Biometrics such as iris, fingerprint, and facial recognition are getting more attentions over the world. More businesses are adopting biometric technology as a critical tool for individual identification in different industries like: automotive, ATM, point of sales, etc. Biometrics for workforce management – especially time and attendance – is a rapidly growing trend not only to accurately identify employee but also streamline the traditional, old management solution, hence increase the transparency, productivity, and help saving costs.
According to Technavios, the global biometric workforce management is expected to record a CAGR of more than 17% from 2015 to 2019. Also, analysts from Biometrics Research Group, Inc. forecasted that the market for all biometric workforce management solutions such as cloud-, software- and hardware-based will reach US$600 million in sales by 2018. The market is mainly driven by the need for organizations to adopt biometric workforce management to replace traditional security systems which include PINs, passwords, credentials and keys. According to researchers, buddy punching accounts for 2.2% of gross payroll losses, and employers lose about 4.5 hours per week per employee in time theft. A white paper published by Circadian Technologies estimated that unexpected absenteeism cost businesses up to $3,600 per year per hourly employee and $2,650 per year per salary employee. Deciding to eliminate these abuses is an urgent task for enterprises in order to ensure employee accountability and improve productivity within organizations; especially for global enterprises with branches all over the globe and a rapidly evolving workforce, it is imperative than ever.
Taking an example from Averda, Lebanon’s leading provider of processing machinery for consumer goods. Founded on 1964, Averda has more than 10,000 employees with 11 branches in Middle East, Europe, and Africa. With such a large number of employees working in 11 different locations, managing employee’s time and attendance effectively has become a challenge for Averda. Besides, as a waste management solutions provider, its workers have to wear gloves most of time and although fingerprint is a very popular modality but it is not a top choice in this case. After searching for different time & attendance solutions, Averda has come up with the decision of selecting iris biometric-based time and attendance of IriTech solution to track its employees which is more accurate, stable and completely contactless compared to fingerprint.
The system includes iris scanners along with a time and attendance software called IriTracker Enterprise. Averda installs IriTracker Enterprise on the server at its Headquarter which features enrollment/register of new employees, distribution of the new enrollment into Database & Clients and the logging of all attendance records. At each office, iris scanners are connected with PC/ laptop or an Android tablet/ phone for enrollment and attendance. Besides, Averda also uses a device called Ethernet time & attendance which includes a BeagleBone board and iris camera module. It is mounted in front of the entrance and acts as an attendance device. Those devices are installed IriTracker Enterprise Client software which is a GUI (Graphic User Interface) application working with the server at headquarters. As a simple demonstration, an employee walks in the office; he will first have his irises and personal information registered; the information will be transferred to headquarters’ database for storage and later verifications. Next time the employee walks in, his iris will be scanned for attendance record by an iris scanner or an Ethernet device. If the employee wants to check in and out by his own Android device, he can install IriTracker software into his Android tablet/ phone and plug iris camera in to verify his iris. It’s fast, simple and convenient.
Averda is one of those cases that deployed biometric workforce management successfully and it’s expected that there will be more businesses who realize the benefits of using a biometric attendance system in order to eliminate time related abuses and maximize employee productivity. In the near future, biometric time and attendance system will become an essential part for organizations to ensure operational efficiencies.