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.