Best-in-Class Workforce Management Software from Industry Experts
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That’s an important question that most businesses cannot answer. Study after study has shown that most businesses cannot remember the last time they backed up their files. As companies are becoming comfortable with cloud computing software it has become paramount that businesses have a way to back up their important data. One of the most useful ways an organization can use cloud computing is for online data back up and storage. ATS cloud-based time and attendance storage offers companies many benefits, not the least of which is instantaneous data back up—a service that provides companies with both convenience and peace of mind.

Vendors like Apple® icloud, IBM® cloud and many others who offer Software-as-a-Service with a secure way to back up your data, support the prevailing theory of its importance.

ATS Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery model allows companies to reap the benefits of enterprise class software without the burden and extra cost of servers and an IT department to manage software. The end result, customers appreciate several key advantages from the SaaS delivery model and at the click of a button, can back up their own data.

An online demo of our cloud computing software is also available on our website. For additional information, register online to attend our weekly webinar.

You don’t have to look very far to be inundated with back to school items that are on sale (We are not sure what large screen 46” TVs have to do with back to school but that’s for another blog) during the summer and through the fall.  To understand how big the back to school bonanza has become, just turn on your TV, radio or mobile device.  For example, the Yorkdale Mall has a column completely devoted to back to school items that are on sale. Cynthia Nellis, of About.com has a great article titled “Back to School Blog” in which she touches on the media hype that surrounds us on this very topic.

It should also be noted that many parents (some of whom are decision makers in their companies) returning to work are confronted with their own set of business challenges. These challenges include finding ways to increase profits and productivity while streamlining labour costs. There are many factors that drive business executives to consider maximizing their business efficiency with software like the product offerings from Apex Time Solutions. The benefits offered by our time and attendance system are many: streamlined business processes, increased profits, efficiency across the organization, and the elimination of double data entry are just a few that springs to mind.

ATS time and attendance solutions enable you to reduce labour costs and manage your workforce more effectively. Our biometric time clocks offer an effective means of addressing the buddy-punching dilemma by directly linking an individual worker to a personal labour record. ATS software solutions streamline your payroll process and helps companies raise efficiency and reduce costs.

If you are a prospective customer, we invite you to take a tour of our website and read more about this powerful time and attendance tracking software.

Deploying a Time and Attendance, Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Payroll modules at the same time can be a recipe for disaster. Companies should instead take a methodical approach by implementing one module at a time. Too often projects get derailed due to lack of resources, end users were not properly trained and underestimating the amount of time it take to implement various modules of a business automation software. Whether the software resides on the same platform or involves different vendors, implementation should always be carefully planned. It has been said and has been proven true, that the best laid plans can run amuck. So, with this in mind contingencies should be laid out in the event that the project does not go as planned.

A recent article by The Toronto Star “Huge IT projects can be hazardous to your firm”, brings home the point that the size of your project requires careful planning and the allocation of appropriate resources.

Here is an excerpt from this article;

“In 2003, Levi Strauss wanted to put in place a single computer system, budgeted at less than $5 million. But it quickly encountered a slew of problems, including the failure to sync with Walmart’s computers. During the switchover, it couldn’t fill orders, and three U.S. distribution centres had to close for a week. In 2008, the company had to write off $192.5 million against earnings to compensate for the botch-up, and the chief information officer was forced to resign. Kmart filed for bankruptcy in part over an IT disaster. Hershey’s chocolates couldn’t ship $100 million worth of candy in time for Halloween for one year. In the public sector, debacles in Canada include the federal gun registry and Ontario’s eHealth agency, which was assigned to computerize patient health records. In Germany, the Toll Collect consortium was supposed to bring in new technology to collect road tolls from heavy trucks, but repeated delays cost the government more than $10 billion in lost revenue. Flyvbjerg said they were staggered by the magnitude of the overruns and the sheer number of “out-of control projects that go over budget and over schedule.” Too often, managers assume these disasters won’t happen to them, but if a project goes past 30 months, the odds increase that it will happen. He suggests breaking projects down into smaller, more manageable chunks, with firm deadlines of six to eight weeks, with constant testing of new systems.”

Of course it should be noted that not all time and attendance and other large IT projects go awry. If they do, it is important that all stakeholders meet and regroup. Sometimes the best projects are the ones that almost fell off the rails and were saved by a commitment from both sides.

To learn more, contact Apex Time Solutions about our implementation methodology and workforce management software, best-practice strategies.

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When bidding on projects many companies seek for better control over how their labour dollars and hours are allocated to those projects.  The ATS job costing module was designed to collect and analyze labour distribution and job allocation information.

