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Are Organizations Responsible for the Happiness of Their Employees?

January 16th, 2018 | Posted by ATS in Benefit Accruals | Employee Productivity | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Are Organizations Responsible for the Happiness of Their Employees?)

The happiness of employees at their workplace depends, on many factors, including; the actual jobs they are performing, and to a large degree the type relationship they have with their boss and colleagues among others. A study by the University of Warwick found that happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive.


In his article, Happy Employees Is Good For Business Damon Burton lays out 5 benefits of a happy workforce. They include:

  1. Better decision-making abilitiesPeople are better equipped to make decisions when they are cheerful. On-the-job difficulties engender some degree of fear and nervousness in most of humanity, but satisfied people can return to their original mood faster after being faced with adversity.
  2. Happy people sell more– A simple search on Google of “happy people, productivity, success, business” are better at business” returns countless articles and several studies showing happy workers are more productive.   The expression of positive emotions can be an effective bargaining tool.
  3. Greater innovation– There’s strong evidence showing a correlation between happiness and creativity. Some studies have shown that happy employees have higher levels of creativity than unhappy ones. Being happy can free up the brain, allowing for increased mental flexibility and imagination.
  4. Reduction in lost productivityHappy people are healthier. When employees take less sick leave, they are more productive, thus improving the bottom line.
  5. Better customer service– This is a no-brainer. People like happy people. And when it comes to customer service, businesses need to be cheery. When employees’ morale is high, customer interactions reflect it. Happy people are the perfect people pleasers for customer service-based roles.

And, of course there is the conventional wisdom that purports to the fact that if employees are paid well enough they will be happy. While paying employees well should not be discounted, that’s only one component of an engaged, productive and happy workforce.

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In many respects formal business attire has become almost passé. The world of tech, in and particular, Silicon Valley CEOS regularly wears hoodies, jeans and sneakers to shareholders meetings.  There are of course some exceptions, like politicians, foreign diplomats, some corporate boardrooms and select industries. According to the recent study by OfficeTeam 50% of the senior managers interviewed “said employees wear less formal clothing than they did five years ago. In addition, nearly one-third (31 percent) of office workers stated they would prefer to be at a company with a business casual dress code; 27 percent favor a casual dress code or no dress code at all”.

Is The Formal Business Attire Out Of Fashion?

The trend to less formal business attire has shown no signs of abating and all indications are that this will continue for the foreseeable future. And according to several studies, technology companies are at the forefront of casual office attire.

Here is partial list of some of today’s leading companies that have made casual attire for its employees part of their DNA. This list is derived from a blog titled ‘10 Big Businesses With Incredibly Casual Offices’ and names the following companies:

  1. Google

Google was one of the first companies to adopt the laid-back corporate culture that emphasized creativity and achievements on an individual basis that add to the team’s overall success. One of the company’s 10 principle philosophies is “you can be serious without a suit.” This philosophy speaks volumes for the casual culture of Google. Not only is the dress code casual, but the overall look and feel of the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., is also laid back and fun. Google employees can enjoy ping pong, snacks in the break rooms, video games, and “huddle” rooms for everyone to take a break. Some additional office amenities include massage chairs, foosball and ping pong tables, an onsite gym, haircuts, and complimentary car washes.

2. Zappos

Zappos has put a lot of emphasis on its company culture and takes pride in being a casual yet successful business. Even though it was acquired by Amazon in 2009, Zappos has managed to hold on to the same values and company missions that it was founded on. Zappos’ casual work environment takes after the Internet marketing and e-commerce industries, which emphasize comfort over formality to help employees produce their very best work.


Facebook also adopted a Google-like office culture that consists of casually-dressed, but hardworking youngsters. Facebook has offices in more than 15 countries, some of which have bean bag lounges, kegs, on-site chefs, and plenty of places to kick up your feet and relax. At the Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., employees have several unique amenities that fit the laid-back online culture. Workers can break a sweat on the outdoor skate park, play some tunes on the office turn tables, and take care of their laundry or leather repairs without leaving work.

