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Tracking employee time with biometrics is nothing new. In fact, it has becoming ubiquitous with many companies adopting the technology as a way to streamline payroll costs and increase workforce productive. And since biometric technology, can be used for different purposes, Amazon will soon add it to their Whole Foods grocery chain as a way for customers to pay.

In a recent article by Courtney Linder for Popular Mechanics titled Why Amazon Wants to Scan Your Hands’. Here is an excerpt from the article:

“Amazon is testing out a new payment method at its New York offices: hand scanning.

Here’s how it works: Users hold their hands over a special scanner that uses computer vision and depth geometry to identify each hand’s unique shape and size, per the report. Amazon Prime customers must go into stores for their hands to be captured and linked to their account before they can begin using the payment method.

The new payment method will also help to process transactions more quickly. While a typical card transaction takes three or four seconds, Amazon’s new tech can process the charge in less than 300 milliseconds, says the report.

It’s not a new concept by any means. Hand geometry, as the biometric is called, was used to protect access to the residential Olympic Village at the 1996 Summer Olympics.

The concept of hand geometry was developed and patented in 1985, according to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. The first commercial product using the tech came out the following year, but it wasn’t widely adopted. However, many companies do use hand geometry for time and attendance purposes. Walt Disney World has used “finger geometry” for years to expedite entrance to parks, for example.

Systems that measure hand geometry use a digital camera and light to take a scan. When you use one, you simply place your hand on a flat surface and line your fingers up for an accurate reading. A camera takes several photos of your hand and the shadows that it casts. That data is used to determine the length, width, thickness, and curvature of your fingers and hand. Then, it’s translated into a numerical template through an algorithm.”

ATS biometric clocks are used in a variety of companies and industries from healthcare to food manufacturing, grocery retail, shipping & logistics, government entities and construction.  With ATS biometric time clocks, employees can clock in with a quick scan of their hand, and are instantly verified for accuracy. And, with biometric identification capabilities, “buddy punching” can be prevented to help control labour costs associated with inflated payroll.

To view a demonstration of ATS biometric time clocks or cloud computing time and attendance application, go to our website.

The use of biometrics at theme parks, airports and in the workplace, has become ubiquitous. However, facial recognition for the purpose of recording an employee time in/out at work, is different than what it is being used at an airport. For example, a biometric time clock, in a workplace will record (for the purpose of payroll) the time an employee clocked in for a day or week-whereas, the purpose of biometrics at an airport will be for security and a range of other purposes.

Installing biometrics in the workplace can help with HR related issues like time theft, buddy punching and payroll errors. However, it is important to let your employees know if you decide to install biometrics for the purpose of tracking time and attendance, especially if your company, have been using paper time sheets to track hours before that.

In a recent article titled, Workers push back as companies gather fingerprints, retina scans by Te-Ping Chen for The Wall Street Journal amoung other publications, an excerpt of the article reads in part;

“As more companies track their workers with fingerprint and facial scans, employees are increasingly challenging firms in court over how that biometric data gets used and stored.

Scores of lawsuits have been filed following a recent state Supreme Court ruling in Illinois, which has the most stringent privacy law protecting such information in the U.S. The suits assert that employees weren’t told what would happen to their biometric data and that it is being put at risk.

Some workers said they don’t see the need for biometrics in the workplace.

“It’s not a secretive place that we work in,” said one worker at a country club outside Detroit, whose employer uses fingerprints to take attendance. She said she was uncomfortable with the practice, adding that she hadn’t been told how her information would be used or stored.

From warehouses to restaurants, the use of biometric data is moving from a niche practice to become a more mainstream way to verify employee hours and check workers in and out of facilities for security reasons. Among companies in the U.S., Europe and Canada surveyed in 2018 by Gartner, 6 percent said they track employees by using biometric data. Europe and Canada surveyed in 2018 by Gartner, 6 percent said they track employees by using biometric data.”

Bottom line: If you decide to explore the many options that a biometric time clock system offers, let your employees know of your intention. Chances are they will be more accepting if they know in advance and you will avoid issues of them not being receptive to it. Afterall, employees are familiar with biometric technology and have likely used them at airports or with their current smartphone.

To learn about ATS Biometric Time Clocks, go to our website. You can also download a demo, or you can attend one of our bi-weekly webinars. And, to reach an account executive, call 866.294.2467.

