Spate of orders follows introduction of SACO Systems' 'enterprise'upgrade.

Dec '99 Access Control & Identity Management

SACO Systems, the Reunert group’s resource management systems company, recently scored a major coup in capturing a groundbreaking pilot contract for advanced access control and time & attendance systems for South African Airways at Johannesburg International Airport.

SAA is set to award further contracts to SACO for complete systems for installation at Johannesburg International, Cape Town and Durban airports after expiry of the two-month trial period of the pilot systems which ended in September 1999.

SACO enterprise

The SAA contract is the latest in a string of new contracts – totalling over R5 million in value – that SACO has won so far this year with its newly developed SACO Enterprise system introduced into the market in January.

SACO Enterprise is an upgraded version of the well-established SACO System widely used in many industries. It introduces, among other things, an open database environment whereby the boundaries between the SACO module or modules are removed to provide seamless interfacing to the customer’s management information system. Thus, for example, it provides automatic integration of the time & attendance module with the company’s payroll system. ‘What if’ scenarios are catered for by the use of standard database queries.

It also greatly enhances the user-friendliness of the system to allow for more flexible reporting, as well as enabling the customer to provide additional functions to the system to meet new requirements as they arise.

T&A and access control

The fast-track pilot contract for SAA comprises a time & attendance system to monitor the airlines’ passenger services employees working in Johannesburg International’s domestic and international departures sections, plus a combined time & attendance and access control system in its cargo section at the airport.

“With SAA – as with most of our other SACO Enterprise customers – the essential features that were decisive in their choice of the system were its ability to automatically integrate management information, its flexible reporting capability and the facility enabling the user to add in additional functions,” says Richard Dinkelmann, SACO Systems’ Marketing and Sales Manager.

The customised time and attendance module for SAA includes automatic scheduling of shifts and recording of employees’ work against the schedules.

Besides SAA, other companies that have adopted the enhanced system are Highveld Steel & Vanadium Corp, Samancor Ferrometals, Sasol Chemical Industries (SCI), EMSA and Langeberg Food Processors. In addition, existing SACO users that have upgraded to SACO Enterprise are Billiton’s Bayside Aluminium smelter, Sasol’s Polifin, Samancor’s Middelburg Ferrochrome and Hartebeesfontein Gold Mine.

New features

A number of new automatic features have been introduced specifically into the time & attendance module to handle various complex parameters such as overlapping shifts, different pay rule categories and monitoring of employees’ attendance at work.

With its ‘shift sensing’ capability the module automatically registers what shift applies to each person – even in the case of overlapping shifts, where employees may arrive or leave early or late. Another innovation is ‘shift segmentation’, whereby the module automatically records a complex variety of pay codes applicable to employees in some industries.

The use of radio frequency identification (RFID) contactless smartcards is recommended in the SACO enterprise system. Besides assuring minimum wear-and-tear on the cards, greater speed of access and greater convenience for the user, this facility provides for more flexible use of the system as information such as access and clocking instructions may be stored on the card itself.

Another feature of the system is that the reader can operate in offline mode, thereby allowing continued access to a site, while continuing to store information and maintain security, during a power failure or when the power has been switched off.

SACO Enterprise has opened the door to new markets for SACO Systems. “Until recently we have been serving mainly the mining, heavy industrial and manufacturing markets, but we have started gaining a foothold in other industries in which we have had low involvement previously – the airlines being one of these,” comments Dinkelmann.

The SACO Enterprise system comprises four modules, SACO-Access, an access control system which also encompasses cafeteria management, fuel management and video imaging, SACO-Time, a time & attendance system which automatically interfaces to payroll and allows for flexible reporting, SACO-Monitor, a surveillance system encompassing CCTV surveillance and alarm systems, and SACO-Track, to track and protect valuable assets, using RFID technology and/or bar codes and interfacing to the sales/order system.

For details contact Richard Dinkelmann, Marketing and Sales Manager, SACO Systems, on tel: (011) 652 5555, fax: (011) 805 6105 or e-mail:

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