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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.

Keep current with ATS:

We at ATS continually espouse the benefits of an automated time and attendance, but we have also stressed that it does not have to be a complicated process. And, while it’s true that an organization with multiple locations, different collective bargaining agreements, and its adherence to regional and federal work rules can increase the complexity and amount of time it takes to install such a system, sticking starting with the basics can make a world of difference.

removing-the-complications-out-of-employee-time-tracking

Here three simple rules to follow once you have decided to deploy a time and attendance:

Reports
Find out which reports are most important to you. For example, if you need a report that shows which or how many hours employees worked on a; daily, weekly and monthly basis, this should suffice as a starting point. Other simple reports may include; exceptions, overtime, daily time in and out and, a few payroll reports to ensure you have the proper information before exporting employee hours to your payroll, CRM, ERP, HR or talent management software. This, however, is not to suggest, you should not explore the full library of reports within a time and attendance system, or look for a solution that has the capability to provide analytics and Big Data tools to support your organizational growth.

Employee Time Clock
When deciding which time clock to use, think about your organizational philosophy and, more importantly, your actual work environment. Would biometric face recognition be better suited or would or a proximity or magnetic time clock avail itself as the better option? These are considerations that should be given once you decide which time and attendance to deploy.

Project Manager
Traditionally this role has fallen to the IT manager or consultant. But, in actuality, HR and/or the payroll practitioner and to some extent, finance personnel are responsible for the management of employee time tracking. So, would it not make sense that such a project be headed by one of these individuals? That’s not to say the role of IT is less important, it just means that the very people who manage the daily tracking of employee hours would know more, than anyone else, about your company’s time and attendance requirements. And, so, it stands to reason, that their role when choosing a solution should be elevated- in short, they are the ones that should be your project managers, with the understanding that they seek assistance and/or guidance from other departments including; IT and other operational managers.

Whether you are moving from paper time sheets to an automated time and attendance solution or merely upgrading to a new solution, removing the complications will help the deployment go a bit smoother.

To learn more about ATS Time and Attendance solutions, go to our website. And to register for one of our weekly webinars, contact us.

Infractions: Poor Record-Keeping, Unpaid Overtime and Holiday Pay

January 26th, 2016 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Benefit Accruals | Biometric Time Clocks | Collective Bargaining | Labour Analytics | Labour Costs | Leave Management | Overtime - (Comments Off on Infractions: Poor Record-Keeping, Unpaid Overtime and Holiday Pay)

A recent article in the Toronto Star newspaper, based, on a blitz by the Ontario Ministry of Labour into workplace violations by some companies, revealed, that a staggering number of these violations had to do with poor record-keeping, unpaid overtime and holiday pay. The issue of unpaid overtime is one that has lingered over some companies for the past several years. ATS cloud-based time and attendance was designed with built-in Canadian work-rules, can be deployed in only a matter of weeks and will help your company eradicate manual paper-based time tracking. And the best part, overtime is tracked and paid in accordance with jurisdictional pay policies.

If your company is considering deploying a time and attendance solution but remain ambivalent about its advantages, below, is a list of the three top benefits of an ATS time and attendance solution:

Infractions: Poor Record Keeping, Unpaid Overtime and Holiday Pay

Labour
Reducing costly calculation errors is just one reason to consider automating time and attendance management. Recent surveys from Aberdeen, Canadian Payroll (CPA) and American Payroll Association (APA), report that human error in manual time-card calculations is likely to cost a business between one and one-half to eight percent of its gross annual payroll. The manual calculation of employee time sheets takes an average of five minutes of administrative time per time sheet, equating to a loss of more than eight hours of productive time per pay period for an organization with 100 employees. These are alarming statistics, and frankly, not many companies would want to use valuable resources to track employee time manually, when this time could be spent with their customers, generating revenue.

Reduce Compliance Risk
ATS Time and Attendance has a set of built-in Canadian work rules to ensure pay compliance through automated wage and hour rules. ATS time and attendance will improve transaction times and information access through an intuitive user experience, thus, increasing profit margins while enhancing employee productivity. In other words, the tracking and paying of the appropriate; overtime, vacation, and other time-off request can be managed by our cloud-based time and attendance with ease.

Savings
An ATS time and attendance solution provides both direct and indirect investment returns. Automating your time and attendance process results in ongoing cost savings, such as a reduction in human-generated payroll errors, elimination of time theft from “buddy punching” through the use of biometric time clocks and overtime costs, as saved wages from enhanced productivity.

