Keeping time with ATOM

September 2016 Industrial (Industry), Access Control & Identity Management

Next to cyber risks, physical access remains a leading cause of security concern for the industrial sector. Eliminating unwanted people from critical work processes and confidential proprietary information is an ongoing logistical nightmare for manufacturers. Add to this the need to automatically calculate and maintain correct accurate labour costs, manage absenteeism and plan work flow processes around available staff, and the impact on the bottom line can be substantial.

Powell Tronics CEO, John Powell, points out that industrial organisations are demanding improved ways of combating lost revenue due to absenteeism. Absenteeism is not only considered as the absence of the employee from the workplace for an entire day or more, but furthermore for portions of the actual working day. For example, an employee who comes to work at 9:00 and leaves at 15:00 when the working day is 08:00 to 17:00, three times a week equates to 9 hours lost to the company. When multiplied by their hourly labour rate across several employees, the costs can be staggering.

When one considers that in an industrial or production environment, if the relevant staff are not at their particular workstation or they are on the company premises it can be considered absenteeism, the loss of productivity to the companies and therefore to the economy, is billions of Rands.

When one looks at what the impact caused by regular absenteeism within an organisation will be, the knock-on effect can be debilitating since customer service and product delivery can suffer, there will be added pressure on other staff members, causing loss in productivity. It may also negatively affect quality control, deadlines that have been committed to by management may suffer, and furthermore general morale will be affected.

Effective time and attendance management

Thankfully, there are very capable software solutions that can assist with the accurate management of these various potential threats. Powell Tronics has developed its own web-based time and attendance (T&A) package. Known as ATOM, it enables the company’s dealers to install an active management tool that not only calculates the actual hours clocked on either a Safran Morpho/Sagem biometric or Impro RFID access control terminal or backbone, but also proactively reports on absenteeism and incorrect clocking, and scheduling of shift workers. It provides management reports, graphic representation of hours worked for individuals or teams and payroll interfaces to payroll packages.

Not only is the ATOM software beneficial to organisations by calculating hours worked by the specific company and shift rules that are applicable, staff also benefit as all manually manipulated hours are recorded in an audit trail, should there be any queries.

For industrial organisations that have already installed Safran Morpho biometric devices, IMPRONET, the full IXP range and the new Impro Portal range of products have the added advantage that ATOM seamlessly integrates to all of these products, ensuring a major saving in hardware costs by utilising the existing hardware.

Powell explains that ATOM is constantly evolving, with ongoing enhancements providing users with increased functionality. A feature that is currently in the advanced developmental stages is the inclusion of a rostering facility. This will allow organisations to schedule employees and their applicable task according to pre-configured schedules. Rostering ensures that casual employee work schedules can be scheduled in a dynamic manner, unlike the static scheduling typical of traditional T&A systems.

“Ultimately, our goal is to increase profitability and uptime for customers by ensuring that only legitimate worker hours are remunerated. Consistently, a tangible ROI on T&A solutions can be readily proven. Any solution that we develop is geared towards adding value, working synergistically and seamlessly,” Powell concludes.

For more information contact Powell Tronics, 0861 787 2537,,


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