One In The Hand
Solutions provider Konetix showed customer Sport Haley how biometrics can improve the company's time and attendance system. Who said all profitable solutions have to be complicated?
Konetix, Inc., is a solutions provider that develops TimeCentre software for time and attendance systems and labor tracking. Headquartered in Boulder, CO, the company operates a research center in Denver and a sales office in Albuquerque, NM. A 40-employee company, Konetix posted $2 million in sales in 1998. A partner with VARs nationwide, Konetix was contacted directly by Sport Haley, based in Denver. Paychex, a national payroll company who had been working on a project with Sport Haley, recommended Konetix. Paychex and Konetix have collaborated on past projects involving time and attendance.
Recognizing All Problems Leads To Bigger Installation
Corey Holland, systems implementation manager for Konetix, said Sport Haley was originally aiming to solve just one problem with the new system. "At the beginning of this sales cycle, Sport Haley had an overly simplistic idea of what it was trying to purchase," Holland said. "Sport Haley was looking for some method to get data to its payroll department. After consulting with us, Sport Haley understood that a new system could solve a lot of its time and attendance problems. We parlayed that realization into a bigger installation."
A major concern of Sport Haley was "buddy punching" – co-workers punching each other's time cards – by some of its 110 hourly employees. The company tried to solve the problem by having an employee regularly monitor the outside time clock. The system was implemented during the daytime shift but was not enforced during later shifts.
A second problem was streamlining the process of correcting erroneous punches. With standard manual timecards, data can be gathered and corrections made only immediately before payroll is processed. With TimeCentre, daily reports can be run and exceptions handled throughout the workweek instead of the day before payday.
Konetix used the biometric HandPunch clock by Recognition Systems and TimeCentre database software to solve these problems. The software collects data uniformly from a variety of sources such as biometrics, telephones, PC entry systems, magnetic card and bar-code readers. The data is stored in one database and can be accessed by multiple users.
The TimeCentre software and HandPunch unit were chosen for a variety of reasons, said Jack Welch, director of technical support for Konetix. "It protects your payroll and also protects your business," Welch said. "With the biometric hand reader, the company has added security because the system will deny access if it doesn't recognize the person's hand."
System Improves Bottom Line For Customer And Konetix
Holland said the sale was made "almost instantaneously" when Konetix explained to Sport Haley's controller how quickly the organization would recoup its investment. "When a company moves from a manual time clock to an automated one, it can expect to recoup that investment in two or three months," Holland said. "That's a real savings. In time, the company can save anywhere from 6%-8% of its overall labor cost." Holland added that the cost to Sport Haley on this two-unit installation was about $10,000.
Welch said that Sport Haley's accounting department has also saved hours of labor and averted delays in processing payroll. "Corrections had to be done by hand right before payroll," he said. "This new system allowed the accounting staff to take care of on a daily basis what few exceptions now exist. When payroll is due, they only have a few to handle. Because the system is electronic and automatic, it saves the accounting department time keying in figures and looking through old reports. They had concerns about a high-tech accounting system initially, but within weeks they were thrilled with it."
Welch added that some employees were concerned at first about sticking their hand into a machine. "Some people also think we're sending their fingerprints to the FBI," Welch laughed. But Sport Haley employees have turned the hand reading process into an unofficial contest. The machine measures the quality of every scan – compared with the exact angle of the original scan. The quality of the current scan is registered on a numbered scale from one (exact) to 100 (poor). "The employees keep track to see who scores the best," Welch said.
Welch said Konetix enjoys this type of installation because of the system's ease-of-use and regular success. A few hours of training for the payroll department and minutes of training for the hourly employees follow the one-day installation.
Because the system has been well received in Denver, Konetix expects to install similar systems in Sport Haley's facilities in Nevada and North Carolina. "Once the employees are trained using the system, we very seldom hear of many problems," Holland said. "Once we install the system in one division, the advantages are so obvious they want us to move forward at their other facilities as well. We make life easier for them, save them some money, and make some money for us along the way."