Denver Credit Union Deploys Browser-Based Time Management System
DENVER - You can do a lot of things with a Web browser nowadays, including keeping track of your time clock. That's what Kim Oliver does. The CEO of $8 million HealthONE Federal Credit Union has been using the TimeIPS personnel management system from Stratitec Inc. of Wichita, Kan., for...
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DENVER – You can do a lot of things with a Web browser nowadays, including keeping track of your time clock. That’s what Kim Oliver does. The CEO of $8 million HealthONE Federal Credit Union has been using the TimeIPS personnel management system from Stratitec Inc. of Wichita, Kan., for several months now and says she found it to be both efficient and inexpensive. “It’s Web browser-based, so when an employee clocks in on our little time pad, I can call it up on my computer and see what time they clocked in without having to go to the clock itself and see for myself,” Oliver says. The 2,000-member CU, located onsite at Rose Medical Center – has four fulltime employees and one part-timer. Oliver saw the need for such a system because one staffer, now departed, kept arriving late and taking long lunches and another kept coming in too early, possibly putting the CU in a position of running afoul of Colorado regulations against workers putting in unpaid time. “With a paper card, employees simply write down 8 to 4:30, 8 to 4:30, and that’s it,” Oliver says. “I think this system is much fairer to them and to the credit union.” It also saves paperwork and time over manual card and digital punch-clock devices, according to Lance Chastain, CEO of Stratitec, which he says has deployed more than 1,000 of the systems at a wide range of companies and organizations since March 2004. The password-protected system can be used over any typical LAN, WAN, VPN or T1 connection, allowing deployment at multiple locations. It uses that network then to send e-mail alerts to managers and other employees to help reduce or eliminate unauthorized overtime and early clock-ins and clock-outs. The system, including hardware and software, ranges in price from about $500 to $4,000, and is scalable to accommodate small, one-site operations to others with hundreds of employees at multiple locations, Chastain says. Depending on the model, employees swipe a secure badge, present a proximity badge, enter an ID code or use a bar code scanner to clock in and clock out. The system then provides real-time feedback such as available time left in the week before overtime is incurred, and also offers drop down menus and point-and-click options to manage employee attendance, schedules and job and project cost tracking. Chastain says his company’s research of data from the American Payroll Association shows that computing time manually, along with other issues involved in that process, can cost a company more than $1,019 per employee a year. He says the typical small and medium-sized user of his company’s TimeIPS system sees positive return on investment (ROI) on it in six months, and that larger organizations do more quickly. HealthONE’s installation was a straightforward affair, and in general technical issues are not too daunting with TimeIPS, Chastain says. “Depending on the IT, Internet and networking policies at an institution, there should be few technical issues,” the Stratitec CEO says. “Some of the more interesting issues have to do with firewall access for software updates over the Internet and complex IP address schemes with multiple subsets.” In those cases, on-staff IT professionals or Stratitec staffers generally guide the setup process, Chastain says, which often can involve simply setting it up and launching it on the spot in the simplest of deployments. The company provides an online help guide as well as e-mail and telephone customer support, and the learning curve is short, the Stratitec CEO says. “The first pay period is spent getting used to it, the second really helps solidify the base of knowledge and by the third pay period most users are extremely pleased with the productivity and ease of use,” Chastain says. Oliver says she’s been happy with Stratitec’s service, noting that her small CU even got a free upgrade in September. “I don’t know that it’s saved the credit union much money, but I do feel that now that we can see the exact time that employees are working, that it’s really more fair to them, and it makes it easier for us to control our time,” she says. -
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