Fingers on the pulse

October 2005 Access Control & Identity Management

Project definition and scope

The installation of fingerprint clocking points throughout the Pharma Natura organisation to monitor accurate time and attendance recording of staff and export of log data to the company payroll system.

To control the clocking of 400 people through seven clocking points located throughout the four buildings:

* Main building - reception, packing department, sorting department, raw material manufacture (four clocking points).

* Admin - sales and marketing (one clocking point).

* Distribution (one clocking point).

* IT department (one clocking point).

Shortfalls of existing system and requirements and concerns

The company had an outdated tag reader system with limited network functionality that needed to be upgraded. There were concerns over staff using the new proposed advanced technology and system education. Pharma Natura had no Time and Attendance software and did manual integration to the payroll system. More than one administrator was required to manage the data system and for departmental heads to manage the clockings of the staff in their own departments. Data received from the tag reader system was unreliable as users where able to buddy clock for each other, leading to reduced productivity. Replacement of lost tags and issuing of new tags was proving costly.

The process and benefits

Pharma Natura investigated competitive solutions from card and tag reader suppliers and other biometric suppliers. Limtech was able to offer a cost-effective solution with enhanced system benefits and extensive reference sites to fulfil Pharma Natura's requirements and expectations.

Limtech did a full on site evaluation of the current set up and made the following recommendations and system implementations:

* Biometric fingerprint clocking points would provide authentic staff clocking and produce accurate log data for reporting, eliminating any chances of buddy clocking.

* The FG70 clocking system was recommended for easy clocking of employees and assisting with the system education concerns. It has a programmable voice interface available in any language to assist staff while clocking; the user fingerprint is displayed on the screen showing whether the fingerprint placement is correct or perhaps too high or too low; visual LED indicators and audible sounds also provide user assistance for successful or unsuccessful clockings; and the system caters for 1:Many, 1:1 or 1:Group Identification, meaning employees could now just walk up to the reader, and place their finger without having to enter any pin codes.

* The clocking system has a programmable IP address onboard each clocking station, allowing the simple plug-in of each unit to a network point and simply addressing each unit, on the network via the software, providing a complete networked solution. Pharma Natura assigned Limtech an IP range on their network that, together with assistance from its IT manager, ensured a smooth integration with no impact on the existing network.

* The Turbo Time time and attendance software package was implemented to allow for the management of all employee shifts, leave, sick leave, overtime, etc. Clockings from the FG70 fingerprint readers interface directly into Turbo Time software, providing a weekly, normal time/overtime hours worked for each employee.

* These normal time/overtime hours worked interface directly into their VIP Payroll package providing accurate payslip data for all staff.

* Through its Time & Attendance software Limtech was able to install client software on Multi Administrator PCs all reporting into a central server database. Departmental reports of all user clock in and clock out times are sent to departmental heads for management of their own staff portfolio.

* The fact that users now placed their finger on the clocking station, eliminated the requirement for costly tags and system users could not leave their finger at home!

Fact file

Key service providers, products and solutions:

Limtech, Chris Snell, 011 268 0482, limtech@limitless.co.za

Pharma Natura, Talia Jankelowitz, 011 445 6000, taliaz@pharma.co.za




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