Workforce Management Biometrics For Emergency Medical Services

This guest post was submitted by ZOLL, the leading provider of solutions that help fire and EMS organizations of all sizes optimize their people, processes, and technology, leading to clinical excellence and business success.

This post was written by Tara Delone, Marketing Manager at ZOLL.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS), as in many industries, is starting to realize the benefits of using a biometric device for employees to sign into various applications.  ZOLL has partnered with M2SYS to integrate biometric identification technology with our time and attendance software solution that helps organizations optimize their crew scheduling needs and reduces cost at the same time boosting crew satisfaction, reducing overtime cost, improving schedule compliance, and increasing payroll accuracy.  With the addition of  biometric technology EMS organizations can also increase security, reduce or illuminate fraud or buddy punching, eliminate problems with lost ID cards or hard to remember passwords and boost efficiency when punching in/out of the application.

Increasingly, biometric technology is becoming more prevalent in EMS environments due to the distinct advantages that it offers and the efficiencies it creates.  Bill Savidge from Hart to Heart Ambulance, Inc. in Forest Hills, MD states,“ While no system is “fail safe”, Hart to Heart is greatly impressed by the functionality of  biometric technology for tracking time and attendance.  Biometric hardware is extremely durable and fairly priced. The biggest advantage is the simple seconds it takes to punch in/out daily vs. an employee actually using a physical time card or some type of hand typed punch system…..as we know, seconds add to minutes and to hours, especially in our business.  Biometrics tied in with ZOLL’s Crew Scheduler, have been a welcome addition and a vital cog in how Hart to Heart pays employees and keeps track of time to the second.”

For more information or a demo of EMS time and attendance software please visit Zoll’s Web site.

Could your EMS environment benefit from biometric technology for time and attendance?  What types of cost savings could you realize from using biometrics?

 

The Top 5 Ways KRONOS Customers Can Kick Butt With RightPunch From M2SYS

What Is RightPunch?

This just in.  BIG news being reported from the PC-based time and attendance workforce management market. M2SYS Technology has developed a customized biometric identification platform to interface with Workforce Timekeeper from KRONOS and customers are happier than Las Vegas bookies during March Madness.  The product is called RightPunch, and it is paying ginormous dividends for KRONOS customers who are choosing PC-based biometric time clocks as part of their workforce management software strategy.

RightPunch is a flexible, PC-based biometric time clock that has all of the features of a wall mounted biometric time clock at a fraction of the cost.  Without requiring any developments or upgrades, RightPunch instantly interfaces with Workforce Timekeeper offering offline punch captures, schedule verification and automated biometric template distribution to support “floating” employees.  Plus, biometric identification is powered by Hybrid Biometrics, which supports fingerprint, finger vein, palm vein, and iris recognition to ensure 100% employee read rates.

Top 5 Benefits Of Using RightPunch

#1 – Increase in employee productivity by eliminating “buddy punching.

#2 – Reductions in payroll inflation and payroll error rates.

#3 – Increase in security, efficiency and environmental conscientiousness by eliminating ID cards or PINs.

#4 – Reliability – 100% of employees are consistently recognized and authenticated.

#5 – Ensure compliance with labor tracking laws.

Read more about how biometric identification technology from M2SYS is paying huge dividends  for a current KRONOS customer using Workforce Timekeeper.

Is saving money, time and resources important to your business?  If you are a KRONOS Workforce Timekeeper customer, get in on the action and ask about RightPunch, the PC-based biometric time clock interface from M2SYS.

 

What Does The Recent Unrest In The Middle East/Northern Africa And Biometric Technology Have In Common?

 

Suppression Of A Society Will Take Its Toll

Unless you have been living under the proverbial rock recently, chances are you caught wind of the unrest, protests and civic rebellions that are sweeping across the Middle East and Northern Africa.  First it was Tunisia then Egypt followed by Bahrain and now Libya.  Countries that are fed up with oppression  and living under the rule of dictatorships, oligarchies and autocratic rule are rising up and defying government power in an effort to force change, modernize their economies and provide citizens with a voice in their society.