For example, when tracking time manually through spreadsheets or outdated methods, it’s not unusual to have employees claiming missed overtime and hours worked on their pay. Attempting to rectify this issue by counting hours collected on paper time-sheets can lead to additional errors. Perhaps the answer to this prevailing issue; is to automate the collection of employee hours, thereby gaining valuable data analytics, to help your organization, make effective business decisions that impacts, payroll cost and the bottom- line.

Infractions: Poor Record Keeping, Unpaid Overtime and Holiday Pay

Through the use of an ATS robust time and attendance solution, organizations are able to fully automate pay rules, work rules and benefit accrual rules as well as leave management, collective bargaining agreements (CBA), and exception-time (such as overtime) reporting. By having up-to-the-minute access to this information, organizations will gain complete and accurate visibility into their operations, thus, enabling them to meet production, forecasting and scheduling demands and stay compliant with the many federal and provincial, municipal and state laws, as well as company policies.

To learn how ATS time and attendance solution can help your organization keep accurate records of employee hours, pay overtime hours based on company’s pay policies and assign the requisite statutory holiday, you can download the white paper titled “Benefits of an ATS Automated Time and Attendance Solution”. And to view a demonstration, go to our website. To reach one of our account executives, call: (866) 294-2467.

 

The title of this blog references the popular song of the 80’s”Who’s Watching Me” by Rockwell. which brings us to the subject at hand, biometrics in the workplace. It wasn’t too long ago that the mere mention of biometrics being deployed at an organization, evoked fears of “Big Brother” mentality to the point that some employees offered a variety of reasons why they could not use this type of time clock. And, while a biometric time and attendance solution is becoming somewhat of an accepted practice in the workplace, it continues to have detractors, in part, because of misconceptions or because it was deployed in an organization that was not prepared for it.

I’ve Got This Feeling, Somebody’s Watching Me, Really? Who’s Watching You?

An article by CBC Canada, that references Apple’s iPhone marketing campaign states in part; “Biometrics made a mainstream splash with the 2013 launch of the iPhone 5S, which featured a “Touch ID” that uses a person’s fingerprint to unlock the phone. But similar technology appeared in commercial gadgets a decade earlier when Sony introduced a thumb drive with a fingerprint scanner.” The article discusses fingerprint technology and FaceScan biometrics, among others.

If you are thinking about deploying a biometric time clock solution within your organization, we suggest talking to an experienced ATS time and attendance software engineer. Their dept of experience include; different industries with a multitude of pay policies, collective bargaining agreements, across several continents.

There are different types of biometrics and depending on your organization some work better than others. And unlike the biometrics mentioned in the cbc.ca article, ATS time and attendance biometric time clocks are solely, designed, to capture employee hours of work for the purposes of payroll.

To learn more about biometrics, download the white paper on the role biometric plays in the workplace. You can also join the conversation by following us on LinkedIn, Twitter or GooglePlus. And, to reach one of our account executives by phone call (866) 294-2467.

I’ve Got This Feeling, Somebody’s Watching Me. Really? Who’s Watching You?

 

Sometimes it’s not easy to convince senior management of the benefits of a time and attendance solution. Imagines of an old fashion time clock on the wall that requires employees to punch in and out of their shifts does not exactly inspire excitement in most business executives. However, getting your CFO involved at the early stage of the project is crucial-especially, if the discussion delves into accurate reporting. CFOs are responsible for the forecasting, budgeting and overall financial health of an organization and, so it stands to reason that they will want a system that will provide them with the most accurate and up to date metrics.

ATS Time and Attendance Business Software advantages include:

Mobile Timesheets- If your employees work outside of the office  you can grant them access the to cloud-based mobile timesheets features with features that include, the ability to punch in and out of a shifts, reviewing their overtime, requesting specific days off through the leave management module. The ATS Time and Attendance application can be used on a Blackberry, Android or an iOS device.

Streamlining Time-Consuming Processes– With ATS you can effectively manage your workforce and ensure and policies are in place to avoid lost time and productivity. ATS workforce management solutions provides CFOs with the tools to forecast labor, define and assign workforce schedules to meet business demands, collect hours worked, attendance, job costing and productivity gains, all while adhering to local labor laws and pay policies.

Big Data Analytics– ATS Time and Attendance is robust and comprehensive and helps to empower every aspect of your business. You gain the visibility through the various data-points to increase efficiencies — and to transform them into competitive advantage. Through a variety of unprecedented key performance indicators (KPIs) you have instant access into your business, with real-time view ensuring consistent, compliant management across the organization, locally and globally.

