There’s an old saying about how cheap shoes can ruin a great outfit. Well, the same is true of time clocks and the software package they front. Your WFM, payroll or time & attendance solution is great, but put a cheap time clock in front of it and you’re downgrading your own value and reputation. The company - your customer – suffers through difficulties with the entire integration when they’re having difficulties due to a cheap time clock. A cheap time clock interferes with your customers’ experience with your software, which means it interferes with your bottom line. It doesn’t matter that it’s not your time clock.
Offering terminals and guiding your prospects and customers through the selection process is a strong value-add to your business mode IF you can steer them towards time clocks that keep up with your solution. Even if you don’t include time clocks as part of your offerings (you really should), helping your customers understand how investing in a durable time clock upfront lowers their total cost of ownership for both the clock and your software enhances your own business proposition.
Replacing cheap time clocks interrupts your system integrations
The low cost of cheap time clocks are often designed and manufactured with low grade materials that degrade much faster than materials used to build high quality time clocks. The result is that the low-end time clock will last, on average, only around 2-3 years. In stark contrast, companies that invest in the more durable time clocks can use them, on average, for around 10 years. That means that for every high-end terminal a company chooses not to buy, it has to buy 3-4 or perhaps more cheap time clocks over that 10 years.
Now, just calculating the higher cost of the cheaper time clocks compared to the durable time clock alone makes the low-end terminals more expensive over the long haul. That’s bad enough.
However, your problem as the vendor whose software integrates with the time clock occurs every time your customer has to interrupt that data flow into your system while they replace their low-cost terminals.
Work continues, with employees punching-in and out, even though the company has to replace the time clocks. As clocks are taken off-line, some portion of the workforce has to temporarily revert to manual reporting. Then someone else has to collect, audit and enter that data into your package. In the meantime, the integrity of your system reporting and analytics is undermined since it’s working on incomplete data.
For a small company, the terminal replacement may only take a day. For a large company, it may take weeks. Even as clocks are replaced on a rolling basis so the entire workforce isn’t left to manual timesheets, a portion of that workforce is out of the system for the entire period. This slows down the data flow to all the payroll, WFM, HCM and time & attendance packages counting on that information.
And this is assuming that the new clocks, which need to be configured and connected to the network, re-integrate seamlessly with your system. When the new time clocks get installed, they need to test all their integrations. If your integration doesn’t pass, a frustrated, unhappy customer is now contacting you to fix things.
Protect the value of your business proposition
What is your sales team touting? Reduced admin costs? More accurate payroll? More accurate data? Whatever your big solution promises are, they require the reliable flow of data collected through time clocks. When your customers buy cheap time clocks, they’re degrading the value they can extract from your system. Don’t leave them on their own. Guide them through the time clock selection process so they can buy one worthy of your software.