For these countries and others crying out for change, demanding reform and putting the wheels in motion to make it happen it can be a frightening and anxious experience knowing that the actions they are taking are necessary and will pay tremendous dividends in the future but the short term implications can be difficult adjustments and fraught with uncertainty.  However, these rebellions have been years in the making and whispered about clandestinely in social circles for many years.  Revolt in Tunisia seemed to be the tipping point for the rest of these countries to follow suit and summon the courage to act themselves against their tyrannical regimes.

The Current And Future State Of Biometric Technology

The unrest in the Middle East and Northern Africa got us thinking about parallels that we can draw from these events to the biometric technology market.  Modern biometric technology applications are revolutionary scientific breakthroughs in identification technology, with the ability to accurately identify an individual that is unsurpassed by any other identification technology on the market.  It is currently being used in some capacity by countries all over the globe through a wide variety of governmental and commercial deployments.

From border security, workforce management, membership management, retail point of sale, public safety, healthcare to banking – biometrics is slowly permeating our lives to boost security, create efficiencies, improve productivity and save money (among many other benefits for applicable vertical markets).  However, in certain countries it is being rejected and questioned on the grounds that it violates individual privacy rights and the validity of capturing and storing biometric identification characteristics of an individual without any plausible governmental data collection guidelines and laws in place.

These are valid arguments and ones that should be debated and resolved for biometrics to be more readily accepted.  However, these issues will not stop biometric technology from being the steam engine of future secure individual identification.  It is inevitable that biometrics will become more widely adopted and replace identification technologies such as barcode cards, personal identification numbers (PINs) and RFID technology.  There simply is no other technology that is neither comparable nor as convenient as biometrics.

The Connection

Just as the citizens of countries spread out across the Middle East and Northern Africa are rebelling for change and a better way of life, businesses are using biometric technology to halt unscrupulous practices that are draining their profits and polluting their environments.  Countries and companies across the globe are putting their foot down and saying , “Enough!”  They are tired of seeing things like fraud, time theft, shrink and buddy punching sap their profits.  They are seeking technological competitive advantages to increase operational efficiencies, establish accountability, build customer loyalty and achieve higher returns on investment in infrastructure.  Businesses and governments are abandoning the old ways of identification, those archaic and administrative intensive Stone Age methodologies and beginning to adopt modern technologies that offer far more benefits.

While we could never understate the importance and impact of the events that are unfolding in the Middle East and Northern Africa, we can draw some interesting comparisons to the present state and  how the future of biometric technology will unfold.

What do you think?  Are there some similarities you can draw from the unrest in the Middle East and Northern Africa that you can compare to your market?

Calling All Retailers – Please Take Our True/False Quiz

The M2SYS Technology True/False Quiz part deux.  I’m sure our loyal readers have been on the edge of their seats since our first True/False Quiz post – 5 months ago.  Yes, the Rip Van Winkle of blog posts series has finally awakened. Here is a link to the quiz – http://apps.facebook.com/fanappz/quiz/take?id=5132

So how did you do?  If you are here at our blog that means you clicked on the link to learn more details on why a question was true or false.  If you are visiting our blog first – then please click on the link above for the quiz, then come back and see the detailed answers below.  No cheating by looking at the answers before taking the quiz!!

Here are the detailed answers to the questions:

1.  Finger vein and palm vein are too expensive as an alternative to fingerprint technology.

Answer – False

Finger vein and palm vein technology are referred to as “vascular biometrics” which relies on capturing an image of the vein pattern beneath the finger or palm with near infrared light and using that image as the basis for individual identification.  Unlike fingerprint technology, integrity of the skin is not an issue with vascular biometrics.  In addition, vascular biometrics is definitely an affordable alternative to fingerprint.