ATS TimeWork Time and Attendance  provides innovations that is second to none and provides an immediate cost estimate for a cost-effective deployment-that delivers the flexibility to adapt as your needs change. Best of all, ATS Time and Attendance  solution is affordable and is a safe long-term investment.

To learn more download a demonstration, or go to our website.

Want To Rev Up The Engine Of Your CFO? Tell Them You Have Access To Accurate Data

 

The use of biometrics data collectors as a way to track employee attendance has become ubiquitous in virtually every industry, the world over. The popularity of biometrics is highlighted throughout the mission impossible franchise with iris, finger and face recognition technology. And, with this technology becoming the norm in 95% of ATS time and attendance deployments it’s an indication of just how far this technology has come. Biometrics however, has a long and storied history.

ATS Fingerscan Reader

This paragraph, from the website Wikipedia, describes the history of biometrics in this way “Biometric identifiers are the distinctive, measurable characteristics used to label and describe individuals. Biometric identifiers are often categorized as physiological versus behavioral characteristics. Physiological characteristics are related to the shape of the body. Examples include, but are not limited to fingerprint, palm veins, face recognition, DNA, palm print, hand geometry, iris recognition, retina and odour/scent. Behavioral characteristics are related to the pattern of behavior of a person, including but not limited to typing rhythm, gait, and voice. Some researchers have coined the term behaviometrics to describe the latter class of biometrics.”

If your company is considering deploying a biometric time and attendance solution, it’s important to note that while the capturing of data is similar, the difference is, at times, in the dissemination and data processing. For example, an ATS FaceScan time clock can be set up for “Look and Go”- in this scenario, an employee simply puts their face against the reader and once the image is recognized it registers their “In or Out Punch.” Whereas, a fingerscan reader will require an employee to key in a number on keypad that is attached to the unit in addition to placing their finger on the reader.

ATS HandGeometry Time Clock

The mention of biometrics conjures up a plethora of questions and concerns including; health, safety and privacy. And, there are well documented cases of companies having to explain to employees the convenience of a biometric time management system, after its installation as oppose to taking the time to give their workforce advanced notice. The implementation of biometric time and attendance system is made that much easier if everyone-especially the main users are included in the discussion process namely; Payroll Practitioner, HR Manager, and a member of the plant or production team. By the large, implementing biometric time clocks is simple if you have the right vendor. It’s also important to note that not all biometrics are suited for every environment and that’s where the expertise of vendor with deep industry expertise helps.

If you are considering implementing a biometric time and attendance solution and have questions, go to our website and download a list of FAQ or contact us by phone at: 866.294.2467.

ATS Multipurpose FingerScan Premium Time Clock

The debate about how should companies deal with employees that bring their own device to work is ongoing. With the explosion of mobile devices in the last several years, this was bound to happen. Depending on the industry, some companies are lenient towards it and in some cases, see as a way for them to save money, by not having to hand our smart phones to every employee. Meanwhile, other companies have a set policy in place that does not allow for employees to use their personal phone for company business.

A recent study by Forrester states in part, “More than half of North American and European companies are developing BYOD programs in response to workforce demand. While enabling employees to use their own mobile devices and computers for work presents challenges in terms of security, risk, infrastructure, and operations, the potential upside is impressive. A successful program can increase overall revenue by boosting IT and help desk productivity, improving line-of-business process efficiencies, reducing expenses for corporate-liable device and data services, facilitating employee collaboration, and enhancing customer support. BYOD programs that successfully address security concerns can unlock competitive advantage and build a solid base for future business tech innovation.”  Forrester has host of studies on this very topic that includes many industries in several countries around the world.

So, will Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) work for every company? Every organization is different and has a corporate culture that’s distinctive to their way of operating. For example, some of ATS account executives use their own smart phones, while others use company-issued ones. As mobile technology began to transform both lifestyles and work styles, ATS executives wanted to increase workplace use of mobile devices to improve business productivity-hence; the desire to offer employees a choice.

Should Your Company Have A Policy For BYOD?

 

 

Growing companies understand that to attract the best employees, they need to adapt to 21 century solutions. And adapting to the 21st, businesses need the right tools to help them management their productivity and streamline costs. ATS unified TimeWork On-Demand, helps companies meet this challenge with a combination of workforce accruals, forecasting, job costing, scheduling, time & attendance and employee self-service capabilities. The solution reduces administrative time and effort while producing real-time data and help improve regulatory compliance. ATS cloud-based solution is pre-built with today’s time and attendance industry expertise and best practices.