Employees using their face to record their hours of work is becoming quite common in time and attendance world. And, now it appears that the use of this technology, albeit slowing, is also being adopted at some airports according to a recent article, by Stuart Emmrich titled Will Your Face Be Enough to Get You on a Plane? for The New York Times, and reads in part;

“Earlier this week, the Transportation Security Administration released a 23-page report outlining changes it is proposing on how passengers are screened before boarding their flights. Key among those changes is the proposal that passports and other forms of identification will eventually be replaced by biometric technology.

Early this year, the agency began testing facial recognition technology for international travelers at Los Angeles International Airport. The biometric technology matches facial images to photos in government databases, such as photos obtained from passports or visa applications.

And in 2017, the T.S.A. tested fingerprint technology at the T.S.A. PreCheck lanes at the Atlanta and Denver airports. The technology matches passenger fingerprints provided at the checkpoint to those provided to the T.S.A. by travelers who have enrolled in the PreCheck program.

Biometric technology is also being evaluated by individual airlines. Delta Air Lines announced in September that it is building a dedicated biometric terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The technology, to be installed at Terminal F, would allow passengers to check-in at the self-service kiosks, drop off their checked baggage at the counter and then be used as identification at the terminal’s T.S.A. checkpoint”.

 If you are unfamiliar with ATS biometric time clocks, these data collectors includes the latest in technology and works, in tandem with our time and attendance application, to deliver exceptional value – helping organizations control labour costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity.

Using ATS biometric technology, your organization can expect:

Options
A variety of biometric data collectors to choose from that include: fingerprint, hand geometric face recognition and a variety of biometric features, and mobile capabilities. ATS biometric data collectors, offers enhanced technology, thus allowing employees to easily and more accurately enroll on the time clock’s controlled finger, hand geometry or face recognition template– which reduces, read error rates for a more accurate biometric enrollment, and protect employees’ personal information and eliminate costly buddy punching.

Peace of Mind
Backup battery protects employee information against power outages and flash memory backs up data. And, with open standards, field upgradeability and keypad functions, these time and attendance biometric time clocks are —ideal blend of performance, function, style, and affordability designed for essential workforce management functionality.

Accuracy and Productivity
No more manual data entry which is always prone to errors and, instead can look forward to a best-of-breed application that will enforce pay and attendance policies at the time of an employee recorded hours. An application that will improve workforce productivity by giving employees intuitive self-service access to scheduled hours and time-off balances from any device, from anywhere.

ATS advance biometric time clocks are designed for today’s advanced cloud computing workforce and provides state-of-art, touch-screen functionality and accurate, up-to-the-minute analytics data your company can rely on.

To learn more, register for one of our weekly webinars, or download brochures or a pre-recorded demonstration go to our website. And, to speak to an account executive, call 866.294.2468.

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By 2025 consumer attitudes towards retail will have dramatically changed. The rapid growth of robotics, cloud and artificial intelligence will permeate the retail and hospitality experience for both consumer and stakeholders. Anticipating consumer trends and deploying innovations that enhance employee and consumer experience and, simplify business operations will be vital to the long-term health and sustainability of retail and hospitality.

ATS Workforce Management for Retail & Hospitality provides these industries with an open, integrated, and best-of-breed application in the cloud, with state-of-art data collectors engineered to empower commerce. With ATS Workforce Management, organizations can streamline payroll costs and increase productivity, such as with a best-of-breed time and attendance, that’s demand-driven scheduling, and absence management software tools. Grocery operations, pharmaceutical, hospitality chains and retailers use ATS Workforce Management solutions to anticipate market changes, simplify businesses operations, and boost their bottom-line.

ATS Workforce Management Solution Helps the Retail and Hospitality Industry Thrive

Solution Benefits Include:

Employee Scheduling- ATS Workforce Scheduling, allows managers to easily leverage workforce data through an intuitive cloud-based interface, thus streamlining the scheduling process of their employees with roles-based self-service tools.

Workforce Analytics and Business Intelligence- ATS Intelligence (BI) analysis covers the macro picture down to the operating, financial and valuation information-and provides in-depth and economic factors that can impact decision-making.

Digital API Platform and Data Integration- ATS data integration tool, enables users to transfer data from one data source (such as text file, API, CSV or other data files) to an output destination. That output destination can be a text file, database, XML document, or another suite application. The key component of ATS Integration Manager is the interface that contains a set of steps, for the data transfer. By utilizing ATS data integration platform, companies can integrate to existing, ERP, Talent Management, HR, Payroll and CRM applications.