2.  Using biometric technology can help save the environment.

Answer – True

Each year, Americans waste enough paper to build a 12-foot wall of paper from New York to California.  One way to reduce the amount of paper used in a business is to switch from antiquated paper and pen time and attendance techniques to biometric based desktop time and attendance software. Another way you can use biometrics to help the environment is by switching from plastic membership cards to a biometric check in system.

3.  Indonesia is currently using biometric technology to curb violence in bars and nightclubs.

Answer – False

It’s actually Australia.  Ok, so this question is not so retailish but pertinent nonetheless.  Australia is currently launching an ambitious public safety program where bars and nightclubs can opt into a biometric identification initiative that requires all patrons to submit their fingerprint in order to gain entry to the establishment.  So far, it’s received positive reviews.

4.  It is possible to achieve a 300% ROI (return on investment) during the 1st year of using biometric technology.

Answer – True

One of our end users actually achieved a 300% return on investment during the first year they used biometric technology for time and attendance! Cal Poly Pomona uses M2SYS biometric technology with its KRONOS time and attendance software which has eliminated buddy punching, boosted staff productivity and decreased backlogs.

5.  Biometric technology can help a retailer with PCI Compliance.

Answer – True

Biometric technology offers merchants an opportunity to incorporate a level of authentication security that is unsurpassed in the industry.  Biometrics relies on physiological characteristics (fingerprint, finger vein, palm vein, iris recognition, etc.) to identify an individual’s identity rather than something you know (personal identification number or PIN) or something you have (credit or debit card).  Due to the fact that anyone can steal your credit or debit card and obtain your PIN for fraudulent transactions, biometric technology is the only true way to identify someone with near absolute certainty.

6.  Using biometric technology can enhance customer loyalty.

Answer – True

Instituting a biometric identification system, especially in a retail environment, builds customer loyalty.  To help combat fraud, biometrics is used as part of an overarching plan that helps keeps prices low and customers happy.

7.  Biometric technology is about as secure as barcode cards and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs).

Answer – False

Biometric technology is much more secure than barcode cards and personal identification numbers.  Read this post and you be the judge.

8.  Buddy punching can equate to 2 – 5% of total expenditures.

Answer – True

Don’t believe us?  Check out our dedicated web page on eliminating buddy punching and plug the numbers to see for yourself.

9.  Loss prevention in the retail sector is a good application of biometric technology.

Answer – True

The simple fact is that employees steal from businesses.  The numbers speak for themselves – employee dishonesty costs American business in excess of $50 billion annually and 20% of every dollar earned by a U.S. company is lost to employee theft.  Biometrics can help to curb this by eliminating the swapping of barcode cards and PIN’s and securing access to authorized only areas of a retail establishment.

10. Capturing an individual’s biometric information is tantamount to a violation of their privacy.

Answer – False

Biometric identity enrollment templates stored on a server or computers are not actually images at all.  They are a mathematical representation of the data points that a biometric algorithm extracts from the scanned fingerprintfinger veinpalm vein or iris.  The identity template is simply a binary data file, a series of zeros and ones.  The algorithm then uses the template to positively identify an individual during subsequent fingerprint scans.  No image is ever stored or transmitted across a network.

To the credit of those that fear privacy invasion, the real fear is that mass quantities of biometric information can be captured at once from hacking into a private industry biometrics system.  In addition, they fear the idea that biometric information cannot be changed if compromised, unlike something like a social security or bank account number.  We feel that this is a valid point, and one that’s difficult to refute however all biometric data is stored using the AES 128 bit encryption algorithm.

Hope you enjoyed installment #2 of our “Biometric True/False Quiz Questions” series.  More future quizzes to come…

Top 5 Reasons Paper Time Sheets Suck And Why You Should Replace Them

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Surprisingly, many businesses still rely on paper time sheets for employees to track their attendance on the job.  Not only is using time sheets so “Triassic”, many businesses aren’t quite sure how to go about effectively looking for a time and attendance software solution to vault themselves into the 21st Century and put a stop to the abuse that paper time sheets present.  Let’s take a closer look at the top 5 reasons using paper time sheets sucks and why you should consider replacing them.

