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Calling In Sick, Employees Top 10 Excuses

October 31st, 2014 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Absence Management | Benefit Accruals | Leave Management - (Comments Off on Calling In Sick, Employees Top 10 Excuses)

Many companies have leave management policies in place to assist employees with time-off requests, and others are perhaps a bit strict in their approach to employee absence since it will impact the business and projects.  Each year several research firms and employment job sites generate a list of employee excuses for calling in sick. One of such most recent study is by CareerBuilder who publish a list of the top 10 excuses by for playing hooky.

These wonderful excuses include:

1) Employee just put a casserole in the oven.
2) Employee’s plastic surgery for enhancement purposes needed some “tweaking” to get it just right.
3) Employee was sitting in the bathroom and her feet and legs fell asleep. When she stood, up she fell and broke her ankle.
4) Employee had been at the casino all weekend and still had money left to play with on Monday morning.
5) Employee woke up in a good mood and didn’t want to ruin it.
6) Employee had a “lucky night” and didn’t know where he was.
7) Employee got stuck in the blood pressure machine at the grocery store and couldn’t get out.
8) Employee had a gall stone they wanted to heal holistically.
9) Employee caught their uniform on fire by putting it in the microwave to dry.
10) Employee accidentally got on a plane.

You can read the survey in its entirety by going to the company’s website. Yet many experts have also suggested that it’s important to take time off especially if it’s means your mental and physical health is at stake. In an article, titled “No more excuses: Take a day off” penned by Bob Barnett for CNN-details the importance of taking time off.

So, does your company allow for time off for those stressful days? If not, it might be time to approach your HR manager and ask about the company’s leave policies.

Calling In Sick, Employees Top 10 Excuses

Software as a service (SaaS) or cloud-based (as it’s also referred to) time and attendance is on par with today’s transformative technology. It was just a few years ago that many companies were deploying customer relationship management applications (CRM), payroll and HR software on servers. And, while some still do, SaaS has simply disrupted the traditional method of deploying business management software.

Why Cloud-Based Software Instead Of On-Premises?

Here are some of benefits that our customers have gained by deploying ATS SaaS time and attendance:

Cost- ATS SaaS time and attendance is a ‘pay as you go’ which means you only for services that you need. If you are looking to implement a brand new time and attendance solution – it can be summed up as an operational expense whereas on-premises would be considered a capital cost. The scalability of ATS time and attendance is designed to give our customers a clear idea of what their monthly costs will be. This allows for much more accurate budgeting.

Data integration-ATS SaaS time and attendance was designed to allow application programming interface (API) connections to talent management, job costing, human resources software, ERP, and CRM applications. No more keying employee hours, labour and job codes manually in to an accounting or payroll software. After all, who wants to anyway?

Deployment- Implementation that takes years still exists in the world of on-premises software, although that can mitigated in companies that have a project leader. If the implementation of your time and attendance requires the purchase of a sizeable investment in a server, you are better off, with the SaaS option.

We realize that every company is unique, and in some cases, a cloud-based solution may simply not work in your business environment. That being said, when you consider the advantages, we think it’s worth serious consideration. To learn more or to download the full copy of “cloud-based time and attendance vs. on-premises” contact us.

On-Premises VS Cloud-Based Time and Attendance



This was one of questions posed to one of ATS Business Practice Lead a year ago, during a visit to a multi-site food manufacturing plant in western Canada. The plant manager and CFO who were the project leaders of a 15 person steering committee, wanted to make sure they had a thorough understanding of the benefits and most notably, the ROI of such a huge project. In addition, to the benefits, they were also particularly concerned that the implementation of biometric time clocks might create a “Big Brother” mentality within their company’s long serving workforce. Once we were able to ally the fears of the ATS time clocks, we discussed the benefits of in great detail to the satisfaction of the group.