The ATS job costing module provides an integrated and seamless method to collect, process and report on job costing data in addition to the standard time and attendance information. Job costing data collection is performed in the same manner as time and attendance data collection. The employee presses the desired function key, scans their badge and then scans the job number and project being worked on.

Functionality and benefits of Apex Time Solutions job costing module include:

The real-time visibility saves money through more efficient monitoring and administration, but also allows supervisors to anticipate and eliminate production bottlenecks.

Our system calculates the hours and costs of payroll in environments with complex business rules, including incentive pay policies. It is extremely configurable and is affectivity date-driven. When policies change, the software is flexible enough accommodate these changes.

Job Tracking Terminals uses input devices such as barcode and laser scanners for on-floor data collection. The job costing report allows sorting on all grouping levels, producing thousands of possible report combinations.

Job transfers can be tracked to many different levels. This job module can be set to several different configurations, allowing for single and/or multiple jobs at any period.

Time and Attendance reports can be combined with job costing reports. Writer module available for user defined reports.

 The ATS job costing module is great for tracking specific jobs for billing purposes, or when employees are paid for working in different departments or locations within an organization.

You can go online and read more about the ATS Job costing and Labour Distribution module.

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Recent talk of a double dip recession is the new norm among the so called financial experts. Many of these experts were the same ones back in late 2006 and the early part of 2007 who said there were no signs of a recession.  What has become apparent since our “Great Recession” is that businesses are becoming more vigilant with their expenditures. In that same vein, controlling labour costs is one of the greatest concerns for many businesses, regardless of their size. When productivity and labour costs are aligned with a company’s objectives, rosy forecasts and profits tend to follow. And so, as your business grows beyond manual time tracking and paper time cards, you need a time tracking software designed to ensure you receive the most accurate information. ATS workforce management software enables you to collect, analyze and take immediate control of your labour data – all online and in real time.

 At times, the business case for a time and attendance system, does not become apparent until a company’s paper time cards or antiquated punch clock show their inherent flaws. The question then becomes, can you really save time and money and see a return on your investment?

 Here are some benefits to using our employee time capture system:

 Elimination of paper time card costs

The costs associated with paper time cards include: storing them, distributing them, manually collecting them, routing them for exception checking and, for organizations with multiple locations, shipping them to central locations.

 Preparation of Employee Time Cards

When using a manual system, it takes an average of three to five minutes for an employee to fill out a time card for each pay period. When the preparation of these time cards is processed very quickly, employees are more likely to have inaccuracies. In contrast, it takes mere seconds to make an edit when using an ATS time management system.

 Reduction in the Payment of Unproductive Time

When using a manual time tracking system, it is difficult to track employees who leave early, come in late or take extended breaks. The use of a time management system shows the employees who have punched in or out. Companies that automate their time keeping business process reduce data entry errors.

 We have only scratched the surface you can get by automating your time tracking methods. The evolution of a 21st century time and attendance system is a distinct advantage for many businesses. By carefully examining your company’s employee data collection, you are likely to find other areas where you can improve the efficiency of your time collection process.

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Download your free copy of “Benefits of using an ATS Time Management System.” To learn more about our software solutions visit our website.

Despite the best efforts of HR management, payroll practitioners and departmental supervisors, employee scheduling has become a constant headache. When asked what would make life easier in your department, the answer invariably amounts to, “I would like a system that can capture our work rule policies and allow me to schedule employees for the right shifts depending on preference and/or business volume. “It is important to note that not all scheduling software is created equal or serves the same verticals. The type of scheduling functionality required by a manufacturing plant will be different from that of a hospital that operates 24/7.

Our employee time and attendance scheduling module empowers managers to accurately create schedules that align labour with anticipated demand, while adhering to all company and regulatory scheduling policies consistently.

The ATS scheduling module meets the needs of the various sectors:

 The technology of our scheduling module allows the master scheduler or department manager to quickly identify qualified substitutes and select one to fill the shift.  ATS scheduling software significantly reduces the amount of time, resources and overall cost associated with employee scheduling.

Here are some benefits to using our scheduling software:

  • Produce any schedule for any time frame in minutes to save time
  • Make schedule changes quickly and effortlessly to better utilize staff
  • Pre-assign shifts and time-off to better plan your schedules
  • Print schedules, send them via e-mail, or post schedules online to keep your staff up-to-date
  • Automatically copy schedule patterns and rotations to cut time needed to create reoccurring schedules
  • Display staffing levels to eliminate time-consuming and error-prone calculations
  • Instantly view your shift coverage to assure all shifts remain properly covered and to avoid being under-scheduled
  • See the number of hours scheduled per employee to avoid overtime
  • View available personnel and their contact information to find replacement or assign additional shifts in no time
  • Track staff skills, credentials, and training to find immediately qualified personnel for open shifts
  • Access historical scheduling data to better forecast your staffing needs

The ATS Scheduling module is part of our time and attendance software suite, which gives you complete workforce management control.