Reason #1 – Paper Time Sheets Cause Payroll Clerical Errors

Payroll staff often times make gaffes when trying to interpret the scribble they come across on paper time sheets.  “Is that a 1 or a 7?”  “This name looks like John Smith but the handwriting is so sloppy it could be Jane Smith – which person do I give credit to for hours worked?”  “I can’t read that number, the ink smudged when someone spilled Red Bull on the sign in sheet.  Looks like a 5 to me.”  “The faxed timesheet I received is blotted, but I don’t have time to reconcile it before payroll is due, I’ll just mark this employee for his regular hours worked based on past time sheets.”

Using paper time sheets often times causes unnecessary interpretation errors and the chance for human error is multiplied when hours are re-entered into a payroll system  This can lead to over or understating time that employees worked causing unnecessary problems and losses.

Reason #2 – Paper Time Sheets Cause Losses in Productivity

Imagine a payroll staff that has to constantly chase down employees for their time sheets especially at satellite locations, scrambling to interpret hours worked and illegible handwriting so payroll submission deadlines can be met.  How about the extra time that it takes payroll staff to enter hours worked by re-keying the data into a computer payroll software program?  What other productive tasks could those payroll employees be doing in the absence of paper time sheets?

One of our end users had payroll staff that used to spend an entire weekend transferring  payroll data to Excel spreadsheets so they could meet their deadlines.

Reason #3 – Employees Lie On Their Time Sheets

Who?  My employees?  Never!  The truth is that according to a survey by the American Payroll Association, the average business wastes 4% of its payroll in clerical errors (see Reason #1) and improperly recorded time.  In fact, time theft through buddy punching affects 75% of businesses in the U.S. and can cost a business up to 7% of gross payroll annually.  For example, if your payroll is $500,000, that’s $35,000 per year.  Yikes.

Reason #4 – Paper Timesheets Lead To Inaccurate Job Costs

As John Meibers pointed out in a recent blog posting:

The lag time associated with paper-based field data collection delays job cost updates. And having inaccurate job costs makes project management tasks more difficult and accurate projections particularly challenging. Diligent project managers often keep their own job cost logs in spreadsheets to aid their decision-making. While admirable, one might argue whether this is really the best use of a project manager’s time.”

Enough said.  Well put John.

Reason #5 – Paper Time Sheets Get Lost, Misplaced Or Damaged

Relying on paper time Sheets for time and attendance is like giving someone a piece of paper, asking them to go for a three mile jog in shorts and a t-shirt in the pouring rain with only an umbrella and to return with the paper undamaged and dry.  Sure, you have no doubt that they will do their best to protect that piece of paper and it’s certainly possible that they could keep the paper dry, but what if a sudden wind gust blows it out of their hand or blows the rain sideways?  What if a car drives by and splashes them before they can protect the paper with the umbrella? Why set yourself up for failure by relying on paper time sheets that are prone to getting lost, misplaced or damaged?

Meeting payroll deadlines is tight, steadfast and one of the most crucial aspects of running a successful business.  Why risk missing it or submit an erroneous payroll summary?  Unhappy, unpaid employees = poor business performance.  Overpaid employees = angry business owners/shareholders.

How To Solve The Problem

Invest in biometric time and attendance solutions.  Biometric identification for time and attendance increases productivity, eliminates buddy punching, lowers costs, increases speed, boosts operational efficiencies, helps to achieve higher returns on investment and establishes accountability.  Please take a moment to browse some of our previous blog posts by clicking on one of the underlined words in the previous sentence and learn more about how biometric technology is a smart move after ditching your paper timesheets.

The dinosaurs would be proud that you moved on.

Please share with us your most tragic paper timesheet story in the comment section below.  We are all ears….

Fingerprint Technology – Not A “One Size Fits All”

Fingerprint or vascular biometric technology?