By replacing your company’s manual attendance tracking you can now:

  • Replace handwritten notes and employee time-off request through automation, thereby, eliminating wasted time and resources
  • Respond to provincial, municipal, federal and work rule compliance and collective bargaining agreements and changes quickly as they evolve
  • Manage employee accrual benefits and other HR information, such as vacation planning and performance reviews
  • Use workflows that present real time status so that errors are flagged and corrected before exporting to payroll or other third-party software programs.
  • Give your managers the ability to view employee hours from any workstation or smart phone with Internet access 24/7 365 days a year
  • Eliminate the use of servers, operating system and database license, or technology infrastructure investments.
  • Improve workforce productivity and control costs, by reducing ineffective administrative functions and freeing employee time so, they can focus on more valuable tasks

The benefit of a time clock system is monumental and when combined with ATS time tracking modules, you will realize a return on investment (ROI) in the matter of weeks not months. To learn more about ATS time and attendance system, go to our website or contact a representative at 866.294.2467.

What Are The Benefits Of A Time Clock System?

Finding the right software solution for your organization can be a daunting task. If the robustness of the product and its ability to scale with your business, as you grow, is secondary to price, chances are, you will be stuck with the “run of the mill” solution that will likely not last very long. As the saying goes “you get what you pay for” is very true when shopping for a time and attendance solution. Now, while it is also true that there are some similarities with time and attendance software, we suggest you dig deeper. Doing so will ensure that you have the right solution for many years. When the time and attendance you choose, is combined with unwavering service, that’s when you know, you know you made the right decision.

Here is what sets ATS apart from the “Run Of The Mill”:

Flexible and easy-to-use
We take a painstaking approach to configuring your data the right way the first time around. To that end, we take time to ask you the right questions. You now have a solution that you can access from any smart phone or workstation with Internet access at any time, anywhere. Want to know if your employee has arrived at work when they should? No problem! We can set up instant alerts to trigger your smart phone or workstation upon employees’ arrival — all done in real-time. Now, that’s what we call real workforce management solution!

Scalability like you have never seen before
Can the ATS time and attendance solution scale flexibly to quickly meet new or changing demands? Oh yes, it can! In addition, ATS time and attendance makes it easy to add new subsidiaries or locations to the system— whether they are in Quebec, New York, Toronto, Fort McMurray or Windsor, without disrupting your day to day business operations. And, here is the best part, you can start with the basics of employee time tracking and then add modules like: business intelligence, benefit accruals, employee self-service, workforce planning, forecasting & budgeting, job costing and ERP & payroll data integration. 

Data visibility in real-time and on-the-spot reporting
ATS time and attendance in built on the foundation of accurate reporting analytics. The intuitive audit trails gives a history of employee hours, project costs and user access rights and helps senior management in their day-to-day and strategic decisions making. Embedded within ATS time and attendance database structure is an operational business intelligence solution designed to provide easy access to consistent data so you can react quickly to revenue and cost-saving opportunities. ATS time and attendance workflow features self-service interactive dashboards, combined with operational key performance indicators (KPI’s) that measures workforce productivity against business forecast to bring about desired results.

So, if you are looking to maximize productivity and profitability across your organizational departments, go to our website to download a demonstration of the ATS time and attendance. You can also join the conversation with our LinkedIn business group or follow us on Twitter, Google Plus or Facebook.


Flexible, Easy To Use And Built To Last

There is no denying that cloud-based services have proliferated the market in a way some of its detractors thought would not be possible and while, there are still some doubters that number is slowly diminishing. A recent study by IDC states, in part, “the growing focus on cloud services as a business innovation platform will help to drive spending on public IT cloud services to new levels throughout the forecast period. By 2017, IDC expects public IT cloud services will drive 17% of IT product spending and nearly half of all growth across five technology categories: applications, system infrastructure software, platform as a service (PaaS), servers, and basic storage. Software as a service (SaaS) will remain the largest public IT cloud services category throughout the forecast, capturing 59.7% of revenues in 2017. The fastest growing categories will be PaaS and Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), with CAGRs of 29.7% and 27.2%, respectively.”

Just a few years ago some businesses were a little wary cloud-based solutions and how it could positively impact their organizations. However, most recently, many of those same businesses have come to the realization that, in addition, to cost savings, the adopting of a cloud-based solution also brings with it innovation and scalability.