You can read more about our time and attendance scheduling or visit our website to learn about scheduling automation for your workforce.

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The tracking of overtime or lack thereof has become a hot button issue for many companies in recent years. Litigators and employment lawyers alike have been scratching their heads in disbelief that some companies either have no policy or could not be bothered to track the overtime hours of employees. In Canada, the HRSDC has created pamphlets of information on “Hours of Work and Overtime Pay” for employers. Many municipalities and provinces have their own set of labour laws which range from banking overtime, overtime averaging and overtime equalization. In the United States, the department of labor has the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)  to help guide employers.

So, is it easy to track overtime hours of employees and avoid a disgruntled workforce? If you are using a paper and pencil, or the antiquated punch clock system the answer is no. An effective time and attendance system is one that automates the manual tasks of employee attendance tracking. In addition, the time and attendance software tracks: vacation, rate of pay, statutory holidays, overtime hours and also serves as a scheduling tool for your workforce analytics and reporting functions. The time and attendance system should also be easy to use for both employees and management.

In addition to tracking employee overtime hours, our system includes the following benefits: 

  • Eliminates payroll errors and reduces payroll preparation time through automation
  • Accurately track attendance, absences and vacations
  • Automate the calculation of time cards and calculate employee hours
  • Reduce the costs associated with purchasing time cards for each pay period
  • Track and pay premiums
  • Optional automatic lunch deductions
  • Provide customized reports to aid decision making
  • Track time against departments, work orders, or other fields
  • Automate the equitable distribution of available overtime to qualified employees in accordance with configurable business rules

Read more about tracking employee overtime with our time and attendance system.

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Many people are aware of Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 or its commonly referred to acronym, SOX. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act is an eleven-part document covering all the requirements for registrants of the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Important parts of this report include sections 302 and 404, which impose new rules and responsibilities intended to ensure that financial reports are materially and accurate present a fair and true picture of a company’s condition. 

Section 302 requires CEO’s and CFO’s to sign off on the accuracy of their financial statements, obligating them to accept personal liability for those statements; a new and frightening responsibility.

Canada, Europe and other parts of the world have their own brand of Sarbanes-Oxley. The purpose of this is to prevent the type of corporate scandals that have made shareholders of public companies, see their stock lose value, because of the lack of oversight by a few greedy tycoons.

Our Hosted Time and Attendance Software provides rudimentary SOX Compliance initiatives that include:

  • Multiple highly secure facilities with redundant fault tolerant environment
  • Crucial scheduled database backups
  • Flexible reporting from a secure database structure

Sarbanes–Oxley requires that controls are in place to ensure a secure environment for sensitive and financially related data for organizations. Our Web-Based Time and Attendance Software is hosted at a secure server facility. Apex Time Solutions will assist with SOX Compliance by ensuring secured access to mandated reporting is made available when required.

 With ATS Cloud-Based Hosted Time and Attendance you eliminate expensive hardware purchases, license renewals, and any other fees required to maintain your IT system. Avoid all the heartaches that come with manual time sheets by automating your time clocks. The ATS Hosted Time and Attendance System solves this problem by accurately recording your employee’s time punches, and automating your rules and regulations resulting in a precise payroll process.

 Our Workforce Management Solutions include activities, processes, and tools needed to manage a workforce. There is a wide variety of configurable time and attendance solutions that can meet the demand of any business segment, which include:

  • Time and Attendance – labour tracking, data collection, time tracking
  • Absence Planning – managed leaves, unmanaged leaves, productivity
  • Workforce Planning – long term forecasting, variance management
  • Scheduling – optimizing, short term forecasting, shift tracking

 You can save thousands of dollars but still run your business like a world-class infrastructure. We offer a very flexible per-user/per-month pricing structure for our hosted time and attendance software. With Apex Time Solutions, you only pay for what you need.

 To download a copy of our Hosted Time and Attendance brochure click here. To view a demo or to speak to one of our account executives contact us here.

In today’s competitive landscape, service above all, is often the distinguishing factor in customer retention. Employees at all levels contribute effectively to corporate financial and service goals. However, all too often, managing a cohesive system within an organization, with conflicting goals can present a challenge. Apex Time Solutions can solve these issues with our enterprise time and attendance system across multi jurisdictional operations.

