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Time Clock Software

All time clocks are not created equally, even though they are manufactured pretty much for the same purpose. There are a number of variables that can be important for a particular business, depending on what is needed or expected from the time clock system. Before purchasing a time clock, or clocks, it is important to be aware that different systems may emphasize different priorities in order to choose the one that is best suited to a companys particular needs.

Probably the most important variable is the way in which the time clock system captures data. In most cases, employees carry a badge, or ID card, that is has a magnetic strip encoded with the individuals employee number or similar information. When the magnetic strip is swiped through the time clocks card reader, the employees in and out times are recorded. The data is passed along to an electronic time and attendance software system for processing. Some time clock systems read a magnetic strip on the time card, some read a bar code. Either way, employees have to carry an identification card that is subject to being lost or forgotten. Thats why biometric time clocks are also on the market and gaining in popularity. There is no card involved - the time clock reads a persons finger print, or hand geometry, things that can neither be lost nor stolen.

Time clocks also vary in the way they retrieve, or poll, the data that is gathered. Some time clocks are connected PCs, some have a built-in modem or work through an external modem to communicate. This may or may not be a consideration when a company is purchasing a time clock system, but it is a variable that at least needs to be noted.

There are other software functions that should be taken into consideration. For example, does the software allow the ability for a supervisor to see, in real time, whether the employee is presently logged out for lunch, or when the employee arrived for the day? It may be necessary to enter other data into the system for the purposes of departmental changes, job costing, or any one of a variety of other factors. Can the software be programmed from a PC? Does it require manual changes to adjust to daylight savings time, or does it reprogram itself?

Then, after the primary factors are considered, there are a host of minor variables in terms of appearance, bells and buzzers, and so on. There are various means of displaying the time and information with different font sizes and single or multi-line displays. Different time clocks have different keypads - some have only numeric keys, some have alpha keys as well. Some time clocks sound a bell at the beginning and end of each shift which may or may not be of importance in a particular work setting.

However, it is not the bells and whistles that are of particular merit as much as it is the dependability of the system and whether or not it provides the needed functions required by a company.

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