Electronic Time Clocks
Prevent "Buddy Punching" with an electronic time clock
For many years, punch card time clock systems set the standard for technological methods of accurately recording an employee's payable hours. These functioned by stamping or printing a time "in" and "out" on a small card issued to the employee which would later be collected and tallied by a supervisor or manager.
This process tied up countless precious administrative hours spent pouring over these punch cards (imagine a company with thousands of employees!), hours which ideally could have been spent in more productive ways. Also with this system errors and inconsistencies seem almost inevitable. In other words, something more advanced was desperately needed. And so, along came electronic time clocks.
Types of Electronic Time Clocks
While there are two basic types of electronic time clocks, swipe-card time clocks and biometric time clocks, they all function in more or less the same way. An electronic reader/scanner identifies the employee either through the aid of an individualized swipe card or by scanning the handprint/iris of the employee. The unit then notes the date and time, and this information is then sent instantly to a PC equipped with time clock software. Once the information reaches the computer, it is automatically sorted and stored for late viewing. It can also be easily edited and monitored by anyone with appropriate access clearance. Software programs such as TimeTrak®, PunchClock, WorkForce, and MyBizTM Time Clock allow the employee information to undergo several important time-saving processes. Some of these include such things as automatic calculation of payable hours, authorization of overtime hours, note taking on each employee (the notes can then follow the employee throughout their history at the company), and sick leave, vacation, and holiday calculation.
While swipe card systems are certainly an advancement on the now archaic punch card systems, biometric time clocks are another huge leap forward still. These systems provide employers with unprecedented control over the problems associated with "buddy punching". "Buddy punching" is the act of one employee clocking in for both himself and a friend who isn't physically present. This problem can end up costing thousands of dollars in lost revenues if not controlled. The price of a biometric system is not unlike that of a swipe card system, but because money is saved in the process, it's easier to recover the investment.
There is another cost-saving benefit to a biometric system which is individualized swipe cards do not need to be either issued, replaced, or recovered. Biometric systems rely on the individuality inherent in each employee's handprint or iris as adequate proof of identity.
If your company is interested in either installing an original time clock system, or replacing an out of date punch card system, consider the benefits of one of the many varieties of electronic systems. They are more reliable and will save you time and money in the long run.