Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Changing Employee IDs - is it even doable?

You may run across a time when you need to change an Employee ID.  This should not be a common practice.  Changing an employee ID is a drastic change in most systems.  Many transactions are tied to employee IDs, so many areas of the system are affected by this seemingly small change.

Most systems allow for this change; however, it is not guaranteed.  If you need to make this change, check with your time clock provider if this is even possible.  If it is possible, check and see what the steps are in order to complete this task.  Also, be sure to ask them the ramifications of doing this change.  

If you are able to make this change, it should be as simple as going to a specific area in the software and defining the OLD employee ID and what the desired NEW employee ID will be.  The software should then take care of all the changes in all the necessary areas.

Be very careful with this change.  Make sure you understand what you are doing and the consequences.  Again, employee IDs are a very important identifier for the employee and all data is linked to the employee based on this value.

If there is not a utility available, check with your time clock vendor and see what they recommend.

If you need any advice on your time clock needs, feel free to send me an email - pduong@tabletpunch.com. Feel free to visit us at www.TabletPunch.com - we offer an iPad based mobile time clock solution.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Regular software maintenance is always important to keeping your system performing well

Various time clock systems have different utilities that can be run that will optimize the system's performance.  Time clock systems are collecting data on a regular basis.  For smaller companies, this may not be a pressing issue.  However, companies that have several hundred employees have a lot of transaction data coming into the system.

Regular utilities that optimize the database should be run in order to keep all the data organized and ensure that the system is running at peak performance.

Depending on your system, there may be built-in utilities that can be run.  If the back-end of the system is SQL, there are various tasks in SQL that can be run to optimize the database.  Check with your database manager in order to see what tasks are run and the frequency.

If these utilities are not run, degradation of performance will be seen.  For example, say you run a timecard report.  In an optimized system, the report may only take 2 minutes to run.  In a system that is not optimized, this same report can take several minutes to run.  So - if you notice performance issues with your software - check and verify that the recommended database utilities are being run regularly.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ability to import data

When sourcing for a time clock system, it is important to understand what data can be imported.  Much of the initial setup will need to be done by adjusting settings within the software to meet the payroll processes of your company; however, there are quite a few areas where importing data can be a great time saver.  Below is a list of items you likely will want to import.  If you can't import, someone at your company will need to data key in this information.


  1. Employees
  2. Departments
  3. Jobs
  4. Additional job tracking lists
  5. Schedule templates
  6. Earning codes
Of these lists, the most important (in my opinion) is the employee list.  If you have a company that has, let's say, 200 employees.  A quick import can get this list into your time clock system within a matter of seconds. If you need to data key in all these employees, that could take several hours.

Note:  If you are looking into doing an import, most systems require a CSV file that is formatted to work with the import tool.  So make sure you follow the specs of the import tool.  If you don't pay attention to how your CSV file is formatted, you could import all your employee data - but the data may be imported improperly.  Causing a different headache...

If you would like me to help you analyze the right system for your company, send me an email.  I will take a look at what you are needing and recommend the right solution.  My email is pduong@tabletpunch.com.  I've personally implemented over 700+ systems and am an expert in the industry.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Creating users within the time clock system

When creating users within the time clock system, you should first analyze and answer the following questions:


  1. Who should have access to the system?
  2. What "standards" should you follow for creating the login?
  3. What type of access should each user have?
  4. How is access controlled within the system?
  5. Which employees should these users have access to?
  6. Who will be the "admins" of the system?

By answering these questions, you will clearly understand how many users will need to be setup and have a plan to set them up with standards.  

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day, but this is not a paid holiday...

If your company pays for this holiday, that would be a first.

Most T&A systems can automate your company paid holidays.  What does that mean for you?  It saves you the time to have to put in 8 hours of holiday per employee.

By defining the rules to get holiday hours, you can have your system automatically generate the 8 hours of holiday on each employee timecard.  You can put in rules that deal with Probation periods, requirements to work the day before/after, and other eligibility requirements.