In yesterday’s biometric news, I ran across a story published by 234next.com, an online Central Africa news resource published by Timbuktu Media Group.  The article, entitled “Obasanjo, Mark unable to register” reports on difficulties that the country of Nigeria is experiencing in it’s ambitious project to register all of the eligible voters in the country through biometric technology. Apparently, both the former President and the President of the Senate’s fingerprints could not be recognized by the fingerprint readers being used for registration.  A little embarrassing  for the biometric technology company in charge of the project and probably doesn’t do much to instill confidence in voters that biometric technology is a viable option for voter registration.  Heck, just read some of the comments and you can plainly see that some Nigerians are distressed over this issue.

Which brings me to the point of this blog post.  Biometric fingerprint technology is excellent.  In most cases, it works well and provides a great modality for end users to deploy.  However, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution.  Studies have shown that approximately 5% of the population do not have fingerprints that can be read by a fingerprint reader, even modern ones that use cutting edge sensor technology (the sensor in a fingerprint reader can be likened to a camera that captures an image of the fingerprint for matching purposes).

Other factors such as environment, age and ethnicity can also affect fingerprint integrity causing prints to be unreadable for certain people.  However, the dawn of vascular biometric technology has helped to alleviate this problem by using near infrared light to capture a finger vein or palm vein pattern beneath the skin surface to identify an individual.  This bypasses the need to have quality fingerprints in order to successfully use a biometric identification system and allows end users to use biometrics in environments that otherwise are not conducive to fingerprint technology.

Are you considering biometric technology for your business, possibly in a workforce management capacity for time and attendance? Take a close look at your conditions and consult with an expert on whether fingerprint technology will be successful for your needs.

We are here to help if you need advice or consultation.  Contact us and we can discuss your needs and at the very least, help you decide which modality is the best for you so you can shop around for the best offer.

Have you had any negative experiences with fingerprint technology you can share?  Let us know in the comments below.

The Top 15 Reasons To Use Biometric Technology In Workforce Management And Retail Point Of Sale – Reason #11 – Peace Of Mind

Blog Series – “The Top 15 Reasons To Use Biometric Technology In Workforce Management And Retail Point Of Sale”

Leading up to our participation in the National Retail Federation’s 2011 “Retail’s Big Show” from January 9 – 12 in New York city, M2SYS Technology is publishing a blog series on the top 15 reasons that biometrics is a smart choice for retail organizations to consider as an authentication technology in workforce management and retail point of sale applications.

In case you missed it, here are the links to our prior posts in the series:

Reason #1 – Stop Buddy Punching
Reason #2 – Increase Productivity
Reason #3 – Enhance Loss Prevention
Reason #4 – Establish Accountability
Reason #5 – Going Green
Reason #6 – Build Customer Loyalty
Reason #7 – Achieve Higher Return On Investment
Reason #8 – Airtight Access Control
Reason #9 – Solidify Role Based Security
Reason #10 – Boost Operational Efficiency
And now on to our next post…

Reason #11 – Peace Of Mind

The Intangibles That Biometric Technology Brings

Today’s post in our ongoing series leading up to participation in the National Retail Federation’s  “Retails Big Show” is not going to throw out any statistics at you.  Nor will we be discussing anything you can necessarily measure.  What we’d like to do is briefly bring to light one of the most important intangible benefits that biometric technology brings to the table—establishing peace of mind for business owners.

Throughout our series, we have talked about many different characteristics of biometrics that can pay dividends to businesses that use it.  If you stop for a moment and collectively think about how these benefits can affect the mindset of a business owner you can probably speculate that one of the main byproducts from deploying biometrics is achieving peace of mind.

How Does Biometrics Help Business Owners Achieve Peace of Mind?

If you make the decision to move forward with using biometric technology, chances are that after your system is set up you will be able to rest and relax a little easier at night.  Gone are the worries that your hourly employees are somehow engaged in buddy punching which pilfers profits from your bottom line and leaves you wondering exactly how payroll inflation is jumping at alarming rates.  Thoughts about employees swapping ID cards or sharing personal identification numbers (PIN) for illegal transactions or fraud begin to vanish as you chuckle to yourself knowing that you have instituted an identification system which requires employees to be held accountable for their actions.