  1. Electronic Arts

EA is one of the biggest companies in the video game industry, with an estimated 8,000 employees worldwide. Although most of the EA studios and subsidiaries have embraced a informal office culture, the EA campus in Vancouver is one of the most casual and decked-out facilities within the company. The campus has a state-of-the-art building featuring a theater, restaurants, coffee bars, a complete fitness room, and a full-size soccer field. EA Canada is also the company’s largest and oldest studio, so, naturally, it houses the world’s largest video game test operation and many employees take advantage of this cool feature.


Twitter is an online social networking service that knows how to have fun. The Twitter offices are located in San Francisco, San Antonio, Boston and New York City, and are chock-full of awesome amenities to keep their employees relaxed and satisfied. Twitter employees get to enjoy everything from free gym memberships, complimentary yoga/Pilates and rock climbing classes, as well as on-site laundry and dry cleaning services.

Today, more than ever companies from healthcare, to retail and in some corporate environments, businesses have replaced the formal attire for men and women, and are instead, encouraging their employees to dress casually for work. Hard dress codes, it appears, have all but disappeared.


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Google Is On The Verge Of Shaking Up The Recruitment Industry

July 20th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Google | Machine Learning | Recruitment Software - (Comments Off on Google Is On The Verge Of Shaking Up The Recruitment Industry)

When Google announced it was entering the recruitment space, some wondered why? A behemoth like Google would have done its due diligence before deciding to use its power to offer job seekers and employers alike a difference choice.


Google Is On The Verge Of Shaking Up The Recruitment Industry

In her article,  for HR Dive, titled Google for Jobs now open to site owners and job seekers Valerie Bolden-Barrett writes in part;

“Google for Jobs is a potential game-changer for employers and job seekers that stands to revolutionize recruiting. Right now, the new search largely pulls from major recruiting websites to formulate search results — but this new behavior could change how the big job boards work. They were already keeping an eye on changing behaviors from applicants that opted for mobile capabilities. Google could further disrupt the marketplace.

Much like LinkedIn and Glassdoor, which forced employers to reconsider external channels of input, Google for Jobs could herald changes in recruitment strategy. Google’s use of AI and machine-learning in the process is nothing less than what’s expected of an innovative high-tech company, and is largely in-line with what experts predicted for online recruiting going forward.”

It has also been reported that the new job search engine will have filters to narrow down jobs. For example, a candidate can sort by full-time or part-time, the job titles, category and posting date. And, that Google will also add a filter for commute times, so candidates do not have to apply for dream positions that require sitting in traffic for two hours.

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5 Benefits Of A Biometric Time And Attendance Facial Recognition Solution

May 23rd, 2017 | Posted by ATS in ATS TimeWork OnDemand | Biometric FaceScan | Biometric Time Clock | Employee Productivity | ERP | Payroll | TimeWork OnDemand - (Comments Off on 5 Benefits Of A Biometric Time And Attendance Facial Recognition Solution)

Biometrics technology has gained in popularity in the last 10 years. Many of today’s technology companies including; Apple, Samsung and Google, have opted for biometric authentication with their hardware to prevent theft. ATS biometric time clocks are designed to recognize employees’ unique physiological characteristics-and these data collectors include; face shape, iris, fingerprint or hand shape. And, unlike card-based time and attendance systems, employees cannot punch in/out for each other.

When combined with ATS award-winning TimeWork OnDemand or On-premise solution for mid-to large enterprise; biometric facial recognition helps to increase payroll accuracy by eliminating errors associated with outdated manual data collection, reduce administrative time and eradicate employee time theft from tardiness and “buddy punching” (the practice of employees clock in and out for one another), and long  unexplained lunch breaks.

Here are the top 5 benefits of a biometric time and attendance facial recognition solution

Individual tracking: detect an employee based on their individual physiological characteristics

Eradicate time-theft: accurate tracking of employee time, by verifying the identity of those clocking in, thus creating a digital audit trail that cannot be altered. By automating the tracking of employee time an organization, has proof of hours worked.

Reliable and Accurate: Employee biometric templates cannot be duplicated. Managers can remain confident that they are tracking employee’s time and attendance accurately.

 Buddy Punching:  Since employees cannot use the face of their co-worker to punch in for them, you can now say good-bye to buddy punching!