By having a system that automatically handles your holidays, you can save your pay roll person hours during the pay period that has holidays.

If your company is still doing paper timecards or you're not happy with your current system, send me an email.  I'll analyze your situation and let you know what would work best.  I've handled hundreds of implementations over the last 12+ years.  Email me at pduong@tabletpunch.com.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Reporting... a valuable feature of most time clock systems

One of the most important areas of a quality time clock system is it's reporting options.  When choosing a time clock system for your company, you want to make sure it provides all the reporting that you need.

Most time clock systems have 30-40 various reports built into the system.  Reports such as Timecard, Hours, Who's In, Department Summary, etc. are very common reports with most time clock systems.  If your company has specific needs, make sure to bring this up to the sales person so they can demo the exact reports that you need.

You don't want to invest thousands of dollars into a time clock system that doesn't provide the reporting that your company is needing.

When looking at the reports, make sure to ask what output formats are available.  For example, you may want to save the report into an electronic format.  Done are the days of printing reports.  Most companies prefer the option to save the report to PDF or Excel formats.  Make sure to ask and see this demonstrated.

If you have any other questions on what to ask for, just send me an email.  I'm more than happy to help - pduong@tabletpunch.com.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Setting up a proper hierarchy for labor tracking

When setting up a time & attendance system for your company, your primary goal is to setup a solution that efficiently tracks the clock ins and outs of your employees.

As a secondary goal, your company may want to consider tracking what departments/jobs your employees are working.  This will enable more detailed reporting and the ability to cost where your labor is going.

When setting up a department and/or job hierarchy, there is a proper way of doing this.  If you need to track more than 2 levels, that topic is beyond the scope of this particular blog post.  Just email me and I can give you tips on that type of setup.

The standard, first level, is the department level.  This should represent the various departments at your company.  Below is a list of sample departments a company would have:

001 - Manufacturing
002 - Sales
003 - Support
004 - Management
etc.

The second level is reserved to provide more detail on what employees will do in a particular department.  Below is a list of sample jobs a company would have in, let's say, the Manufacturing department.

JOB01 - Welding
JOB02 - Molding
JOB03 - Polishing
JOB 04 - Finishing
etc.

If you setup your departments and jobs properly, it will enable more detailed reporting options in your T&A system.

Email me if you would like me to review your T&A needs.  I've worked on several hundred implementations and can provide you advice that will save your company tens of thousands/hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.  I work with companies that have more than 50+ employees - that is the only caveat.  You can email me at pduong@tabletpunch.com.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Tips on choosing a wireless employee time clock solution

When deciding on a wireless time clock system to keep track of employee time, there are a few key considerations that should be taken into account.

What environment will the clock be in?

If you are planning on having the time clock used in an outdoor environment and weather may affect the clock, you must make sure the clock can handle the weather/temperature conditions.  Plus, if your environment/employees will be in "dirty" conditions (dust, mud, etc.), you need to make sure the clock can handle this condition as well.

What wireless coverage is available in the area where you plan on using the time clock?

One key consideration is to verify that the location has sufficient cell phone coverage.  2G is typically too slow for normal use.  You should opt for a wireless clock that communicate, at minimum, on 3G.  We recommend 4G - this will ensure the fastest data communication (currently).

What features does the time clock need for your mobile/remote workforce?

Standard punching on a time clock usually revolves around clock ins, outs, lunches, and breaks.  However, remote locations using a wireless time clock may have special requirements for their workforce and may need employees to log special information at the time clock.  Make sure that the time clock your company purchases can track all the information that you want.


If your company is looking for a wireless time clock solution, we offer a great option - TabletPunch.  You can find out more information by going to www.TabletPunch.com.  If you would like to get advice on choosing the right time clock solution for your company, I may be able to help.  I usually work with companies that have 50-1,500 employees.  That is my area of expertise.  I've worked on 700+ installs over the last 12+ years.  You can email me and we can discuss your company's needs - pduong@tabletpunch.com.