ATS Unified TimeWork On-Demand fully automates employee time and attendance tracking and helps companies to automate:

Employee Timecards- Changes to the employee time card can be made instantly –thereby enabling recalculate of totals and summaries. Exceptions are flagged automatically in the time card so the supervisor knows what needs attention right away. By using ATS TimeWork On-Demand to capture employee time your company will eliminate errors and will help your organization stay in compliance with local and federal labour laws.  

Data Collection-ATS time clocks are multilingual and designed with for the cloud. ATS employee time clocks connect directly to our time tracking software and the punches are transmitted in real-time. Time clock options include: Fingerscan, Facescan and Hand Punch Biometric Readers, Touch Screens, Magnetic, Proximity and Bar Code Readers. Web-Punch, Smart phone and Telephony time readers. ATS cloud-based time clocks communicate directly over the Internet with hosted time and attendance system.

Data Integration- ATS TimeWork On-Demand integrates seamlessly with CRM, HR, Talent Management, Payroll, ERP, and other third-party applications. The data integration helps with; Employee change data, new hires, paid time off balances, and rates can easily be imported. Paying employees accurately is no laughing matter and requires close collaboration between your ATS time and attendance system and your payroll application.

Leave Management-TimeWork On-Demand can be configured to automatically compute and pay employee benefits. TimeWork On-Demand is an agile cloud-based time and attendance system that contains flexible pay rules, workforce planning, forecasting, employee and manager self-service portals that can be accessed through the web.

Business Intelligence and Workforce Analytic Reporting- ATS Attendance On-Demand business intelligence reporting tool will help your company track and analyze HR, payroll report and other attendance data. Reports can be exported to Microsoft Excel, Adobe PDF and other data sources.

Incidents- ATS Absence Management Incident and Points module gives you control over your organization’s time-off processes, enabling you to track paid and unpaid time for your entire workforce. When combined with our Web-Based Incidents & Points module, the system manages accurate enforcement of absence management policies, and is designed to support a variety of management attendance policies in small and enterprise corporations alike.

Deployment- ATS TimeWork On-Demand can be implemented in as little as a few weeks. ATS deployment team unifies all your pay policies data, from various sources, providing answers to hundreds of workforce questions. From complex predictive analytics, like which location/s requires the most database configuration, ATS provides actionable insights on demand.

According to the Canadian Labour Standards, “such standards protect the rights of workers, foster positive workplace environments and proactive relationships between managers and employees and, ultimately, benefit the bottom line of any business.”

Many organizations are still using antiquated timekeeping systems. By, automating their employee time capture, this allows them to save time and have a better picture of their true costs and a positive effect on business results.

You Can Manage Your Company's Attendance On Demand

 

 

3 Ways to Alleviate the Burden of Time Tracking for HR and Payroll

January 28th, 2014 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Biometric Time Clocks | Employee Scheduling | Employee Self Service | Time and Attendance On-Demand | Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on 3 Ways to Alleviate the Burden of Time Tracking for HR and Payroll)

All Canadian provinces require that employers document hours of work, overtime, breaks, and leave time. A reliable time and attendance system helps payroll and HR departments manage employees hours, track attendance and remain compliant with work-rule policies of each province. ATS workforce management solution include: biometric time clocks, workforce analytics, employee self-service, forecasting and budgeting, business intelligence, swipe and proximity time clocks and workforce scheduling.

Here are 3 ways to help your payroll and HR department:

Enhance Productivity: Companies that use an employee time and attendance solution report an increase in productivity among workers. ATS timekeeping system transfers collected data to payroll and HR applications electronically. This automated process helps further reduce errors and allows payroll and HR managers to spend time working on other important task, instead of wasting time manually calculating employee time.

Accuracy is Improved: Handwritten timesheets are often difficult to read and contain numerous calculation mistakes. Manual timesheets also pose the risk for record abuse whether from simple mistakes when this system heavily relies on the “honour” system. By automating the collection of employee time companies can ensure calculation policies are applied correctly and consistently across all employees.

Increase Employee Engagement: ATS TimeWork time and attendance provides companies with an effective tool for track and measure the performance of their workforce. With the employee self-service module HR departments or managers can be alerted when an employee request a time-off. The ATS time and attendance typically delivers an 80% reduction in time and attendance administration. ATS TimeWork On-Demand employee time tracking solution can add hours of productivity, improve overall payroll processes and slash administrative expenses.

So, if your payroll and HR department is spending upwards of a day to process employee time, it’s a sign that you need to automate your time keeping process.

To learn more, go our website to view a demonstration of our time and attendance solution.

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