Data Integration: Employee hours easily integrate with your Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS), Payroll and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), systems.

Today’s workforce is constantly evolving and keeping pace means using an advanced biometric technology solution to increase employee productivity. An ATS biometric face recognition solution will help to increase payroll accuracy by eliminating errors— associated with manual data collection thus, reducing administrative time and eradication of employee time theft.

To learn more about ATS TimeWork OnDemand, the wide array of biometric time clocks or to register for a bi-weekly webinar, go to our website. To reach an account executive, contact us by phone: 866.294.2467.

Here Is Another Reason Why You Should Dump Your Antiquated Solution

April 25th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Business Software Automation | Cloud Computing | Employee Productivity | Labour Costs | Payroll | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Here Is Another Reason Why You Should Dump Your Antiquated Solution)

In the world of business, increasing employee productivity tops the lists along with sales and return on investment. But how can an organization increase its workforce productivity, when its technology is outdated?

An article by Chris Stokel-Walker for Bloomberg based on a study of companies using older computers and outdated software solutions revealed that; Slow, outdated computers and intermittent internet connections demoralize workers, a survey of 6,000 European workers said. Half of U.K. employees said creaking computers were “restrictive and limiting,” and 38 percent said modern technology would make them more motivated, according to the survey, commissioned by electronics company Sharp.

Clinging on to old technology that’s aging towards obsolescence cannot be good for any business, regardless of its size or stature. If the argument is that you are still running important applications on older servers with old operating systems because “it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, that will work for a short period. The continued use of outdated technology, especially, can have a negative long term effect on workforce productivity.  For example, if your employees are spending too much time with a faulty network connection, or your HR manager is spending an inordinate amount of time manually counting hours from a time sheet, then your technology is inflicting pain on labour costs and productivity.

Here is one of the most poignant piece of the article, and it reads in part;  Saurav Dutt, 35, was a member of a London-based IT firm that provides services to law firms. He was making a presentation to potential customers at an exhibition in Manchester. His speaking slot came right after a Google marketing executive—a prime opportunity, he thought. But the system ground to a half—due, Dutt said, to the outdated computers his company was using for its live demonstration.

Here Is Another Reason Why You Should Dump Your Antiquated Solution

In closing, the continued use of an outdated technology will, eventually, get the best of you since it’s difficult to reverse the long-term damage caused by using it.

To learn about ATS cloud computing workforce management solutions, or to download a demonstration, or attend a bi-weekly webinar go to our website. And to reach an account executive call; 866.294.2467.




Breaking Up With Outdated Technology Is Hard To Do

April 4th, 2017 | Posted by ATS in Business Software Automation | Cloud Computing | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Breaking Up With Outdated Technology Is Hard To Do)

There is no denying it, breaking up with a solution that you have become use to is hard to do. You may have spent years working with it and although, you know  that it’s not working, you keep using it while clinging on to the old adage “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”.  As technology continues to evolve so should businesses especially if new tools can help improve productivity of your staff.

So, whether you are tracking employee time, providing service to your customers or purchasing a product, using an outdated system experience, especially, when you know there is a faster-better-easier way.

Breaking Up With Outdated Technology Is Hard To Do

An article written by Marc Posser for Small Biz Technology titled ‘5 Outdated Office Supplies and Their Alternatives’ can be used as a guide for some businesses who still cling to old technology for dear life, hoping, they will prevail in the world of IoT, cloud computing and the digital wave that has sidelined video rental companies, CD music stores and dial up Internet to name a few.

The list of office supplies in the article include:

Fax Machines

“Ever heard of emails? Sending files nowadays is ideally done virtually. Not only are emails more reliable, you are also able to retain the quality of the files that you are sending. However, some clients still prefer to receive documents through a fax machine. If you need to do so, you might want to consider using fax cover sheet templates to make your document more presentable and send it through an online fax service instead so you won’t need to use an actual machine.

