Many organizations already have time clocks or a software-based time and attendance system they use to track employee work hours. But did you know these clocks and systems can do much more than simply track hourly employees’ work time?

Organizations of all types and sizes are looking for ways to better control costs, increase revenues and streamline their processes. How can a time and attendance system help you achieve these goals?

The Basics

Of course, most organizations that purchase a punch clock or time tracking software do so with the idea of tracking employee time.

Unfortunately, many companies only use their system to track time for their hourly employees. If you have salaried employees who are overtime-eligible, you should be tracking their time, as well. It’s the best way to ensure you pay all your overtime-eligible employees properly.

However, the benefits of time and attendance tracking go beyond simply being able to produce accurate paychecks for overtime-eligible workers. If you’re not using your system to track time for all employees — including salaried employees exempt from overtime — you’re missing out on several key benefits:

  1. Tracking work time for all employees improves your workforce management. It allows you to identify and correct problems with productivity and workload before they lead to burnout and employee turnover.
  2. Tracking work time for all employees reduces instances of “time theft.” When employees know their arrival and departure times are recorded, they’re less likely to arrive late, leave early or take long lunches and breaks.
  3. Tracking time for all employees, regardless of overtime status, helps reduce your risk. If a lawsuit or Department of Labor audit results in some exempt employees being reclassified as overtime-eligible, your time records will ensure you don’t overpay for overtime.

If you want to learn more about the advantages of tracking time for all employees, read our previous newsletter article that goes into more detail.

Beyond the Basics

The potential benefits of accurate time records can extend far beyond the payroll department. Did you know there are many ways a time recorder or time and attendance system can save you money, improve your processes and even increase your revenue?

Cost and Process Control

Many manufacturing companies use their time and attendance solution for job costing. By tracking the amount of time employees spend on each step of the production process they can better calculate manufacturing costs and more accurately price their products.

Some organizations calculate the “standard time” it should take to complete a task. By comparing that against the actual time recorded by their time tracking system, they can highlight variances. When the variance is greater than allowed, management knows to examine that process to see what the problem might be.

Consulting and business services firms typically use job costing to track employee time by the client being served. If they bill by the hour, they can use the time records to generate client invoices. If they bill by the deliverable, they can use their records to compute their ROI on each client. This way, they make sure they’re charging clients sufficiently to cover their costs.

Organizations of all types can potentially benefit from “job costing” features of their time and attendance solution. For instance, for any business where employees are engaged in different types of tasks during their workday, job cost time tracking allows management to see when and how much time workers spend on each task. Management can identify and correct inefficient processes, potentially reducing the business’s operating cost.

In many cases, without job costing records, you’re “flying blind.”

Streamlined Work Flow

We’ve been hearing for years about the “paperless office.” Yet somehow there still seem to be plenty of paper documents in circulation.

Some companies (or departments within a company) use a time stamp to record the time and date they receive each document. By tracking when documents move from one department to another, organizations can more accurately monitor and improve their document workflow. They can identify and correct bottlenecks, reduce inefficient “paper shuffling” and hold departments accountable for timely processing of necessary paperwork.

Hint: Acroprint multi-function electronic clocks, such as the ES700 and ES900, can be adjusted to print on everything from heavy card stock to lightweight onionskin. They can be programmed to print various messages as well as the time and date. With their internal LED illumination and clear windows to help accurately position documents and their atomic accuracy, they’re ideal for use as document time stamps.

Enhanced Revenue

Locations that earn money based on usage of their facilities can employ time and attendance tracking to easily prove the number of visitors they get or clients they serve. The ability to automatically generate reports can reduce their costs, and more accurate data can actually result in increased revenue.

For instance, the director of the Santa Rosa School District daycare in California told us they are generating about $1,000 a month in additional revenue since they began using Acroprint software to track their students’ attendance. Not only are their attendance figures more accurate, they can now create reports and invoices more quickly with fewer manual calculations.

Some organizations — such as health clubs and gyms, cafeterias, libraries and others — can use attendance systems to accurately track usage patterns for their facilities. Depending on the system, patrons could “clock in” and “clock out” with a simple swipe of a membership card or student ID. With this better information, the organization can plan support staff schedules to meet anticipated peak demand, easily generate more accurate client billing or funding requests, support grant applications and more.

The Bottom Line

Organizations of all types are using time recording to better control costs, streamline their processes and enhance revenue. What about you? Have you found a clever or unusual application for your time and attendance tracking solution that helps you run your business better? Here’s your chance to brag about your creativity! Let us know — we’d love to hear about it. And you just might find yourself featured in a future issue of our newsletter!

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