Now does this mean companies will run en masse and deploy a cloud-based time and attendance system? Probably not, however, the growing number of requests we receive on a daily basis about ATS cloud-based workforce management solution lends credence to cloud technology’s popularity. And, the feedback we have been receiving from some of our current customers-who were previously using a paper-based or some antiquated punch clock system solidifies that an ATS software-as-a-service is the wave of the future.

So why now and more importantly, what’s driving the demand for cloud technology? Among other things, today’s companies want to reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a time and attendance system and, have access to a broad range of powerful benefits, with an eye on gaining a competitive advantage in an ever changing global economy. To learn more, you can download a demonstration.


Are You Using A Cloud-Based Solution?


Just About Everything Now Is Disruptive

October 21st, 2014 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Benefit Accruals | Business Intelligence | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Just About Everything Now Is Disruptive)

The word “disruptive” has now surpassed being a buzzword. In fact, it is now applied to just about everything for emphasis. In its incarnation it started out as “Disruptive Innovation” is aptly described by Wikipedia in the following terms; “a disruptive innovation is an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier technology. The term is used in business and technology literature to describe innovations that improve a product or service in ways that the market does not expect, typically first by designing for a different set of consumers in a new market and later by lowering prices in the existing market.”

The term “disruptive innovation” was coined by Professor, Clayton Christensen in his book The Innovator’s dilemma. The most widely used variation of this term today is “disruptive technology”  and how about disruptive entrepreneur used by Richard Branson.

In no particular order, here is list of 5 disruptive innovative and technology companies that have had a huge impact on the industries in which they serve.

  1. Yahoo, AOL and a host of other providers: gave the general public a way to find items and create an e-mail address through the cloud. Google came around and took over that space. Today, there is no other search engine on earth that comes close to its dominance.
  2. RIM/Blackberry: was a pioneer in its heyday, one of the first to offer e-mail through a mobile phone. It had a tremendous success, albeit solely relying on business customers. Apple came out with the iPhone and marketed its product to all demographics not just the business community-it has not looked back ever since.
  3. BlockBuster: consumers were tired of getting “penny pinched” for late fees. In comes Netflix with cloud-based TV shows and movies, the rest is history.
  4. Uber: at best it’s still in an infancy stage and getting a lot of pushback from the establishment. Innovators and disrupters usually do. Its business model is that of a match maker, matching a driver/car with a customer looking for a ride and taking a percentage of the fare for providing the service. Disruptive? Absolutely!
  5. Face book: Took what MySpace did and expanded it. Enough said.In describing the make up of entrepreneurs, Richard Branson makes the case they should be disruptive because “disruptive is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition and rejecting the way things are supposed to be.”

So what’s going to be the next disruptive innovation in 2015? Who knows? Either way, it’s probably going to be a combination of surprise and excitement from proponents of change and, the usual pushback, from those who always resist change.

Just About Everything Now Is Disruptive

A cloud-based time and attendance should not require large financial outlay. ATS hosted time and attendance solution is easy to use, cost effective and fast to implement. ATS cloud-based time and attendance integrates to virtually any business management application to provide seamless data across your organization. ATS time and attendance provides a comprehensive view of employee attendance and payroll records in real-time.

ATS Cloud-Based Time and Attendance includes the following benefits:

Industry-Leading robust time and attendance rules engine –Designed and built to supports Canadian pay policies and work-rules, thereby, eradicating costly customization.

Seamless Integration to; HR, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Payroll, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Human Capital Management (HCM) systems with standard and bi-directional data integration to help reduce time spent on the manual keying of data.

Just imagine, you can access employee attendance from anywhere  and at anytime from any device with access to the Internet 365 days a year 24/7. Now’s that’s 21st Century time and attendance at its best!

Best-in-Class employee time clocks- ATS time clocks include: proximity, magnetic stripe and barcode readers, FaceScan biometrics, fingerscan, hand punch, and mobile/wireless time tracking methodologies.

Deploy with ease and scalable TimeWork has a highly intuitive user experience that can help to reduce training times and increase user adoption. With ATS cloud-based time and attendance, you can easily add modules as your business evolves without disrupting the daily operations.

Want to learn more? Join us on Friday, October 17th 2014 for a live demonstration on how to Maximize Business Value with a Workforce Management Software. To discuss a time and attendance solution for your organization, call us at 866.294.2467.