Budgeting and Forecasting- ATS Workforce Management for Retail and Hospitality, helps you eliminate costs, time, and errors with proper budgeting and forecasting on both short and long-term projections. The budgeting and forecasting module, allow you to integrate annual and periodic forecasting with weekly workforce management execution.

Next-Generation Data Collection- With ATS Workforce Management for Retail and Hospitality, you automate employee time and attendance processes to reduce payroll costs, comply with collective bargaining agreements and adhered to regulatory compliance. Some of ATS employee data collection include: face recognition time clocks, biometric hand punch, proximity and barcode time clocks and computer-based time clocks. ATS Workforce Management validates the collection of employee data, with up-to-the-minute reporting, to reduce overpayments.

ATS Workforce Management Solution Helps the Retail and Hospitality Industry Thrive

 

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To learn more, register for one of our weekly webinars, or download brochures or a pre-recorded demonstration. And, to speak to a representative, call; 866.294.2468.

 

Here is an example of the how the future of work has changed. Cold calling used to be the way to reach new customers. Try that in 2018 and you are likely to get lots of voice mails. In fact, cold calling has been dead for many years and some companies have acknowledged this and made changes in how their reps reach new customers. There are however, a small minority of companies, who refuse to accept this practice is passé and so, they stubbornly ask their sales people to dialing those numbers in the hope that they might reach some customers, who are waiting by their phone to get a call from a sales rep. Change, sometimes has to be disruptive, for it to be accepted and the use of robotics and the pace of automation will continue to increase, despite resistance to it, by those in the minority who hang on to past practices.

Are You Ready For The Future Of Work?

Christy Petty’s article for Gartner 6 Future Work Trends sheds some light on the how the way in which we approach work has and will continue to change

Some of these work trends include:

“Digital dexterity is monitored and measured: The growing recognition of the importance of digital dexterity creates a demand for measurement, which aligns with analytics becoming more pervasive in the enterprise. f Social science-based surveys and observations are increasingly accepted to collect relevant digital dexterity data, which can be combined with machine-generated IT, HR and business data to measure workforce digital dexterity.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will prevail: The conversion of rich input patterns into data that can be readily processed by conventional software is at the heart of today’s AI hype. AI will have a profound impact on how work is assigned, completed and evaluated. Cain suggests that although AI will provide a number of workplace trends in the coming years, workers are experiencing the impact of robobosses and smart workplaces right now.

Robobosses on the rise: While employees will not report to an AI construct, the implementation of robobosses will lead to more automated management duties and more online worker activities. There is opportunity for greater tracking of worker activities and performance. This data can be run against a series of algorithms that can programmatically offer assistance in improving performance or meeting goals.

The gig economy will thrive: Organizations will increasingly learn and borrow from freelance management and gig economy platforms, which dynamically match short-term work requirements directly with workers who have the relevant knowledge, experience, skills, competencies and availability. This will mean moving away from traditional structures to more fluid arrangements.

Employees get work through employment marketplaces: Freelancer marketplaces make it easier for employers to tap into a set of contractors for short-term work commitments. In parallel, professional social networking platforms and recruiting technology providers have been investing heavily in matching algorithms to pair up talent supply and demand.

Jobs get deconstructed: Traditionally, organizations have invested in mapping out clear career paths for employees. While workers need a purpose-focused direction, a portfolio of experiences builds knowledge and skills and allows for the practice and improvement of competencies. Employees will increasingly find the accumulation of experiences to be more realistic than a carefully plotted-out career path”.

Some things were somewhat predictable like cloud computing as it slowly began to edge onsite Server installed applications. But who could predict Apple’s dominance in mobility computing or Google’s search engine literally taking over the world, leaving competitors in its dust? The future of work and its trends will not affect all organizations equally, so it’s important for senior executives to understand where their organization is right now, where it’s going, and how they plan to embrace change as it happens.

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There was a time when biometrics was seen as futuristic and, too intrusive to ever be accepted by the general public. Many of today’s smart phones, tablets and laptops are equipped with biometrics. As part of its security protocols airports around the world, have installed fingerprint readers and voice recognition technologies and Disney World have installed biometrics that enables its visitors to gain access to theme parks.