CDS and USBs
Apart from occupying physical space and having a high chance of getting lost in your sea of other CDs and USBs, these two storage devices are not the most reliable when it comes to storing large files for a long period of time. Ever opened your USB after a long time and found out that it is corrupted with no way of retrieving your important files? Nowadays, there’s a lot of storage solutions available online such as Google Drive and Dropbox – and they provide a pretty large virtual space, too! The next time you want to store something or share files with someone else, try uploading your files online and just send the link to your colleague. It makes retrieving your files in the future easier as well.

Still using actual post-its for reminders and task lists? Why not try online sticky notes that you can access online anytime, anywhere? You can easily cross out tasks done after accomplishing them even when you are using a different computer or device. The best thing? You’ll help save a lot of trees in the process!

In today’s evolving business landscape, accomplishing daily tasks sometimes require you to pick up the phone and get in touch with someone from the other side of the globe. While you can still do this using old school landlines, it is sometimes unreliable and can cost you a lot of money.

Manual Clock-In Machine
Do you still use manual clock-in attendance machines that require your employees to put in an actual time card for it to stamp their time-in and time-out? We hope not. This is a tedious method of taking note of your employees’ attendance records as you have to go through each attendance card one by one at the end of each month. As an alternative, you can use time and attendance software which can give you better insight into your team and help you track the days and hours they are working.”

In conclusion;
Many companies have updated parts of their business to the cloud and/or are using cutting-end technologies to help them streamline payroll costs and improve workforce productivity.  If you are part of the small minority that likes to hang on to old technology look around and you might be pleasantly surprise to find out that many of your competitors have already upgraded to more advanced technology platforms to help them increase business performance.


You have been charged with the responsibility of purchasing a new time and attendance system for your organization. Naturally, you are immensely excited and you can’t wait to call every vendor in for demonstrations and go through every conceivable feature of the software. But wait a minute? Why do you need to go through a myriad of features that you might never use? This is a common occurrence with many companies especially ones who are in the market for a time and attendance for the first time.

Below is a list of three straightforward strategies and tips that will help you find the right solution for your business:

In The Market For A New Time And Attendance? Don’t Forget To Focus On The Fundamentals

Make a list of your requirements: Making a list will help you define the scope of your project. Also be very specific about your company’s business requirements. The more specific you can be upfront, the more detailed your vendors can be in their demonstrations and proposals.  Chances are, you will likely be awed by the latest technology advancements, during product demonstrations but it is important to keep in mind your corporate culture and how easy the solution is going to be for your users. Very often an IT person is invited, but the very people who are going to be using the system are nowhere to be found.

Think Cloud: Even if your company has no desire to deploy a cloud solution, be open minded and discuss it with your colleagues and senior management. Every company is using a cloud solution today in some way or another. Whether you are using Face Book, Drop Box, or Google these solutions are all in the cloud. And, if your company has mobile workers, a time and attendance that’s based in the cloud, with self-service portals, should be given stronger consideration. Also do not forget about data integration- any time and attendance solution that does not have the ability to integrate with your payroll, HRIS, or ERP is not a solution but another expensive piece of unusable software. In short, move on and do not waste your time with a solution that’s does not fit your business requirements.

Obtain References: This might seem all too obvious, but don’t forget to ask your potential vendor for references. If your potential vendor cannot provide at least three happy customers, they may not have the experience you need. Go to the next vendor on the list.

Too often, people select a time and attendance solution based on price, fancy features, and the latest technology. A solution that’s comprehensive, scalable, and easy-to-use should top your list. In the end, what you need is to find the company that understands your company’s requirements, and whose solution can be designed to fit your specific needs. And, once you find right solution, you will be well on achieving the ROI and long term benefits.

To download a white paper on ‘how to select a time and attendance solution’, go to our website. You can also download a demonstration or register for one our bi-weekly webcasts.

Keep An Open Mind When Deciding If The Cloud Is Right For Your Business

October 5th, 2016 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Business Intelligence | Cloud Based Time Management Solution | Cloud Computing | Hosted Time and Attendance Software - (Comments Off on Keep An Open Mind When Deciding If The Cloud Is Right For Your Business)

The cloud is slowly making on-premises time and attendance deployment an endangered species. It was only a few years ago when the very idea of a cloud-based time and attendance was met with a heavy dose of skepticism, and especially among companies who had big investments in on-premise solutions. The rise of Amazon, Salesforce, Spotify, iCloud, Google and slew of other cloud-based companies have seen a shift in attitudes, and thus, many business leaders have come to understand and embrace the cloud’s capabilities and its value proposition.

