Finding The Right Clock For Your Workforce Management System

The best time clock for your workforce management attendance system is the one that best suits the customer. Not all your customers will be served by the same hardware and software. When you understand an individual customer’s nuanced circumstances and challenges, you can make the case regarding why you recommend a specific time clock.

Time clocks are designed with a variety of businesses in mind. To help you find the right match for a prospect or customer, we’re sharing five of the most common business use cases that you can use to guide your recommendations under any scenario.

#1 The Right Time Clock for Small Businesses

You know the positive impact automating employee time tracking can have on small businesses. They may feel intimidated by time clock hardware at first, or unsure if they’ll realize a meaningful ROI on an employee attendance system, despite the clear cost savings of collecting employee hours at the time clock and delivering it straight to your workforce management software.

The goal with time clock selection for small businesses is to make sure they get what they need from the time clock, but not more than they need.

Saving Time and Money with the Right Time Clock

A classic time clock reseller mistake is to scare a small business customer away by going into scores of features found on the most sophisticated time clocks. First, time clocks with advanced features are on the high-end of the price spectrum. They’re valuable pieces of hardware for enterprise customers, but will undermine the ROI a small business customer will enjoy from their total time management system.

For time clocks to be a worthwhile investment for this small business customer, it needs to be durable so it doesn’t need to be replaced for years. It must also provide the time tracking features they need – and no more.

Picture your typical small business customer. They have a limited number of employees who probably work at the same location. Their scheduling needs aren’t complex when compared to an enterprise-size organization, but can take time if done manually. That’s one reason why your solution makes sense for them, but they likely don’t need to share scheduling information with employees at the time clock.

The critical time clock features for a small business are:

  •     Collecting precise, accurate in/out punch data at the time clock.
  •     Having a reliable, smooth integration of the attendance information to your payroll back-end system.
  •   Automating time collection and transmission of data to the back end system, eliminating manual errors and improving the business owner’s productivity. 

That’s really it.

Keep the focus on what time clock features bring value to their business, and away from bells & whistles they don’t need. Hearing about features like proximity sensors or multimedia touch screens could overwhelm them and scare them away with the price tag.

Find Simple, Affordable, and Functional Time Clocks

The right time clock in this use case boils down its functionality to this essential attendance data collection.

An organization with hundreds or thousands of employees may need a time clock that lets employees select a department or role at the time clock, as it’s common with larger organizations that need to bill internal departments for employees’ time. A small business likely doesn’t need this sort of advanced functionality. If all the small business needs is to track punches in and punches out, don’t overwhelm with issues like tracking job transfers.

#2 Attendance Systems for Large Companies with High Employee Counts

Let’s take a look at some common details of these companies with large numbers of employees.

Many of the employees work on fixed shifts. Their workforce may include a good portion of employees who don’t work at desks.

Their payrolls and scheduling needs are complex. Any manual process, including employees having to track down managers, HR or payroll staff to get information, adds to administrative costs and cuts into time that could be used more productively.

They also have other employee management tasks that the right time clock could help facilitate.

What Employees and Management Need from the Time Clock

These businesses need time clock hardware and software that can handle the employee volume and data collection needs. This requires a time clock that:

  • Captures the necessary information quickly so the employee line keeps moving. Nobody wants workers grouping up at the time clock and getting frustrated because they can’t get in or get out quickly.
  • Stores large amounts of data so there’s no interruption of service, even if the network goes down and the time clock temporarily loses its connection to your solution.
  •  Offers compatibility with a variety of configuration options. Some companies won’t want to have to roll out new time clock badges just to use the new time clocks. Others may want the opportunity to upgrade their punch method, such as going to a biometric reader or proximity badge.
  • Can operate as an employee self-service kiosk, able to collect and share scheduling and other information right at the time clock, which can quickly free up time for everyone, further cutting costs around payroll and workforce management.
  • Do some employees earn tips? Help them manage the tax payments by having them enter tips earned when they clock out for the day. Automating the collection of tips earned will improve the payroll accuracy and reduce employee stress about complying with tips reporting requirements.

Only a time clock with a rich set of hardware and software features can fulfill these business functions.

Choose Time Clock Hardware and Software that Does More than Attendance Tracking

As you can see, meeting the needs of enterprise organizations demands time clock software and hardware that does more than attendance tracking. You want to look for features that make an employee time clock so much more than a time tracker. For example, a time clock with:

  •  The flexibility to run custom applications your team builds to enhance the organization’s ability to automate the collection and sharing of any sort of workforce management information your solution stores, such as scheduling, location, and employee payroll data. 
  • Sophisticated multimedia capabilities, such as a microphone and camera that your team can build functionality to deliver company messages and short training videos.
  • Presence sensors can put the time clock to sleep when not being used, increasing employee privacy and lowering energy costs.

