Controlling costs in any business is one of the most critical elements of sound financial management. Staffing costs are usually one of the biggest categories of spend for most businesses. This is why it is important to make staff planning and wage calculations as efficient and accurate as possible. Many organisations around the world have chosen to invest in time and attendance systems in order to achieve efficiencies and savings. This article discusses some of the ways a time and attendance system can help businesses save money.
The larger the business, the more important staff planning becomes. Planning rotas and shift patterns, managing absence, ensuring compliance and contract rules are maintained, can be very time-consuming. Leaving the planning until the last minute can result in not having the right staff doing the right job. Planning in advance can help businesses make the most of their workforce and ensure they have just the right amount of resources in place to maintain business continuity, whilst also ensuring that businesses are not over or under-staffed. Many time and attendance solutions do much more than just record how long an employee was on-site for. A sophisticated time and attendance solution will allow HR departments and managers to plan their workforce in advance without the need for complicated spreadsheets.
The heart of any good time and attendance system is the rota. The system should be able to manage both full-time, permanent staff who work according to a shift pattern, and flexible working or agency staff, whose hours may change on a day-by-day or week-by-week basis, depending on the needs of the business. The rota is where you can view, plan and publish your shifts for upcoming weeks or months. A good rota will allow you to easily see gaps that need filling, maintain your staffing levels within allocated budgets, oversee absence such as holidays or sickness and manage exceptions and warnings. Using a time and attendance system for effective staff planning can save many hours of manual planning and ensure your staffing is optimised.
A time and attendance system is not necessarily about just paying staff for the hours, minutes and seconds that they are at work. Of course, paying staff for actual time worked and not just what you expect them to work, can give you immediate cost savings, but an effective time and attendance system can present significantly higher savings too. In addition to the planning efficiencies mentioned above, savings can be made on overtime. A time and attendance designed to be flexible in how it can be configured, will allow you to manage complicated overtime rules and procedures and will automatically calculate wages. Not only will this significantly reduce the amount of time spent on calculating overtime, it will mitigate the risk of human error. Human errors can be expensive to resolve and can diminish employee trust in the organisation.
Effective reporting on staffing costs can be just as valuable as staff planning. When an organisation has complete control over its reporting, future decisions can be made based on previous outcomes. When information is stored in paper-based form or even within digital spreadsheets, reporting can be both ineffective and time-consuming, and therefore organisations can miss out on optimising their workforce. A comprehensive time and attendance solution will give you the power of automated reporting at your fingertips. Reports can be generated as you need them and useful reports can be configured and sent to the inboxes of those that need it, when they need it.
When introducing a time and attendance solution, employees have to identify themselves in order to clock themselves in or out of the business. Traditional time and attendance solutions rely on employees being issued with a card, fob or PIN to present to a clocking terminal. Although this does make clocking in or out very convenient, it does present a risk to the business. Cards, fobs or PINs can easily be lost, stolen, shared or copied. This means that the business has to factor in the cost of issuing hardware and replacing it if, for example, an employee loses their card.
Biometric technology is the answer. All human beings have unique physical characteristics, whether it be our face, fingerprints, iris or even our voice. These physical attributes can be scanned by devices and converted into a unique, highly secure ‘token’ known as a biometric template. This means that there is no need to issue cards or fobs; the unique identity of the person can only be confirmed if they are physically present.
At the time of writing this article, we are in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic. A virus, which can easily be spread by people leaving germs on surfaces that other people touch. This has led many organisations to question the use of some biometric devices, such as fingerprint readers. However, there are a number of biometric solutions that are now available that do not require a user to touch the device and potentially leave behind traces of the virus, such as face, iris and contactless hand recognition. Choosing a biometric recognition device increases the efficiency of staff identification, reduces the cost of issuing cards or fobs, and reduces the risk of buddy-punching; helping businesses save money.
Duplicate data entry, manual management of records and moving data from one system to another is time-consuming and costly. In today’s modern world, applications can be integrated to safely and securely pass information between each other. Two of the most common time and attendance integrations are with payroll and access control applications. It is entirely possible to use the event data generated within an access control system to replicate clocking in and out for time and attendance. It also possible to export data directly into a payroll system. Time and attendance integrations can save hundreds of hours per year in manual processing time and eliminate the possibility of human error and ultimately save businesses money.
RotaOne, by Thinking Software, is the result of over 25 years of industry experience. We are proud to serve some of the most recognisable global brands as well as supporting small, independent businesses to save money with our time and attendance solutions. Our solutions are designed for businesses of any size and in any industry sector to leverage the power of efficient rota and shift management and staff planning.
To find out why investing in a time and attendance solution could be one of the most financially sound decisions your organisation could make, please feel free to contact us. Better still, book a free, no obligation online demo so that you can see RotaOne in action.