error. These are the problems that biometrics companies are fighting to provide solutions for. The solutions need to serve the need of their customers and allow them to save time and money in the long term.
Through biometrics, companies can avoid a number of pitfalls associated with manually monitoring and managing access control and time and attendance. Whenever a person’s own personal characteristics are used as identification (fingerprints, eye scan, facial recognition) it becomes impossible to bypass a system. That is however not where it ends.
With older outdated systems you can have a range of problems. Punch card systems for example often result in friends clocking in friends… guards allowing access can be fooled into allowing access to unauthorized personnel… Access cards are often lost or misplaced resulting in loads of hours in productivity lost daily.
Globally, as in South Africa, all forms of business is getting more and more competitive as more companies start to compete for the same piece of the pie. This has often resulted in profit margins dwindling as companies try to compete with each other. As profits go down wasteful expenditure needs to be stopped and efficiency needs to be improved. When access control and time and attendance is automated by biometrics companies they deliver on that need.
One of the most valuable attributes of the biometrics systems from ERS is the automation that they bring to a business. Time that is usually spent on putting together time sheets and doing payroll runs are cut dramatically. Individuals who are not doing their part in terms of the hours they put in at work can also be performance managed. To round it off the automated reports can show trends around attendance and how it is affected by public holidays, sporting events and school holidays for example.
Having access to all of this information instantly through a single interface enables companies to turn their businesses into one that runs exceptionally smoothly. There would be nowhere to run or hide from the facts of the numbers the system provides. This is because the only way people would have been able to enter, exit or gain access to certain areas would have been through their own unique personal traits.
The effectiveness of biometrics has also been widely recognised by governments around the world. They know that they can more effective identify people in their country as well as people crossing their borders through biometric tracking.
The time of biometrics is now. If you are considering using such a technology in your company it just makes sense to go with a biometrics company like ERS. Through years of hands on experience and market leading technology and expertise your business could not be in better hands.
Companies have caught onto the huge advantages of using biometrics as an identification tool for both access control and time and attendance purposes. It is truly invaluable as a tool in cutting down wastage of time, up productivity, act as a security measure and also to do performance management.
There have however been a number of innovative ways in which biometrics is being used globally that is really turning the tables on efficiency overall. We will be looking at three examples that might very well be a good idea to implement in South Africa as well as a cost effective and efficient alternative to current systems.
A number of countries have adopted these type of initiatives, but these are just some of the examples of where it has really worked well.
The national ID program in India
The largest biometric database in the world is the national ID program of India called Aadhaar. They refer to the number you get as an identification number also as an Aadhaar number. The biometrics-based identity for an individual would last that person’s whole lifetime and can be verified online instantly through a public domain.
A person’s biometric data, which would consist of a fingerprint, iris scan and a photo of their face would be used along with their demographic data (name, age, address, gender, mobile phone number and spouse or parent name). Government agencies would then be able to deliver a retail public service securely based on this data.
The number of people who have been enrolled in this way are over 550 million and 480 million of them have already been assigned their Aadhaar numbers. The Indian government aims to cover the entire Indian population of 1.25 billion within the next few years.
This form of identification makes it impossible for fraud to be committed as you would not be able to work around all of the respective biometric verifications.
Australia links it to visas and passports
As a further security measure the Australian government has started linking visas and passports of visitors to Australia as well as returning Australian residents to biometric authentication. This is done as part of their Smartgate system.
It has however not been implemented across the board, but in Immigration has specifically done it in the case of Refugee or Humanitarian Visas. They introduced a Biometrics Privacy Code, which is administered by their Biometrics Institute and forms part of the Australian Privacy Legislation.
Other countries have also started using biometric identification especially for border control. It allows them to track the movement of certain individuals across borders making it possible to be far more secure in this aspect.
Schools in the UK and USA are using it
Although this would not be an option that would spring to mind first, it actually makes a lot of sense. Many schools have added access control to the schools through biometric fingerprint scanners. This ensures that only pupils and teachers are allowed access to the school automatically.
It makes it possible for the school to monitor attendance automatically saving the teachers and administrative personnel a lot of time. It has also been used to replace library cards as well as charging for meals.
Kids are notoriously bad at remembering things. So even though something like an access card is a good option, they would often forget it at home or lose it at school. The biometric identification are unique to the kids and teachers and work on their unique physical attributes.
Thinking outside the norm really opens up a world of options where identification accuracy is crucial and needed. It saves loads of time and increases efficiency tremendously.