Biometric Technology Is Shaping The Future Of Time And Attendance

If your company is an early adopter of biometric time and attendance, you are likely the beneficiary of a productive workforce, and at the same time are saving hundreds of dollars on payroll costs.

If you are considering a biometric time and attendance system to enhance your company’s HR process and workflows, here are three types of the most common biometric technologies for recording and tracking employee time.

Hand Geometry: Hand recognition is the most common employee biometric time clock technology. The method uses 3D analysis of the hand for tracking and identification purposes. An individual places their hand (palm down) onto a special plate. A camera takes a picture of it and analyzes the length, width, thickness and surface area of the hand. This recorded biostatistics information is then stored for future use. Companies have used this type of biometrics for attendance tracking and accessing secure entrances.

Facial Recognition: ATS FaceScan Time Clocks, uses algorithms to analyze features. These include the position/size/shape of the eyes, nose, cheekbones and jaw line. Initially, this process was known as 2D facial recognition. The 2D images were typically taken from security cameras that have integrated facial recognition technology. For the best results, face images needed to be looking directly at the camera with enough lighting. After analysis, they could be compared to other face images for identification purposes. Employee Time clocks that use facial recognition are growing in popularity— it’s as simple as snapping a photo; the time clocks are equipped with HD cameras. This type of technology is now readily available on ATS TimeWork OnDemand mobile time tracking apps as well.

Fingerprint Identification:This type of biometrics compares either one or two fingerprints (depending on the type of time clock selected) to determine identification. It analyzes the ridges and valleys patterns on the fingertip for differences. The process involves measuring and comparing employee fingerprints against data stored in the time and attendance system. It is fast and easy to use— the employee simply presses a fingertip against the time clock screen for a moment as part of the clock in/out process. Some laptop computers and smart phones, utilize fingerprint biometrics for authorizations purposes such as logging in and entering website passwords.

Other biometrics include voice authentication, which is the analysis of vocal behavior by matching it to a voice model template (that was previously recorded). Since every voice is unique, the physical characteristics of the speaker’s voice can be measured. Retinal and iris scanning is employed by different industries.

Bottom-line:

Companies deploy biometric time and attendance systems to ensure the person/s clocking in, are who they say they are. Biometric time clocks helps prevent employee time theft, ensures workforce compliance, and helps employers collect accurate time and attendance information. In short, it makes life easier for payroll and HR practitioners.

To arrange a demonstration of ATS TimeWork OnDemand and our array of biometric time clocks, go to our website or call, 866.294.2467.

When biometrics was introduced as a way to avoid buddy punching, and thus, replace time and attendance swipe card technology, many thought these data collectors were part of a futurist Star Trek movie. Fast forward to some decades later and recent news that a company was about to microchip its entire workforce has privacy advocates scratching their heads in frustration.

Will Microchipping Employees Be The Biometrics Of The Future?

Here is a description from the company, who has decided to deploy the technology to throughout its workforce;

“Three Square Market (32M) is offering implanted chip technology to all of their employees on August 1st, 2017. Employees will be implanted with a RFID chip allowing them to make purchases in their break room micro market, open doors, login to computers, use the copy machine, etc.  This program, offered by 32M, is optional for all employees. The company is expecting over 50 staff members to be voluntarily chipped.  32M is partnering with BioHax International and Jowan Osterland, CEO, based out of Sweden.

RFID technology or Radio-Frequency Identification uses electromagnetic fields to identify electronically stored information. Often referred to as “chip” technology, this option has become very popular in the European marketplace. The chip implant uses near-field communications (NFC); the same technology used in contactless credit cards and mobile payments. A chip is implanted between the thumb and forefinger underneath the skin within seconds.”

The reaction to employees being microchipped has been swift with labour experts and lawmakers citing privacy concerns and appealing to HR professionals to proceed with caution. One lawmaker in the state of Nevada has introduced legislation to prevent companies forcing employees to get microchipped as condition of their employment.

So will the idea of microchipping employees gain widespread acceptance? Only time will tell.

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The continued rise of technology including; Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, cloud-computing technologies, and artificial intelligence has made the seemingly impossible from years ago now possible. An article by Charles Krome for TLNT HR titled ‘What Happens When Employees Work Out of Their Car?’ raise the eye browse, rightfully so, of many safety experts.

