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Employee time management: Shopping for a clocking in system
Several suppliers of automated time management systems ply the UK market, so you will need to do some comparative shopping.
Time and attendance systems share the following essential elements, which you should focus on when comparing offers:
- Data collection points where employees swipe a badge, log into a terminal, punch in a code, or register through voice, biometric or other form of “intelligent” terminal. Choose a time and attendance system that uses a registration mechanism that’s fast, user-friendly and reliable, with clearly defined backup procedures in case of computer or power failure.
- Time and attendance software to tabulate and categorise employee data in real time. The clock-in software should be flexible enough to handle multiple employee types, pay rates and other variables, and ideally it will interface with your payroll software. Also look for an HR management system that is customisable and allows easy export-import of data with other departments and systems.
Additional choice criteria
Below is a checklist of criteria for rating potential time and attendance system suppliers:
- Client references: quality suppliers should have plenty, and preferably in your industry
- Number of time & attendance systems installed: should be sufficient to indicate proof of quality
- Tech compatibility: is their system compatible with your computer platform?
- Product training: what level of training do they provide to your staff?
- Time management software upgrades: are they free? Are they offered automatically?
- Customisation: can you tweak the system’s parameters yourself or does customisation require a billable onsite visit from the supplier?
- Technical help: what is their average response time to a call from a client?
- Support centres: is there one nearby to ensure that problems will be addressed swiftly?