Expansion phase of a business cycle

According to Kiplinger, “The Economy is on a Roll.” Economic growth in the United States has been sitting around 3% for most of 2017 and companies of all sizes are adding jobs. While business growth is always positive, the expansion phase of a business cycle isn’t without its challenges. Without planning for expansion, a company can suddenly find that resources it relied on with a smaller workforce don’t ramp up well enough to handle the increased burden of more employees and/or more locations.

Selecting a time clock that can grow with your business as it expands saves you money. First by letting you avoid having to purchase entirely new time clocks to replace the ones you have. It also saves you money by avoiding the admin and inefficiency costs of creating workarounds to make up for your old time clock’s limited capacity.

As you consider which time clock makes the most sense for your business, remember to also consider how you expect your business and workforce needs to change as you move through the expansion phase of your business cycle.

(For more in-depth information on minimizing employee absenteeism, check out our free Attendance Policy guide).

Will your time clock provide enough security?

When a small or medium-sized business has a handful of employees all in the same location, security concerns about the integrity of your time and attendance data are limited. As your employee numbers grow, the risk of buddy punching grows. Buddy punching, which occurs when one employee punches in for another, costs business millions of dollars every year. Biometric time clocks eliminate the high costs of buddy punching.

When you have expectations of growth but want to limit your costs in the short-term, select a time clock that can have the biometric component added, like our PeoplePoint Premium, Maximus or Prodigy time clocks. This way, you aren’t paying for the biometric technology before you need it, but can add it when you do.

Does your time clock have the capacity to handle increased data flows?

You really have two data issues here. First is the increase in employees, which therefore increases the volume of time and attendance data being sent to your back-end systems. Yet with business expansion often comes increased sophistication of processes and demand for data into new systems. While you may currently only need time and attendance data from the time clocks to feed into a payroll system, it’s not uncommon to add new management solutions to more efficiently manage the growing business.

Solutions like workforce management and/or HCM systems will also want to send and receive data with your time clocks. You may also find that you want your time clock to do more than just collect punch-in and punch-out data, like collecting attestations and updating job roles.

You need to look at two time clock attributes to ensure your time clocks will have the capacity to support increased data volume and functionality. First is the processing power of the time clock.  Can it handle an increase in data volume while still sending data back as quickly as your HR and accounting departments need it?  Will it be able to support a higher number of integrations without slowing down?

Second, does the time clock have the physical tools to accommodate being used for more than punch-ins and punch-outs? How large is the screen; can it deliver longer messages in a clear, user-friendly way? Is it a touchscreen that can accommodate unlimited virtual buttons or does it have a fixed number of physical buttons?

Growth is good. Needing to hire more employees can never be a bad thing – for anyone. Just make sure to include planning for how your labor management needs will change as you move through an expansion phase of a business cycle, not just projecting head counts.

What’s been your biggest challenge when bringing on a lot of new hires? We’d love to hear about your growth experiences – use the comment section below.

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By Carlos Bernal | December 13th, 2017 | | 0 comments

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