Propel your Organization Into The Future A Scalable And Flexible Cloud-Based Solution

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

Spotting The Right Talent: A Bit Of Luck, Art, Science Or A Little Bit of All Three?

October 8th, 2014 | Posted by Apex Time Solutions in Business Software Automation | Talent Management | Time and Attendance Blog, Workforce Management Software - (Comments Off on Spotting The Right Talent: A Bit Of Luck, Art, Science Or A Little Bit of All Three?)

Hiring the right talent has morphed into a multibillion dollar industry with software tools that can decipher key words in seconds, that relates to a particular job and an array of skill-sets. It seems however; the more sophisticated the hiring tool, the harder it is to find the right candidates. As with most software tools, using simple key words, albeit, some of your industry’s terminology will likely yield some results in attracting the right candidate.

In an article authored by Claudio Fernández-Aráoz and published by Harvard Business Review states in part, “A few years ago, I was asked to help find a new CEO for a family-owned electronics retailer that wanted to professionalize its management and expand its operations. I worked closely with the outgoing chief executive and the board to pinpoint the relevant competencies for the job and then seek out and assess candidates. The man we hired had all the right credentials: He’d attended top professional schools and worked for some of the best organizations in the industry, and he was a successful country manager in one of the world’s most admired companies. Even more important, he’d scored above the target level for each of the competencies we’d identified. But none of that mattered. Despite his impressive background and great fit, he could not adjust to the massive technological, competitive, and regulatory changes occurring in the market at the time. Following three years of lackluster performance, he was asked to leave.”

Sometimes spotting the right talent is hard, even if you are armed some of the best tools on the market. Some companies use an internal process that include; having existing employees’ interview potential candidates. Their rationale is that if a candidate can mesh personally with their future potential co-worker, chances are they will be a good fit. The process of hiring talent is a complicated one and some companies, like Amazon’s rigorous hiring practices take it to a whole new level.

The best approach to hiring the right talent might simply mean trying different approaches and finding one that fits your corporate culture as oppose to following the herd mentality. Some companies use social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and/or Twitter to attract candidates.  Others, meanwhile, use recruitment software and mixture of posting vacancies on their website and asking internal employees for referrals. Whatever your strategy, stick to practices that works best for your company while keeping an open mind to different ways in the process of hiring talent.

Spotting The Right Talent: A Bit Of Luck, Art, Science Or A Little Bit of All Three?

The most recent news that yet another company is embroiled in overtime brouhaha with its employees, this made for some lively debate among proponents for and those against using a business management solution to track overtime. Usually the first question that comes to mind whenever this overtime issue rears its ugly head is: “Could this have been avoided if the right tools were used”? The answer is a resounding yes. Studies by industry heavyweight, Aberdeen Group have shown that capturing overtime, time off requests and absences through excel spreadsheets or paper-time cards leads to inaccuracies and demoralize workforce-especially when employees pay is affected. If the right time and attendance is deployed it can yield amazing results in the form of increase productivity and profits.

ATS Workforce Management Solution is a suite of integrated, collaborative applications designed to help streamline payroll and HR operations by reducing time-intensive administrative tasks and lowering costs. In addition, to solving your company’s overtime woes ATS TimeWork include the following benefits:

Robust and powerful rules engine enables you to generate overtime timecards for a one employee, a defined group of employees or a multitude or location all with different work and pay policies.

A comprehensive time and attendance solution built specifically for mid-sized and large businesses and it will help create efficiencies and reduce costs. Managing costs and workforce productivity is just some of the challenges felt by finance, HR and payroll professionals. When any of these tasks are managed through manual processes, the likelihood of errors goes up exponentially.

Make faster and more informed decisions with up-to-the-minute business intelligence reporting tools. Give employees the ability to enter and search for their own data, such as hours worked, messages, schedules, and vacation requests through leave management from any work station or mobile device with Internet access.

With an ATS time and attendance system your company will yield a rapid return on investment. In today’s competitive landscape shareholders want tighter cost controls and higher productivity, all in alignment with strategic business goals.

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

Is Overtime Becoming An Albatross For Some Companies?