Try, Try Again For Time And Attendance
A determined salesperson cracks open a closed account and lands a $300,000 time and attendance system for integrator Unitime Systems.
The account was closed after time and attendance integrator Unitime Systems (Boulder, CO) stopped pursuing a $2 billion manufacturer of wood products in 2001. "We discovered the company's need for an automated time and attendance system through our telemarketing efforts," explains Doug Peterman, president of Unitime. "However, the customer was leaning toward a Kronos solution and didn't express much interest in our system." (The client needed to upgrade its Simplex time and attendance system because Kronos had purchased Simplex and was discontinuing support for this legacy system.)
In May 2002 Unitime decided to once again revisit the client - this time with a new salesperson assigned to the account. The new salesperson aggressively pursued the prospect, taking great pains to examine the competing solutions and highlight differences between the solutions. "He made himself available to the prospect 24/7," Peterman comments. "His hard work and personal attention gave the client a sense of commitment and enthusiasm that our competition never matched. In fact, our pricing was only slightly lower and our proposed solution was similar to the solution Kronos proposed. So, I feel we won the deal largely on our salesmanship."
101 Time Clocks And Counting
Unitime began installing its solution in July 2002 and finished one month later. The customer purchased 101 Accu-Time Systems (Ellington, CT) 2000E (Ethernet-based) time clocks and 5 Accu-Time 3000M (modem-based) time clocks. The company's previous time clocks all used modems for communication. According to Peterman, the Ethernet clocks were chosen (where applicable) because no phone lines needed to be installed and the data transfer speed of these clocks is 1,000 times faster than a modem-based clock. Both of the Accu-Time terminals use bar-coded swipe cards to punch in and out. The 2000E models come with 128 kilobytes of memory storage while the 3000M models have 64 kilobytes.
The rest of the solution included the UNITIME Automated Timekeeping System, the Points Manager module (tracks employee attendance infractions, calculates points and/or hours balances, and generates penalties when predetermined thresholds are reached), the Ceridian Payroll Export module, and the Ceridian Employee Import module (all are software components developed and sold by Unitime Systems).
According to Peterman, although this isn't Unitime's largest customer, the size of this project (100 locations) was challenging. "Since the company is continually in acquisition mode, they are always adding new locations," he explains. "Each of these locations has different business rules that need to be set up in the UNITIME system." To streamline this process, Unitime developed a "copy company" utility for quickly configuring a new company's UNITIME system according to a similar company's rules. Once a new company has been created using this utility, system administrators modify any rules that are different from the copied company.
Unitime provided all of the professional services, including implementation and project management services, for this project, which initially totaled $300,000. The customer also purchased two years of customer support services.
Offer Customized Training, Future Enhancements
Since the manufacturer was familiar with the type of time clocks and software used in Unitime's solution, training went quickly. In fact, to minimize on-site implementation time, Unitime spent approximately 72 hours training system administrators so they could effectively train end users. Unitime also developed custom documentation as part of this program.
Currently, the customer is considering adding WebAdmin, Unitime's Web-based client module for deploying and maintaining supervisor workstations throughout a facility. In the meantime, the integrator continues to add software licenses and time clocks to a growing customer that was a closed account just two years ago.