Turnkey solution

November 2006 Access Control & Identity Management

Meatco, Namibia’s leading processed meat exporter, recently upgraded its time and access systems to meet new ­business challenges.

European Union (EU) health standards now require stringent access control (AC) for personnel between the `dirty' and `clean' processing areas of the abattoir.

The history

Udo Riedel, IT manager at Meatco, comments, "Processed meat exports are a key element in the growth strategy of both Meatco and Namibia - and Meatco needs to export over 80% of its product - so it was very important for the company to be able to demonstrate compliance with EU standards."

Another driver in the need for change was the technological advances in security systems in the 10 years since the company installed its original time and attendance system.

Riedel explains, "It was also time to replace our old DOS-based time and attendance (T&A) system, as it was no longer supported. We also wanted to take advantage of the functionality available today to address 'buddy' clocking fraud and implement tighter controls regarding overtime processing, while also ensuring that employees working overtime get their correct and rightful remuneration.

"We explored the market before choosing Business Connexion as our solution provider. The company offered best-of-breed hardware and software, creating a truly turnkey solution for Meatco. Their ability to provide project management and networking infrastructure was also an important factor in our decision."

The harsh climatic conditions in Namibia (38°C is not unusual) and outdoor operations in a very dusty environment were additional challenges to be met.

The solution

Business Connexion's solution integrated a number of different components: access control was handled by a combination of Sagem biometric fingerprint readers and Turnstar's Titan turnstiles.

"Biometric fingerprint solutions protect the rights of both employers and employees because of the accuracy of the data collected. The ability of the readers to cope with dirty outdoor working conditions and the fact that employees do not need to carry cards or keys also contributes to the success of the solution," says Ferdi Graupe, managing director of Business Connexion Namibia.

Turnstar's experience in the mining industry, where harsh operating environments and stringent security requirements are the norm, ensured that the turnstiles met the operational challenges.

Business Connexion's TimeKeeper time and attendance software enabled department heads to do their own data capture for overtime hours and absenteeism, providing an interface into the payroll system, which eliminated duplicate data capture.

Manpower is a significant cost to companies. Leveraging the extended management reporting facilities in the Timekeeper time and attendance system helps managers make decisions that reduce costs, increase effectiveness, and increase employee satisfaction.

Business Connexion specified, installed, implemented and project managed the project and also built the network infrastructure to enable communications among the various elements of the solution.

Networking the Sagem biometric readers eliminates the running of additional cabling as the readers connect to the existing network infrastructure supplied by Business Connexion.

The benefits

Meatco explored the options available and decided that Business Connexion's integrated solution was the only one that completely addressed its challenges. Business Connexion's project management ensured a smooth transfer of operations to the new system.

"We now have a fully-secure facility that complies with EU regulations, so the future of our export business to the EU, one of our major markets, has been secured," Riedel adds.

Business Connexion's solution was initially implemented at Meatco's Okahanja plant. It has now been implemented at the Windhoek plant and is currently monitoring and controlling the working activities of over 1000 employees every day.

"The system's robust hardware, efficient processes and improved reporting functions have provided management with far greater control over the business operations. Substantial savings have also been achieved through the elimination of 'buddy' clocking,' and paying true overtime," concludes Riedel.

Fact file

Business Connexion, Linda Glieman, +27 (0) 11 266 5287, Linda.Glieman@bcx.co.za

Ideco, Gary Jones, +27 (0) 11 745 5600, ggj@ideco.co.za

Turnstar, Sydney Sacks, +27 (0) 11 786 1633

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