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Are Employee Time Clocks Ready  “Off the Shelf”?

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One of the achievements that makes us proud at ATS is how easy our employee time clocks are to install out of the box. By the time an ATS terminal reaches the company, all they have to do is give it a power source and connect it to the Internet.

Unfortunately, many employee time clock vendors confuse “out of the box” with “off the shelf,” and provide customers time clocks to use off the shelf. These are very different ideas. No time clock is ready “off the shelf” to meet the specific business needs of a particular business. Time clocks require customization so that they can collect and share the information relevant to the company.

When a company buys an ATS time clock, we don’t just sell them a terminal. Our team works with them to customize their time clocks to integrate with their back-end systems, from time and attendance solutions to workforce management systems. After specifying the company’s data and business needs, our team customizes each ATS time clock bought. That’s why when the company receives its time clocks from ATS, they’re ready to go – out of the box. We’ve already done all the heavy lifting for them.

Common ways companies customize their time clocks

The exact details of any company’s requirements vary greatly, but many of the same general customization issues come up. Here are some of the most common ways we customize our time clocks for customers.

Allocate costs payroll to the right department:

Employees sometimes work for different departments. In many cases, the company needs to track the time the employee is working and for which department. The departments may have explicit bill-back arrangements for shared employees. In other cases, the company needs an accurate picture of a department’s costs in order to allocate labor budget precisely.

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Different tasks/roles are paid at different rates:

We’ve often seen workers who must be paid different hourly rates based on the specific task being done. The employee time clock gets customized to show the various tasks associated with one particular employee, so all those tasks appear when the employee wants to punch in. The employee then identifies which task (and thus pay rate) they’re clocking in to do. Task identification ensures an accurate paycheck for the employee and accurate records for the company.

Specify a location:

In certain metro areas, it’s not uncommon for a company with multiple worksites to have those sites in different counties or states, even while being within a couple of hours driving distance. For example, a company can have its office space separate from its warehouse or manufacturing floor. A hospital network can have different clinics. Each state, and possibly county as well, has its own labor and tax laws. Knowing exactly how much time a worker is working in the different locations is critical to calculating and paying taxes correctly.

Gather relevant attestations:

Many companies need to gather different attestations for legal purposes, or at least to improve their record keeping to help avoid any legal issues. For example, a factory or hospital may want workers, as they’re punching out, to attest that they didn’t see any workplace accidents occur during that shift. Another common attestation request is to have employees attest they’ve received all the meal and break time to which they’re entitled during the shift. Every company has its own attestation language and policies, so the time clock needs to be customized according to those requirements.

Accommodate a company’s current employee identification process:

Most companies don’t want to change their badging or employee numbering system to accommodate a new time clock. The time clock needs to be customized to accommodate the company’s current badge and number setup. As part of the ATS implementation process, we work with the company to verify that the time clock can read their current badges and accurately capture employee numbers.

An employee time clock isn’t just an employee time clock

All employee time clocks can tell time. That’s not why companies buy them. A company needs its employee time clocks to collect the specific information that’s meaningful for them. That can only be achieved with a customized time clock. Receiving a fully customized time clock that you can plug play to work with your system out of the box – that’s real value. No off the shelf time clock can do that.

Biometric Usage: Growing concerns over the privacy and security of biometrics are driving government regulations surrounding the definition of personal data and how to protect it. These regulations vary from country to country, state-to-state, and in some cases city by city. Most often the governing regulations are dictated based on the location where the information is being collected. It is important to understand the local regulations in the geographic areas in which you operate. If you are uncertain regarding your regulatory obligations, we encourage you to consult with your legal counsel.