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Improving Small Business Time and Attendance


Improving Small Business with Time and Attendance

Can you think of an issue hotels and laboratories might have in common… something vital in the success of each business? In fact, vital in the success of all businesses?  Two very different companies implemented the same system that solved all of their time and attendance troubles. You can do the same.

Running the Same Race in Different Circles

Select Labs, located in North Carolina and South Carolina, provides lab services including blood and urine analysis to medical practices and practitioners. The labs discovered a multitude of issues using paper-based time cards and a punch clock to track employees’ regular and overtime hours. Another business, Homewood Suites, a Hilton franchise that provides a “home away from home” environment, used to use magnetic I.D. swipe cards to clock in and out. When the card didn’t work, which was often the case, staff would manually enter their I.D. code.

Related Article: Tips for Reducing Payroll Expenses

Successful small business owners understand that they need to improve their processes, not just how often they’re used.

“It could take me three days to get payroll done, plus a day that the South Carolina lab manager needed to tally his location’s time. Knowing the payroll deadline loomed, the pressure to make the date could bring me to tears as I worked on the time cards each month,” Toni Seawell, Vice President of Human Relations at Select Labs recalled. “With the old system, I had no flexibility if a medical or family emergency arose, which created even more stress.”

Small businesses might find themselves increasing revenue by investing in new customer acquisition methods and improving customer service, but doing an extraordinary amount of work without earning any extra money in return. In fact, time and attendance issues could amount to a loss for your business.

So, what exactly is going wrong with time and attendance and how are you supposed to make it?

Here are five “bad” time and attendance procedures alongside a “good” solution.


The Bad – Magnetic Systems: Homewood Suites used magnetic I.D. swipe cards to clock in and out.

  • This method included errors such as lost key cards, I.D. code discrepancies and time sheet corrections. In addition, employees began clocking in for one another in order to clock in on time.
  • One report reveals issues in the office of Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder of the executive branch offices in Missouri regarding serious problems in manual timesheets.

The GoodBiometric Systems

Homewood Suites implemented the WaspTime Biometric Time and Attendance System.

  • Homewood Suites chose Wasp’s Biometric Time and Attendance System due to how efficient it made their process. The WaspTime solution incorporates time and attendance software with a biometric employee time clock, allowing employees to clock in and out with ease with the use of a fingerprint.

“The WaspTime solution does its job, ensuring that every Homewood Suites employee can focus on more important items,” said Margo Solis, Homewood Suites Manager at Denver International Airport. “To ensure our hotel runs smoothly, we have to prioritize everything, and clocking in and out shouldn’t be our top priority. With the WaspTime Biometric Time and Attendance solution, we don’t have to worry about our time sheets.”

The Bad – Fraud

Homewood Suites experienced a decrease in employee arrival time accountability and an increase in time sheet errors, causing employees to spend more time addressing discrepancies.

  • The issue stated above could be a reason why so many employees are more likely to steal from their employer than their customers.
  • A Kessler International survey reports that up to 69% of hourly employees overestimate their hours, sabotaging efficient management by taking breaks while signed in or helping friends fool the tracking system.

The Good – Automated Tracking:

Eliminating unnecessary printing and ending manual time keeping can diminish the amount of fraud.

  • Automated time and attendance tracking allows employees to not become as annoyed and less likely to reimburse themselves illegally out of your business budget.
  • The Bad – Inaccurate Data: The main goal of attendance and time tracking is accurate data to make major employee and expansion decisions.
  • Insecure time tracking systems leads to inaccurate data. Most timesheets are only filled out a couple times a week, when automatic daily timesheets can ensure accurate data.

The Good – Consistently Accurate Data:

Select Labs initially implemented WaspTime at their South Carolina location. Due to the immediate benefits received, Select Labs quickly applied the solution in both North Carolina offices.

  • WaspTime enabled SelectLabs to meet payroll deadlines with third party administrator at the end of each pay period, incorporate flexibility into practices with one automated solution and easily manage labor instead of laborious HR management process.
  • Not only did WaspTime benefit each location separately, it allowed administrators to access all information when necessary.

“We have three administrators here who can go in and download reports,” said Seawell. “If I have an emergency, people would still get paid on time. And to me, that’s a huge stress relief.”

The Bad – Time Consumption:

Select Labs used paper-based time cards and a punch clock to track employees’ hours.

  • Research shows supervisors spend an estimate of seven minutes per employee, per time card, per pay period. As the business grows, the system becomes overloaded. Now, businesses have the ability to cut this time exponentially with automated time management systems.

The Good – Efficiency with Ease:

Select Labs exhausted all options in order to find the right time and attendance system that incorporated swiping a time card as well as a biometric solution.

“With the cards, you get an initial set free and then must buy the rest. We knew people would lose or forget their cards and we’d still be in the same position,” said Jess Merritt, Vice President of Information Services at Select Labs. “We ruled those out and decided to use a biometric system.”

  • The biometric system allows the business to immediately receive all benefits that come with fingerprint scanning.
  • With WaspTime, Select Labs finishes payroll about 70% faster than before, spending 2 days a month on payroll for all three locations, compared to at least a week per month using the old system.

The Bad – Wasting Money: Would you believe us if we said fair-wage practice lawsuits are an expanding industry all by themselves, winning hundreds of millions of dollars simply due to inaccurate businesses?

  • Automated data tracking can help avoid such problems instead of saving them up for a big future bill. 

The Good – Affordable Action that Works: Homewood Suites management and Select Labs were attracted to the competitive price of WaspTime.

    • For Select Labs, this accessible solution tracks arrivals and departures, breaks and meals, and integrates with leading payroll solutions such as ADP, QuickBooks and PayChex.

“We bought WaspTime because it was the most cost-effective solution.”

“We bought WaspTime because it was the most cost-effective solution,” Merritt said. “It is extremely easy to use and I easily integrated it into our network. It all came together and was the right fit.”

Start to stress less, please your employees more, eliminate waste time and improve the overall data required for major business decisions by switching your system to an efficient time and attendance system. Not only will you immediately save money, you’ll allow your employees to easily see their own hours and progress daily. Now that you have the knowledge of knowing the difference this system will make, what are you waiting for? Implement an efficient time and attendance system. After all, it could be the difference in staying where you are, or improving entry level of your business.

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Jay Schofield

Product Business Development Manager at System ID Barcode Solutions
Jay Schofield’s passion is numbers. For more than 10 years, he has been turning facts and figures into actionable business intelligence for System ID. When he’s not researching, analyzing, and planning for the “next big thing,” Jay can be spotted on the lake with family and friends.

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