Time Clock Systems
Range from Punch Card to Electronic/Biometric Systems
Time clock systems help employers keep a fair and accurate record of their employees' payable hours, and are thusly an important fixture for all but the smallest of businesses. Not only this, but time clocks will undoubtedly help save valuable supervising/managing time that would be better spent in a more productive way, resulting in a stronger, more robust business in the long run.
Three basic categories of time clock systems exist and these are punch card systems, electronic swipe card systems, and biometric systems.
Punch Card Time Clocks
Similar in appearance to an average alarm clock, punch card systems, function by manually stamping or printing the time and date of each clock "in" or "out" on the employee's individual paper cards. This stamping/printing mechanism is usually activated by a large button on the top of the unit. Similar to the two other types of time clock systems, most punch card models are of a heavy-duty construction and are capable of handling thousands of print registrations each day. Prices for punch card systems generally range between $250 and $450. There is however a major disadvantage to the punch card system. That is the that everything exists on paper, and has to be retrieved, processed, and calculated manually by a manager.
Electronic Time Clocks
But if you find the prospect of so much paperwork daunting, take heart, for there is an easy solution - electronic time clocks. Try upgrading from your archaic punch card system to an electronic swipe-card/biometric system. Both these system types can transmit employee information from a swipe card or handprint reading unit direct to a software program on your desktop PC, and will automatically calculate payable hours, saving you literally hundreds of ours in the long run.
As far as swipe card readers go, there are dozens of models available from as many companies, but basically they all function similarly. They consist of a small wall unit which electronically read and identify each employee's unique swipe card, instantly registering their clock "in" and "out" times, and sending the information direct to a computer where it can easily be edited, monitored, and stored. While electronic swipe card readers are by far the more widely used system, the last type of system, biometric scanners, are by far the most accurate and trustworthy.
Biometric Time Clocks
With biometric time clocks, the employee's own hand becomes his swipe card and identification badge. For obvious reasons, biometric scanners are an employers best defense against "buddy punching", unauthorized overtime punching, and other employee disruptions. They can also be used to restrict access to "sensitive" working environments.