The article reads in part, “It was bound to happen, leveraging the Microsoft Exchange mail and calendar services, In Car Office “knows” about upcoming conference calls, for example, and if you’re in the vehicle, it can automatically dial you in at the appropriate time. Similarly, if other calls are on your calendar, the system also can recognize this and remind you a few minutes before. Or if you’re headed for a face-to-face meeting, the system can automatically set the destination in the car’s navigation system.”

Technology Will Continue To Dominate The Future Of Work

Chances are we are not too far away from this type of technology being deployed by some companies, and of importance is the safety, liability and work-life-balance comes that will feature into this type of technology. The article addresses those concerns with this:

“First off, helping to maintain a safe workplace can be a vital role for HR professionals, so if your employees’ vehicles become part of that workplace, they could become part of your responsibilities, too. Expecting people to be on the clock when they’re in their cars, however, would require resetting that balance — and perhaps rebalancing the company’s books. While it’s too early to know how this would play out, if the time folks spend in their in-car offices is considered “work time,” it could have a financial impact for employers who pay on an hourly basis.”

Will the in-car office ever come to fruition? Only time will tell. The introduction of biometrics some years ago at airports, and in workplaces, coupled with cloud computing technologies were seen as an intrusive tools that did not belong. Today, many companies are deploying cloud-based time and attendance solutions, in large part, to the inherent benefits of boosting workplace productivity and streamlining payroll costs. And, as for biometrics, at airports, they have become so common that consumers go through them without thinking twice.

Most employers understand that employees will be late on occasion and won’t penalize them when this happens. However, some employees use their imagination to come up with some of the most outlandish excuses.

According to CareerBuilder annual survey, these incredulous late-to-work excuses include:

  • I thought of quitting today, but then decided not to, so I came in late.
  • My hair caught on fire from my blow dryer.
  • I was detained by Homeland Security.
  • I had to chase my cows back into the field.
  • A black bear entered my carport and decided to take a nap on the hood of my car.
  • My lizard had to have emergency surgery in the morning and died during surgery. I had to mourn while deciding whether to have the lizard disposed of by the vet or bring the lizard corpse with me to work.
  • There was fresh powder on the hill. I had to go skiing.
  • There was a store grand opening and I wanted to get the opening day sales.
  • I had to finish watching “My Name is Earl.”
  • All of my clothes were stolen.
  • I was confused by the time change and unsure if it was “spring forward” or “fall back.”
  • A Vaseline truck overturned on the highway and cars were slipping left and right.

Many of these excuses are a little extreme and may have more to do with the creative imagination of these employees. However, you can bet employers are going to hearing more late-to-work excuses, because of; Daylight Savings Time, US Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday parties.

Many employers have taken the necessary steps and deployed a time and attendance system so, they can observe tardiness patterns and figure which days in particular, certain employees are absent from work. And, in the case of the employee who occasionally has his friend punch in for him when he is not at work, these employers have replaced the punch cards with a biometric time clock so, buddy-punching is out of the equation.

To learn more about ATS go to our website. You can also view a demonstration or attend one of our weekly webinars or call; 866.294.2467.

Colourful and Ridiculous Excuses Employees Give For Being Late To Work

It wasn’t too long ago that the thought of using biometric FaceScan and Fingerprint for time and attendance and payroll data integration seemed too futuristic for some organizations. However, many of today’s businesses and consumers are gravitating towards the digital era in droves, adopting cloud-based solutions, big data, and what used to appear as “Star Wars” is becoming the norm.

Biometric FaceScan Technology Will Be Part Of Your Credit Card Soon

 

A recent article titled ‘MasterCard launching selfie payments’ by Alanna Petroff for CNN Business states in part;

“The company announced it is launching new mobile technologies that will allow customers to authenticate their online purchases using selfies or fingerprints.” Now, that’s very futuristic and smart marketing on MasterCard’s part, and is sure to get millennial excited. After all, they are the ones who invented the “Selfie”.

The article goes on to say; “Customers who want to try selfie authentication will have to download a special MasterCard app that will allow them to take a photo each time they make an online purchase. Their face (or fingerprint) will be scanned to prove that they — not hackers or thieves — are making a purchase.”

If your company is still on the fence about time and attendance biometrics, go to our website and download a demonstration or register for one of our free bi-weekly webinars.

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Biometric FaceScan Technology Will Be Part Of Your Credit Card Soon