You smile to yourself knowing that because you have invested in biometric technology, you eliminated unnecessary and time consuming tasks that were chewing up employee time and causing them to be much less productive than you would have liked.  Instead, those lost hours are now being refocused into much more productive tasks that are boosting your bottom line.  A sudden warm feeling washes over you when you suddenly remember that by integrating biometric technology, you have just saved yourself thousands of dollars per year on membership or ID cards thereby saving the resources and energy needed to create them and helping boost environmental conservation.

Life is good – your customers are happy and you are strengthening their loyalty now that you are locking down security with biometric identification and they no longer have to worry about unnecessary rises in the cost of goods due to fraud and waste.  Things are looking up because it just dawned on you that inventory control security has been solidified because you are now using biometrics for access control. Now, if something mysteriously goes missing, you have a solid audit trail to fall back on so you can accurately identify perpetrators and bring them to justice.

Finally, as you drift off to sleep you laugh out loud at how you have finally got operational efficiency in check and you can justify the symmetry between the cost of running your business vs. the prices that you charge for your goods.

Life is good.

So, What Are You Waiting For?

With 11 down and 4 more to go, we have made some pretty strong arguments as to why biometric technology can be a benefit in a workforce management or point of service environment.  Hopefully we are starting to prod you into including biometrics as part of your due diligence when investigating technologies to invest in for your business.  No one should claim that biometrics is the panacea to all of your problems and worries, but considering the rapid evolution of the technology and it’s increasing sophistication along with the practicality of its benefits, it sure is a good idea to at least throw it into the hopper as something to consider in your evaluation.

Do you agree or disagree with our points of view?  Please let us know…

The Top 15 Reasons To Use Biometric Technology In Workforce Management And Retail Point Of Sale – Reason #7 – Achieve Higher Return On Investment

Blog Series – “The Top 15 Reasons To Use Biometric Technology In Workforce Management And Retail Point Of Sale”

Leading up to our participation in the National Retail Federation’s 2011 “Retail’s Big Show” from January 9 – 12 in New York city, M2SYS Technology is publishing a blog series on the top 15 reasons that biometrics is a smart choice for retail organizations to consider as an authentication technology in workforce management and retail point of sale applications.

In case you missed it, here are the links to our prior posts in the series:

Reason #1 – Stop Buddy Punching
Reason #2 – Increase Productivity
Reason #3 – Enhance Loss Prevention
Reason #4 – Establish Accountability
Reason #5 – Going Green
Reason #6 – Build Customer Loyalty

And now on to our next post…

Reason #7 – Achieve Higher Return On Investment

Why A High Return On Investment (ROI) Is So Important

So far in our mini blog series, we have discussed tangible ways that biometric technology can be a benefit to any business who takes advantage of its unique characteristics.  We have demonstrated that biometrics helps to increase profits, boost productivity, enhance loss prevention, help the environment, create employee accountability and augment customer loyalty.

The next topic we would like to address is how biometrics can help maximize your return on investment as a safe and secure authentication technology.  Earlier this year, we briefly touched on this topic in a previous blog post and explained that many businesses are already using biometric technology and experiencing high returns on investment.  We also issued a Press Release in November that highlighted biometric technology utilization for time and attendance at Cal Poly Pomona University where they have realized a 300% ROI in the first year of deployment.

It’s important to ascertain the long term ROI in a workforce management or retail point of service technology for your business before investing in it.  While it may be tempting to be drawn towards technologies that have an initial lower cost (such as bar code scanning or personal identification number technologies), most often these technologies actually end up costing you more in the long run due to the cost of ongoing maintenance or replacement cards and scanners.  As we have already illustrated, biometric technology reduces paper and plastic waste and is a key component in an airtight loss prevention strategy by removing the possibility of employees sharing PIN’s and swapping bar code cards.

