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Questions on workforce management
November 2018, Access Control & Identity Management

Access control technologies are a staple of the workforce management industry, often using integrated solutions to combine the functions of basic access control or time and attendance with more complex workforce management systems.

To find out a little more about workforce management today, Hi-Tech Security Solutions asked Paul Chari, principal consultant, EDC Solutions at dormakaba for his take on the market.

Hi-Tech Security Solutions: How has workforce management changed over the past few years? What additional fields are now included in workforce management solutions that were seen as separate in the past?

Chari: Workforce management has transformed from being looked at as a cost centre to a resource that should be harnessed. This has attracted acceptance of modern technologies already used to spearhead other areas in companies. Workforce management, for example, now includes access control and production data control.

Interaction has expanded as driven by technology allowing operation over Ethernet, GSM, Bluetooth and NFC. This means the traditional terminal mounted in a building with Ethernet, GSM allowing mobile validation in vehicles and mobile offices, as well as Bluetooth and NFC which allow mobile phones to be validation media. Apart from communications methods there are biometric innovations allowing people to use unique body characteristics in many different ways. Innovation around biometrics ensures continued change and applications in the way users can interact.

Hi-Tech Security Solutions: Has the mobile revolution had an impact on workforce management systems?

Chari: Mobile has opened up areas that were previously impossible to monitor. This impossible scenario has transformed with mobile containing GSM for data, GPS for positioning, ubiquity and versatile applications (including biometry of various kinds). Personnel can be monitored for accountability, safety and customer feedback or on route to a customer site. This allows flexibility between employee and personal where service and sales team can go straight from home to customer and provide reliable assurance via their mobile.

Hi-Tech Security Solutions: How can modern workforce management tools assist in performance evaluations and productivity enhancers?

Chari: Production data control allows planned work to be loaded to various monitoring points. This allows for live tracking of order progress that includes supervisory inspection points. Job progress can be recorded via barcode scanners, machine output monitoring and entry of quantities at various steps. You can even record reasons for work stoppages allowing you to react appropriately as the data is fed back direct from the floor. You do not have wait until the end of day / week / month to react appropriately.

Hi-Tech Security Solutions: Do workforce management tools, in general, integrate easily with security systems as an integrated management system, or would users be required to do the integration work themselves?

Chari: Workforce management includes security and therefore security systems. Access control in particular is part of workforce management as it is the same data with information of where, when and how a user will have access. Surveillance that involves video or other sensors would require integration work. Users are not expected to integrate; they normally request the integration depending on their requirements, which are borne out of necessity (regulations, security compromises, practicality) or desire for newer or different technology.

Hi-Tech Security Solutions: What does your company offer in terms of workforce management solutions and services?

Chari: dormakaba offers solutions for time data collection, access management and shop floor data collection. The verticals in focus are ERP users that already see the value in integrated solutions. Our solutions are integrated with various ERP vendors to allow extensions of the functionality. This means ERP users do not have to know an access point details as they can work within a familiar single place.

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