The importance of an effective time tracking solution can’t be overstated. Besides being necessary for processing payroll, it can help you maximize productivity, streamline labor costs, identify inefficiencies, and stay compliant with labor regulations.
Of course, there are manual options for tracking time, including sign-in sheets, punch cards and spreadsheets. But while these options are tried, they’re not necessarily true. They might seem easier and more cost-effective at first glance, but they can be time-consuming, inaccurate and ultimately, bad for your bottom line.
Automated tracking, on the other hand, is more accurate, and can save you valuable time and money. Lucky for you, there’s a whole slew of options — and even more benefits. Here’s what you need to know!
Automated time tracking options
When it comes to automated time tracking, you typically need two things: a way to collect time data, and corresponding time and labor management software to access the data. There’s an array of data collection devices available from various companies. While some have more basic functionality, others are more sophisticated in their data collection capacity and functionality. With the range of options available, you can find one that’s suited to your business and workforce needs. Here are some of the top hardware choices for data input and collection:
- Digital punch system: Once employees are on the clock, they input an ID number or username and password into an on-site data collection terminal, which tracks their time as they punch in or out.
- Biometric scanning system: Biometric systems use physical characteristics such as fingerprints, facial shapes, and iris patterns to identify employees.
- Digital touch screen: These interactive touch screens offer intuitive user interfaces and are ideal for today’s cloud-centric computing environments. They can be monitored and controlled remotely, and often offer capabilities beyond just timekeeping, including messaging, time off requests, and scheduling.
- Badge card system: For employers that use badge-based systems for identification and security, a badge timekeeping solution can come in handy. Employees can either scan a barcode, swipe a magnetic strip, or insert a digital badge to record their time. Because of their efficiency, badge systems can be especially useful if you have a large number of employees clocking in and out at the same time.
- Proximity card system: Employees clock in and out by waving their proximity (or HID) card, which the system uses to verify their identity. Unlike other badge solutions, proximity cards are a S.M.A.R.T technology that can be read without actual contact or insertion into a reader device.
With all those options in mind, hardware devices aren’t the only automated way for businesses to collect time data from employees. Some time and labor management solutions also offer mobile apps, like our HCMToGo app, with time tracking capabilities that can complement or be used in place of hardware collection methods.
While these options are all different, they share a few things in common — they’re designed for ease-of-use, increased accuracy and efficiency. But that’s just the beginning.
Benefits of automated time tracking
Thanks to the following reasons, automated options are becoming increasingly popular for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
With all of these automated time tracking options, employees’ hours are calculated and accessible in real time. This makes it easier for you to manage employee hours, quickly make adjustments to scheduling, run payroll and identify inefficiencies. On top of that, it’s more efficient than manual tracking, so you cut down on labor costs and boost your bottom line.
Reduced time theft
As another advantage, digital solutions are less prone to time theft issues, such as accidental or intentional overreporting. And since time theft costs companies an estimated $400 billion annually, this shouldn’t be overlooked. Because many automated solutions have additional safeguards in place, they help to ensure accurate tracking. For example, biometric systems can cut down on buddy punching (where employees punch in for each other) by verifying punches via an individual’s unique physical characteristics. And with mobile app solutions like HCMToGo, you can use geofencing capabilities to restrict employee punches based on location — so you know employees are where they say they are.
Thanks to mobile apps with time tracking capabilities, you can accommodate today’s increasingly mobile workforce. After all, employees expect convenience not only in their personal lives, but also at work. Mobile-friendly time entry and tracking solutions give employees an easy and efficient way to complete everyday tasks, helping you engage and ultimately retain them. And, with remote and distributed workforces becoming more commonplace, accessibility doesn’t just make life easier for your employees — management is easier for you, too.
And what’s more? Many of the more sophisticated timekeeping solutions are part of a full-suite human resource information system (HRIS) platform that’s used for everything from HR to payroll, scheduling and more. This provides an all-in-one solution for employee management, and it allows you to manage effectively and make decisions quickly.
Take Orbit Solutions for example. Using a data collection method of your choosing, you can easily collect employee time which syncs up with the system. This means all of your data is in one place. Depending on the modules you utilize, you can leverage this information for various payroll, scheduling and HR tasks. This gives you a big picture view of all employee data, allowing you to work faster and smarter.
Is Orbit Time & Labor the solution for you?
No two businesses are exactly the same, but one thing is universal — effective time tracking is crucial to keeping your business profitable. To find out how an automated solution like Orbit Time and Labor can save you time and money, check out the details here, or contact us to request a demo!