In a somewhat frail economy means companies will be looking for ways to streamline costs and at the same time remain productive. Here are 5 reasons to deploy a time and attendance system:

 Elimination of Manual Process

Our time and attendance makes it easier for supervisors. No more fumbling with paper time cards or relying on the “honour system”. The time and attendance provides early notification of absenteeism and tardiness, allowing corrections to be done early, while events are still fresh in peoples’ minds.

 Workforce Management Software Integration

Our time and attendance monitors the time worked by employees and provides a seamless interface to an ERP or Payroll application. In addition, the time and attendance software includes job costing and the added functionality of online timesheets for remote workers.

Intuitive Time and Attendance Reports include:

Attendance Report, Hours Worked Detail Report, Hours Worked Summary Report, Exceptions Report, Timecard Report, Audit Punch Report, Audit Trail Report, Labour Schedule Report, Schedule vs Actual Report, Labor Summary Report, Payroll Transfer Report, Overtime Report, Labour Report, Payroll Summary Report

Employee Self Service

The ATS time and attendance Software includes employee self-service capabilities. Employees are able to check schedules and hours worked, as well as submit time off requests and provide approvals of hours worked.

Optimize Investment with a Time and Attendance System

We automate all of your workforce management business processes, which means you’ve got end-to-end, full functionality. You can eliminate the manual process, that’s expensive to implement and maintain. It’s a great way to minimize complexity and service costs.

Collecting and analyzing accurate data, reducing labour costs and improving compliance are the key time and attendance strategies for companies today. The ATS time and attendance software is designed to enable you to concentrate on the core aspects of your business while leaving mission-critical technology tasks to us.

Apex Time Solutions workforce management software reduces labour costs by streamlining your payroll process and optimizing your workforce, including scalability, energy efficiency, powerful performance, and low total cost of ownership.

Download a copy of our “Time and Attendance Return on Investment Tool Kit”. Read about Time and Attendance and Workforce Management Software on our website.

You can also follow up on follow us on Twitter and join our Linkedin group for the news about our latest software releases on Time and Attendance.

Although the terms Workforce Management Solutions and Workforce Management Software are relatively new, they came about when the integration of software with the time clock became a reality. Companies with a hundreds and in some case, thousands of employees could now access their employee’s time and attendance through an automated fashion.

The words, punch clock, employee time tracking, time keeping and time management solution can sometimes all refer to the same thing. Here is fascinating piece from Wikipedia on the evolution of the Time Clock or Time and Attendance as it is referred to, when it’s combined with software that calculates the time of employees.

“A time clock, sometimes known as a clock card machine or punch clock or time recorder, is a mechanical (or electronic) timepiece used to assist in tracking the hours an employee of a company worked. In regards to mechanical time clocks this was accomplished by inserting a heavy paper card, called a timesheet, into a slot on the time clock. When the time card hit a contact at the rear of the slot, the machine would print day and time information on the card. This allowed a timekeeper to have an official record of the hours an employee worked to calculate and pay an employee.”

Today’s choices in time clocks include: magnetic strip cards, proximity cards, key fobs, RFID tags, barcode time clocks and biometrics. In our previous blogs, we discussed the importance of taking time to discuss your environment with a vendor before deciding on a time clock. Some time clocks may not be suited for certain environments, so it’s important to understand the dynamics of your company and its corporate culture, before deploying a time and attendance system.

The advent of biometrics has evolved in the 21st century. Biometric technology recognizes a specific feature on an individual to confirm the person’s identity. These features can range from an individual’s facescan, to fingerprint or the image of their hand. The technology is most often used for security purposes and can be found at most airports in the world. Using an automated, biometric system to track employee time and attendance is beneficial to organizations in a number of ways.

Here is another article from Wikipedia on the use of biometrics in the world of time and attendance:

“Biometric time clocks are a feature of more advanced time and attendance systems. Rather then using a key, code or chip to identify the user, they rely on a unique attribute of the user, such as a hand print, finger print or retina. The user will have their attribute scanned into the system. Biometric readers are often used in conjunction with a access control system, granting the user access to a building, and at the same time clocking them in recording the time and date. These systems also attempt to cut down on fraud such a buddy punching. When combined with an access control system they can help prevent other types of fraud such as ghost employees where employees are actually at work to clock in but then leave for the day only to return after their shift to clock out.”

One of the pioneers of the practical time clock was Edward G. Watkins who went on to create Simplex Time Recording Company, one of the largest time clock companies of its time.  

It’s clear that the time clock has a long and storied history. Companies who deploy a time and attendance system can effectively control labour costs, maximize productivity and gain a competitive advantage over their counterparts.

 To obtain a white paper on “The advantages of using a Time and Attendance System” click here  or go to our website.