Buddy-clocking - a thing of the past

October 2004 Access Control & Identity Management

Project scope

Number of users: 300.

Number of buildings: One.

Number of enrolment stations: One Sagem MEMS.

Number of biometric readers: Six Sagem MorphoAccess.

Mode of biometric operation: Identification (1:MANY) - fingerprint only.

Number of turnstiles: Two.

Number of locations secured: Three.

The history

Wholesaler, Africa Cash & Carry, has a staff complement of about 300, and needed to control time and attendance and also security issues.

"We needed to control the movements of the staff members," explains Ebrahim Shaikh. "There was also a problem with buddy-clocking with the proximity card reader that was costing the company in terms of salaries paid but not earned."

The main problem was of buddy-clocking whereby one person would clock his friend in and the friend would not come to work, but still get paid. Also, there was no proper access control in areas where large amounts of consumables were held.

The new access control solution was strategically planned to preclude the problem with buddy-clocking and thus facilitate a more efficient cost control procedure.

The goal

The solution chosen was to use fingerprint readers to control buddy clocking and also as an access control measure. The goal was to control the buddy-clocking problem and access to areas where large amounts of stock are held.

The solution

Two bi-directional turnstiles using Impro IXP200 system and linked to Sagem fingerprint readers were installed. At the change-room doors, two Sagem readers linked to IXP200 were also installed to measure time taken in bathrooms as some abuse of paid off-duty periods was suspected. The IXP200 is seamlessly interfaced to the existing Clockwatch Time and Attendance software. The final output of hours worked was exported into Spectrum payroll.

The benefits

Shaikh explains that the chief expected benefits were that buddy-clocking would be eliminated and access to certain areas would be more strictly controlled.

Obstacles en route to a final solution

Before implementation, various companies were approached and other control methods were investigated, but these all proved very expensive in terms of the final cost to savings ratio.

No obstacles were encountered after installation of the fingerprint reader system - the system did everything that was promised and hardware and software support was available on-site until the staff members were entirely familiar with the new readers.

Tenders, specs, integrators and implementation

"We approached many different companies, looking at palm readers and optical retina readers. These solutions proved to be very costly," says Shaikh. "Timewatch Systems offered a cheaper solution and the fingerprint reader interfaced with our existing time and attendance software.

"The integrators offered solutions to our company's problems. Their consultants advised us on the most efficient design and the most cost-effective readers. All through the initial planning stages, the hardware set-up and the interface with the software, consultants were on hand to assist and supervise and finally train the end-user."

Measuring progress

The wholesaler checked the reports on the software and found that there were less 'bad' clockings. Thus, the time and attendance side of the project was successful in terms of fewer administrative functions having to be performed.

The result

Shaikh says the problem of buddy-clocking has also now been entirely eliminated, adding that the company achieved the initial goal as well as the rewards that it had hoped to reap.

Fact file

Key service providers, products and solutions:

System integrator: Timewatch Systems, Michael B. Horvitch, 011 640 1850.

Biometric products: Sagem Morpho range, distributed by Ideco Technologies, Gary Jones, 011 442 0064, info@ideco.co.za

Clockwatch Software: Clockwatch Distribution, Dani Taback, 0860 100 854.

Turnstiles supplied by Turnstar, Mark Eardley, 011 786 1633.

IXP200 system supplied by Impro Technologies, Barry East, 031 700 1087.

Africa Cash & Carry, Ebrahim Shaikh, 011 661 6600, rcc786@mweb.co.za


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