In an article ‘10 tips for a successful cloud plan’ by Brendon Butler for Network World, and in no particular order include;

 “Alignment Workshops
After a company has made a decision to use IaaS cloud computing services, it’s helpful to have a level-set meeting with important stakeholders at the company to get everyone on the same page. Typical groups involved in this meeting would be security managers, finance and procurement professionals, infrastructure engineers, operations workers and third-party consultants. Typically a senior IT manager or CIO leads the process. It’s important to have a clear message to this group of why the cloud is being explored.


Know Your Economics
One of the first considerations that will inevitably come up is cost. There is no simple calculation for determining if the cloud will be more or less expensive than on-premises infrastructure; there are too many variables. It’s important to know that different architectural designs will determine cost.

Find Agreement
If you have a faction within the organization that is against the cloud, this will be difficult. Get on the same page and make sure any outstanding concerns are addressed before moving forward. Executive buy-in can help.”

Those 10 tips are very useful and can be adopted by companies thinking about deploying the cloud. With ATS Time and Attendance in the cloud, you get guaranteed levels of server availability and up-time that are difficult and costly to replicate with and on-premise system. From employee data to HR and payroll mission critical core functions, ATS Time and Attendance in the cloud automates more than edge applications. We power entire industries in the cloud.

If your company is debating the benefits of a cloud time and attendance consider the following; ATS Time and Attendance in the cloud cuts out the high cost of hardware including Servers. You simply pay as you go and enjoy a subscription-based model that will not take a chunk out of your cash flow. In addition, the amount of time it takes to configure your company’s database, train users and set up data collectors are reduced by half when compared to an on premise deployment, suddenly that scary cloud-based project isn’t that bad after all.  From employee data to HR and payroll mission critical core functions, ATS Time and Attendance powers entire industries in the cloud.

To learn about ATS Time and Attendance in the cloud, download a demonstration from our website. You can also contact us by phone or register for one of our weekly webinars.


Are Gym Memberships And Other Perks Good Recruiting Tools, To Attract And Retain Talent?

August 9th, 2016 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Absence Management | Benefit Accruals | Employee Self Service | Leave Management | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Are Gym Memberships And Other Perks Good Recruiting Tools, To Attract And Retain Talent?)

The recruitment practices of 20 years ago, no longer work and many of today’s companies are acutely aware of this and, as a result, offer rewards programs to recruit and retain talent. And, let’s face it, how many people are actually going to turn down; playing pool once a week, a one year yoga or gym membership or having lunch once or twice a week, all paid for by their employer?

Are Gym Memberships And Other Perks Good Recruiting Tools, To Attract And Retain Talent?

A recent article titled ‘The 44 Healthiest Companies to Work for in America’ by Abigale Thorpe for Greatist, describes in detail, some of the perks that several companies offer their employees. In no particular order, here is a list of 5 companies from the article:

Honest Tea
In addition to sipping delicious tea, all 40 employees are invited to stock up their pantries and fridges with quarterly Whole Foods gift certificates. Weekly organic fresh fruit delivery makes reaching for an apple or banana a natural habit. While you’re munching, take in one of the wellness seminars, ranging in topics from stress management to sleep habits. Boot camp is offered two times per week in-office after work, and a flexible schedule and commitment to company-wide volunteer days keeps employees feeling uplifted.

You might feel like you’re on vacation while taking full advantage of weekly yoga and meditation classes in the ALOHA office. The kitchen is always fully stocked with organic snacks, ALOHA’s healthy products are available to all 47 employees, and lunch is catered every Friday.