Wouldn’t you want to have the peace of mind that goes along with knowing that by using biometric technology, you are effectively removing the possibility that someone may be illegally manipulating the system?

How Do You Calculate ROI?

You may be wondering exactly how it is possible to perform an assessment on different potential workforce management or retail point of service technologies in order to determine which has the potential for the highest ROI.  Let’s use an example to illustrate, using a business which perceives that it’s employees are engaging in the practice of “buddy punching”:

Scenario:  Workforce Management

Deployment: Time and Attendance

Technologies to evaluate: Bar coding, personal identification numbers (PIN) and biometric technology

Hypothetical variable: Buddy punching is a problem

The first technology to evaluate is bar code scanning.  The cost of the scanner is $300, software $300 and plastic bar code cards are $100 for the first batch and then $5 for each card purchased thereafter (employee turnover, misplaced, lost or stolen cards, etc.) which averages approximately 3 per month for a cost of $15 per month.

The second technology to evaluate is PINs.  The cost of a PIN reader is $500, software $300 and since employees frequently forget their PIN, you need a technical support person to reset PIN’s which costs $5 for each instance averaging 3 per month or $15 per month.

The third technology to be evaluated is biometric technology.  The cost of the biometric reader is $500, software $700 and maintenance and support is $50 per year.

Review:

Bar code scanning:  $780 investment for Year 1
PIN:  $980 investment for Year 1
Biometrics:  $1,250 investment for Year 1

Clearly, biometrics is the more expensive time and attendance technology to remove the possibility of buddy punching compared to the other two options.  However, let’s now factor in what you estimate that buddy punching is costing you in payroll losses per year which you calculate to be approximately $2,000.  Since bar code scanning and PIN pad entry technologies do not eliminate the possibility of buddy punching whereas biometric technology does eliminate it, you must factor in the $2,000 loss per year for the first two technologies and a $2,000 gain for biometrics.  Here is what the ROI calculations in year 1 look like for each of the technologies:

ROI:

Bar code scanning:  -356%
PIN:  -304%
Biometrics:  +60%

You can plainly see that to eliminate the root problem of buddy punching which is causing your business a significant amount of loss per year, only biometric technology can deliver a positive ROI.  While we simplified this example in order to illustrate a solution to a specific problem (buddy punching) that your business is experiencing, you can extrapolate this information to a number of potential alternate negative scenarios such as return fraud and/or lost productivity which may be causing you to unnecessarily lose money each year.

Biometric Technology Is The Only Way To Be Certain

There are many workforce management and retail point of service technologies on the market.  Most make the claim to be secure, inexpensive and reliable.  However, as we just illustrated in our example above, if you identify a specific problem within your business or perhaps want to safeguard against any type of problem sprouting up in the future, biometrics is the only technology that identifies an individual with near absolute certainty to provide you with the peace of mind that you are shielding your business from the types of illegal activities that are detrimental to your bottom line.

What successes have you experienced with biometric technology to boost your ROI?  Please share them in the comments section below.

Did you know that M2SYS has a Twitter account where we consistently provide links to biometric articles of interest and news about biometric technology?  Please click on this link to follow us!

The Top 15 Reasons To Use Biometric Technology In Workforce Management And Retail Point Of Sale – Reason #2 – Increase Productivity

Leading up to our participation in the National Retail Federation’s 2011 “Retail’s Big Show” from January 9 – 12 in New York city, M2SYS Technology is publishing a blog series on the top 15 reasons that biometrics is a smart choice for retail organizations to consider as an authentication technology in workforce management and retail point of sale applications.

Reason #2 – Increase Productivity

Productivity Is Your Ace In The Hole

Want to put the gleam in a Retailer’s eye?  Only two words will do it.  These two words are the magic potion that all retailers seek.  They are the secret sauce that lower expenses and drive revenues higher.  The grease that makes the wheels of the business turn faster.  Those two words are: increased productivity.  All retailers seek it.  Few achieve it without either raising incentives and/or investing in technology that eliminates unnecessary tasks and enables employees to focus their time on more money producing activities.  This post focuses on how implementing biometric technology will directly lead to increased employee productivity.