Best time tracking Software and Hardware Solutions for Workforce Management

When you assess a time clock’s feature set, clarify the practical value of each feature to determine whether it offers what your customer actually needs. How can your solution and their business take advantage of the time clock feature to improve their operations and their ROI on your system?

At ATS, we’ve built time clock hardware and software designed to handle the complex needs of large organizations. Our PeoplePoint line of time clocks are all compatible with a wide range of reader options and have a lot of storage to hold employee data.

One of the PeoplePoint time clocks, and our stride80 time clock, are Android-based, which gives you unlimited potential to build applications that extend the advantages of your solution to the time clock.

#3 An Employee Time Management System for a Multi-State Workforce

Often, a larger workforce equates to having a multi-state workforce. Any organization with employees who live and/or work in more than one state likely shares many complex workforce management needs and challenges with any enterprise organization. So these businesses certainly fall under business case #2, described above.

However, a multi-state workforce also raises unique issues.

Stress-Free Compliance Management of Employee Regulations

Organizations that have multi-state employees absolutely must have a time clock system that collects geographic data every time an employee clocks in and out. Their payroll and workforce management systems need work hours tagged with the location worked to calculate a payroll that ensures full compliance with any local labor and tax laws.

The employee work location could also trigger the need for advanced time clock functions, like collecting attestations at the time clock. For example, in order to comply with the record keeping requirements in one area, it may be necessary for each employee to complete a daily attestation whether the workplace was accident-free that day. With the right time clock, your team can build a custom attestation application that runs when an employee at a specific location is clocking out.

Time Clock Options for Employees Working in Multiple Roles or Locations

Either of the Android-based ATS time clocks are great options for handling the changing, elaborate needs of a geographically dispersed workforce. The Android-based stride80  is built to pair with our AccuCloud employee time collection and management system. The stride80 time clock is particularly well-suited as a development platform that gives you maximum flexibility to deliver the applications and services your enterprise customers need, from sharing scheduling to PTO accruals and beyond.

#4 A Clock for Extreme Environments

Sometimes, the physical environment of the workplace is a critical factor when selecting the right time clock. Factories, construction sites, mining operations – these are all examples of operations with extreme environments looking for a time clock rugged enough to stay operational.

What a Ruggedized Time Clock Must Handle

A ruggedized time clock has the right design and is made of the right materials that protect it from the severe weather and dirty conditions. When recommending a ruggedized time clock worthy of the name, look for:

  •     What’s the temperature range for the worksite? Whether it runs hot or cold (or both at different times), you want to make sure the recommended time clock is built to withstand those extreme temperatures.
  •     What kind of elements and debris fly around the worksite? Does it get a lot of rain or is there a risk of water hitting the time clocks? Is there a lot of debris that gets kicked up? In a dust-free, office environment, time clocks don’t need special manufacturing that keeps elements from getting behind its outer casing. For a rugged environment, debris and water that gets inside the time clock will interfere with its mechanical and electrical systems.

Any time clock claiming to be ruggedized should tell you what ratings it has from independent organizations that test its vulnerabilities.

Choose a Time Clock Built to be Rugged

Our Maximus Severe Duty time clock is built both for hazardous environments, and for high functionality and integration with your solution. It has both a worker-friendly keypad and proximity sensor, so clocking in and out is fast and easy.

The Maximus Severe Duty has hardware that includes an IP65-certified enclosure, which means the time clock casing is certified as protecting it from flying dust and water getting inside. The Maximus Severe Duty also has a NEMA 4X rating, which confirms that it can operate in inclement weather. We built the Maximus Severe Duty to be able to withstand extreme temperatures, ensuring it’s a good fit for any work environment. 

Making it Easy for Employees to Punch their Time

You always want your customers deploying time clocks that give their employees a good user experience. The workers in these rougher environments have unique needs too.

They may not use ID badges because it’s a hazard to have them hanging off an employee’s belt or around their neck. That makes the time clock keypad an essential tool. Look for a time clock with large keypads that gloved hands can use easily.

The Best Time Clock for Every Occasion

As you can see, different businesses fit into different use cases – but they all need the time clock right for them. That’s why ATS designs and manufactures a variety of time clocks. We want our resellers to have the flexibility in their offers.

Our goal is to enable our resellers to cater to broad markets, from small businesses to enterprises, in any industry, that need the full power of your workforce management solution. We even rebrand our time clocks and their marketing collateral with our reseller’s brand, to further support them as they guide their prospects and customers through the time clock selection process.

You can find the time clock and time collection systems you and your customers need with ATS; contact us today to start exploring.


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