Pro Althe Inc.
Unlimited flex PTO, an on-site gym with a full-time personal trainer, access to yoga classes, and grocery store tours with a registered dietician are just a few of the perks this company’s 50 employees find on the job. Free laundry services, haircuts, massages, and cab and Uber rides are others—provided to make each employee’s home away from home as stress-free as possible. And when it comes to stress, you’d be hard-pressed to find it at the office, which has racquetball and basketball courts, a swimming pool, a bar and lounge, a game room, and a coffee shop.

inVentiv Health Public Relations Group
This PR company knows how to keep its 251 employees satisfied, with free daily lunch, chair massages, and yoga classes. And don’t forget the company-wide Thanksgiving potluck that reminds you coworkers are family too. Unlimited personal and sick days and three weeks paid vacation to start provide the downtime you need to keep living life, and the company’s VitaminC3 health program offers nutritional assistance, like cooking classes as well as physical fitness activities at the office, to keep you active between screen-staring stints.

Google’s got you covered—and we’re not just referring to answering your every query. It provides on-site physicians and nurses for its 57,148 employees, as well as free legal advice and discounted legal services. In addition to a gourmet cafeteria, physical fitness programs, and on-site gyms, the company supplies a free shuttle service to employees in the Bay Area, and offers new parents paid time off and extra spending money to celebrate their little one. Headed out on vacay? No worries, Google provides travel insurance and emergency assistance (even for personal trips). Employees can also donate vacation days to coworkers who may need the extra days to take care of family emergencies.

Are Gym Memberships And Other Perks Good Recruiting Tools, To Attract And Retain Talent?

These perks, by these above mentioned companies gives the impression that you are in some sunny destination at all inclusive resort, and so, who would not jump at an opportunity work for a company that offered such great perks? One thing is certain, recruiting and retaining today’s employee, requires more than just a pay cheque, employee incentives are a good way to attract and retain talent.

And in conclusion, the old attitude that an employee is lucky to have a job and should not expect anything else, won’t sit well with the next generation of workers (millennials) who are going to replace many of today’s baby boomers.

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Software And The Internet Of Things, Is At Its Best, When It Embodies Simplicity

April 19th, 2016 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in iPad | Payroll | Software-as-a-Service (saas) Workforce Management Software | Time and Attendance Canada | Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Software And The Internet Of Things, Is At Its Best, When It Embodies Simplicity)

Software should be simple to use, are words you hear from some software providers and the purveyors of cutting-edge technology, including those who form part of The Internet of Things (IoT) industry. Some companies have the words, “simple or easy-to-use” splashed across the website, but once it is adopted, it is anything but simple. After all, why would any company deploy workforce management software that’s difficult to navigate? Of course, colourful dashboards that excite users is one thing, but having to navigate through several screens to complete a task, can be mind boggling, not mention frustrating.

A recent article authored Hayley Tsukayama for The Washington Post and titled ‘Why Apple and Google are struggling to design simple software’ laments the struggles that behemoths that Google and Apple are undergoing. “Companies like Apple and Google are expanding the scope of what they offer — they aren’t hawking one kind of hardware or one type of software, but rather a combination of both, often with several cloud services thrown in for good measure. Apple is no longer a focused iPod-and-Mac company. So the current version of iTunes has to offer so much more than just a way to get digital music. Google (or Alphabet) is no longer just a search bar on a Web page, it’s a whole ecosystem of information, software programs and an expanding universe of devices. The simple designs of the past products from these companies were never meant to accommodate the range of offerings that are now demanded by consumers.”

Software and The Internet of Things, is at its best, when it embodies Simplicity

The question remains, with the appetite of consumers and businesses evolving can software providers adjust, and at same time, ensure the applications are easy to use? For example, if you are using the latest toothbrush that embodies the Internet of things (IoT) do you have to glance at your phone while you are brushing to ensure you are keeping on track? These and many other questions remain unanswered.

The article continues; “What started as a simple program for buying, storing and downloading music has morphed into a much larger program for TV shows, movies, podcasts, apps, streaming music and device management. At times, it can feel like a building that’s being repeatedly expanded and renovated in a new architectural style every time.”

In conclusion, the Internet of Things (IoT) is here to stay and the same is true for cloud-based workforce management solutions, payroll, ERP and other related business management software. And, while they may be tweaked to adjust toe business and consumer demands, they shown no signs of abating.

Interested in learning more about ATS Cloud-Based Time and Attendance? You can register for this week’s free webinar by going to our website. You can also download a demonstration and see how easy it is to track and management employees hours.