Defining Productivity

Wikipedia defines productivity as, “a measure of output from a production process, per unit of input.”  It goes on to say under the subtitle Economic Growth and Productivity, “Production is a process of combining various material inputs (stuff) and immaterial inputs (plans, know-how) in order to make something for consumption (the output). The methods of combining the inputs of production in the process of making output are called technology. Technology can be depicted mathematically by the production function which describes the relation between input and output. The production function can be used as a measure of relative performance when comparing technologies.”  Good information to know as you evaluate alternative technologies for a retail and workforce management environment.

Increasing Productivity Pays Dividends

Recently, M2SYS spoke with one of our end users about how they are using biometric technology to calculate employee time and attendance.  Since implementing fingerprint biometric technology, the end user estimates 10 employment service staff hours saved per pay cycle by eliminating the need for supervisors to authorize hours in the system after processing. That equates to 10 hours per cycle, 20 hours per month and approximately 240 hours per year which they have allocated to other projects and initiatives.  (Monetarily speaking through a combination of increased productivity and reducing buddy punching they estimate $15,000 in savings per year through a $5,000 investment in biometric technology.  That’s a 300% return on investment during the first year of using biometric technology and a tremendous boost in productivity for their employment service staff.  Not too shabby and you can read more about it here).

What Causes Disruptions In Productivity?

Close your eyes and think for a moment of the little things that inhibit your staff from maximizing their productivity throughout the day.  Maybe they forgot their swipe card, PIN, password or login ID to access the system, causing a slight delay as a manager provides an override or an IT support person resets a PIN or user ID.  Perhaps there is a line each morning, afternoon and evening at the punchclock which results in a 2 minute delay as employees clock in and out.  A couple of minutes may not seem like a big deal, but let’s take the 1st example of an IT support person resetting a password or login ID extrapolate those numbers across a year’s time and see how they look:

A Closer Look at the Impact of Biometrics on Productivity

Number of calls received per day to reset a login ID or password or both:  2
Average time spent on each call:  2  minutes
——————————————————————————————————-
Estimated number of calls received per month:  46
Estimated time spent on support calls to reset login ID’s and passwords per month:  1 hour, 30 minutes
Estimated time spent on support calls to reset login ID’s and passwords per year:  18 hours

Since implementing biometric technology eliminates the need for login ID’s and passwords and augments operational efficiency, each IT person on staff responsible for performing this function can save approximately 18 hours of their time per year.  If you had two people on staff responsible for resetting login ID’s and PIN’s that would be 36 hours per year they could be spending on other IT projects, perhaps concentrating on finding additional cost savings by streamlining technological infrastructure.  Think about the extra time that it takes your staff to perform a task which could otherwise be eliminated by using biometric technology.  Is it payroll verification?  Transaction overrides?

If you have cut your prices to the bone, trimmed the fat from your business by eliminating overhead and streamlining processes, consider implementing a technology that has a direct impact on raising the output per hours worked for your staff.  Biometrics could be the answer.

What are some additional ways that you can foresee additional productivity gains from using biometric technology?

What Does Buying A Lightbulb And Choosing A Biometric Time And Attendance System Have In Common?

Choices Are All Around Us

In everyday life, we are constantly faced with choices.  Often times, it’s a choice to purchase a product or service over another and we find ourselves evaluating the pros, cons, similarities, differences and other possible repercussions of our purchasing decision.  After carefully weighing the options based on our research and analysis, we always end up making the purchasing decision that seems logically correct.  Right?  Wrong.  Consumer behavior is fickle, always hard to pinpoint and never easy to predict.  We do know that there is one factor that usually supersedes all others when it comes down to choosing between products or services.  Price.

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