December 5, 2023
Access Control News World

IRIS ID: Bringing Time & Attendance Into the 21st Century

Anyone familiar with time and attendance knows all too well about time theft, also known as “buddy punching.” The problem was widespread with traditional card-based data collection solutions of the past. Today’s biometric time clocks which operate using cloud-based time and attendance software do much to eliminate this issue. Yet even with these technological advancements, employers still have difficulty verifying time worked because not all biometrics function the same.

Getting Rid of Buddy Punching

So, what is buddy punching? Buddy punching occurs when one employee asks another employee to “punch” their timecard into the time clock for them, thus making it appear that the employee is on site and working when, in fact, they are not. Not only is this practice fraudulent, but it also directly impacts an organization’s bottom line.

Most organizations would agree that paying employees who are not working is simply unacceptable. Iris technology is an option to help companies across the industry save money and increase ROI. Companies that require hard manual labor and use a hand or finger reader need to have the devices cleaned; they also run the risk of fingerprints being worn down. If this happens, the biometric is no longer valid and can produce false rejects.

Companies that only use a card to track time run into the same issue of buddy punching as the card only records the time the card was read not who is holding the card. Iris technology is innovative in that it is non-invasive, seamless, and delivers high accuracy. It can be used in any work environment even with employees who have to wear goggles, masks, gloves, and other restrictive clothing. Using an iris biometric can 100% eliminate buddy punching and save companies millions of dollars year to year.

An independent survey of 1,000 employees in 2017 found that 16 percent admitted to clocking in for a colleague. The same survey found that when weekly timesheets are submitted with errors, the most common mistake people make is to add an extra 15 minutes. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently more than 78 million hourly workers in the American workforce. If just 16 percent of them added 15 minutes to a coworker’s timecard by buddy punching, this would add more than $373 million to the annual payroll bill.

Integrating Innovative Software

The issues surrounding buddy punching and the overall limitations of card-based time clocks are ones that TreeRing Workforce Solutions’ CEO, Saju Samuel, knows all too well. For over 25 years, TreeRing Workforce Solutions has been combining technology with convenience for maximum control of time, attendance, and workforce management. Their complete suite of labor solutions is customized to the needs of organizations in virtually any industry and of every size. TreeRing Time, the company’s flagship software solution, is a 100% web-based application that provides end-to-end management of time and attendance, including integration with many time card-based and biometric devices. For many years, TreeRing Workforce Solutions offered TreeRing Time alongside such time clocks but found that these solutions weren’t matching up with the advanced software solution they were offering.

Along with searching for a hardware solution that complemented their software, TreeRing also wanted to offer a device that answered some of their customers’ greatest concerns – largely buddy punching and time theft. Furthermore, Samuel and TreeRing identified a post-pandemic movement toward touchless solutions that further highlighted the limitations of manual clocks. “A lot of people don’t want to touch devices, especially nowadays,” said Samuel.

A growing request for modern time clock solutions, combined with the need for a new hardware offering that matched the innovation of their software, ultimately led the TreeRing team to Iris ID.

Modern Hardware Included

After being introduced to Iris ID’s iT100 device, TreeRing knew they had found the ideal match for their TreeRing Time solution. The IrisTime iT100 from Iris ID is a non-contact device that allows for the automatic recognition of an individual’s iris and/or face. Combined with TreeRing Time Solution, the iT100 becomes an effective biometric time clock that increases the accuracy and efficiency of an organization’s time and attendance procedures. Moreover, TreeRing customers now have access to a holistic, touchless solution that successfully eliminates buddy punching concerns and provides an extensive user interaction platform with a customized TreeRing Time solution running on iT100.

Using either facial or iris recognition, the method of authentication is unique to each employee, eliminating the possibility of buddy punching altogether. Employees also don’t need to remember passcodes or keep track of a physical key card, which means a company doesn’t need to spend time and resources providing and managing those measures. The Iris ID iT100 enables TreeRing customers to use the customized interface as a data collection solution. The ROI offered to TreeRing customers is delivered by accurately reducing time theft, buddy punching, and materials cost.

The non-contact authentication method also reduces touch surfaces, thus promoting a safer, healthful environment. And when it comes to privacy concerns, TreeRing provides guidance for their customers as well. For example, under the Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), companies must have a publicly available written policy that lays out how biometric data will be used, stored, and deleted. Their customers appreciate that their software and hardware provider are taking steps to ensure their employee’s biometric data is safeguarded.

An Effective Combination

Currently, there are six TreeRing customers and over 5,000 employees using the Iris ID IrisTime iT100 as a complete time and attendance solution. Since transitioning away from offering manual time clocks in favor of the iT100, TreeRing is reporting its own successes.

“Anybody asking for a time clock right now, I am telling them about Iris ID readers because they are simply a better solution,” software and the features we can offer, we also do not know how long these providers will be around if they fail to adapt. We are therefore confident in saying that the iT100 is the only solution we are offering our client base”, reported TreeRing.

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