Time tracking is key to understanding the cost to the company (CTC), as it tells you how much you spend on the employee, the project, and for each month and year. Time management is directly proportional to running an efficient business and the ROI. Typically, the time for each employee is tracked with timecards. While the employees may diligently use their timecards to check-in and out for their project, there can be delays in reporting or glitches that show an error in recording time.

Efficient time tracking is integral to businesses

Unfortunately, such issues can result in huge financial losses for the organization. With time-sensitive industries such as manufacturing, finance and accounting, and consulting companies, they must implement solutions that can capture automatic time entry. And, as the organizations changed the way they worked, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a greater need to streamline HR functions, particularly the time tracking system. Therefore, automating the whole process with a touchless system using geofencing has become a sought-after solution.

What is touchless time entry using geo-fencing?

The need of the hour is to have a time entry solution that can be integrated with the existing time and attendance module, such as in Oracle HCM. Natively built for the cloud, Oracle HCM addresses all of the HR processes providing data from one source of truth. Organizations need a time tracking solution that offers:

  • Simplified time entry to make life easier for employees and employers by providing faster punching in and out from a kiosk application
  • Geofencing-based access control to provide employees as to when and where they can enter their time
  • IP address-based control to let administrators know where the employees are entering their time
  • Touchless time entry, including facial recognition, iris recognition, barcode scanning, and QR scanning
  • Security/ data privacy features to ensure time-out on public kiosks, auto-logout after a few seconds of inactivity, and log out after punching in and out.

Keeping these factors in mind, organizations are moving on to geofencing technology.

What is geofencing technology?

Geo-fencing is a service technology that triggers an action when a device enters a set location. Geo-fencing leverages GPS, RFID, and Wi-Fi connectivity along with the software that tracks assets and people to create and monitor virtual fences. The Geo-fence, a virtual perimeter, is marked in the actual geographical location. When a GPS device, mobile device, or RFID with a GPS-enabled tag enters or exits the Geo-fence, it triggers a pre-programmed action, which can be as simple as an alert.

Benefits of geofencing in time tracking include:

  • No more time theft – employees spending time in locations and not working or logging in to start their work even before starting their work can be monitored and tracked.
  • Accurate employee time tracking – you can gather real data on where the employees are and how much they are moving around in a job site.
  • Flexibility – employees in the field have the flexibility to log their time from different locations as long as they stay within the geofence.
  • Alerts – you can be alerted to unauthorized entries to a job site, which is a way to ensure the security of the equipment. These alerts can alleviate high-security concerns where classified information crosses an established perimeter.

How to design an automated time-entry system

Suppose you have decided to leverage geofencing technology in your organization. In that case, you have an asset in hand that can optimize the time entry process using either the touchless system or the one-tap approach.

Completely Touchless

  • When an employee enters or exits the set virtual perimeter, a pre-programmed action is triggered to capture the employee’s IN/ OUT time separately.
  • The employee’s first-in-time and last-out time of the day can be taken and recorded as a time entry in the Oracle time entry module, making the whole process automated and touchless.

One-tap Approach

  • When an employee enters the geo-fenced perimeter, a push notification is triggered by the software to the employee’s smartwatch or the mobile app that has the Oracle time entry app.
  • The employee is offered options through the push notification – CLOCK IN/ CLOCK OUT/ BREAK.
  • The timesheet is recorded from the mobile app to the Oracle ERP time entry module based on the chosen option.

Now comes the Admin portal and process flow of Geo-fencing:

Admin portal

  • An admin portal needs to be integrated with Oracle ERP to add and manage the Geo-fence in the mobile app. Here, you can also maintain and manage the list of employees and their respective projects. The Geo-fences for the project locations are created in the admin portal, and the perimeter coordinates are marked.
  • In the admin web portal, the organization could sync projects from Oracle ERP to the office space and tag the employees specific to a project.
  • Each employee’s IN/ OUT time entry is stored and maintained in a custom DB and can be flushed after every 2-3 months.
  • The admin portal helps generate reports and analytics around the time of entry.

Process Flow in Geo-fencing

  • The admin’s task will be to set up geofence coordinates for the office and to assign employees to allocated projects within the particular geofence.
  • The employees’ GPS/ Bluetooth should be kept ON.
  • When an employee tagged to that geofence enters/ exits the perimeter, they will receive a push notification on their mobile device or smartwatch.
  • The employee can clock IN or OUT from the mobile device or smartwatch.
  • The information is stored in a custom DB for a certain duration, such as the project’s timelines.
  • The recorded data allows you to submit a timecard for the employee automatically.

Conclusion

Geo-fencing time tracking makes the entire process streamlined and automated, based on your business needs. The geofencing technology helps organizations reclaim time and reduce labour costs. It overcomes challenges such as tracking employee activity for payroll, compliance with regulations and working from remote locations, especially in these pandemic-driven times. Therefore, implementing a geofencing technology is more critical than ever before.

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