17 Mar 2018, 09:15 — 4 min read
This company - let’s call it AB1 Contracting Company - employs a large number of transitional migrant workers. The workers are overseen by supervisors whose primary job is to make sure that work is completed to specification.
New workers are sometimes recruited directly on site or transferred from another site. Statutory labour laws such as wages, over-time payments, ESI etc., are followed by the book.
Manual record keeping was proving to be a time-consuming activity for the contractor. With multiple number of sites, labour management was a task by itself. Additional overheads were also eating into already thin margins.
To overcome these challenges there were many conventional approaches that would have included installing a biometric attendance system, smart card access and more. The owner and CEO of the company wanted to think of something more innovative but at the same time also be practical. We suggested a simple, yet effective solution and this has proven its worth many times over.
The innovative solution
In the system we designed, the supervisors who are regular staff are issued plastic ID cards that carry their name, designation and a QR Code. The contract workers are issued paper based ID cards that carry similar QR Codes. We designed a mobile app and had them installed on Android tablets and these were issued to the site supervisors.
So how did this work? At the start of the day, the site supervisors launch the app and have to ‘Punch In’ their own attendance. The date, time and place are automatically registered. As each worker comes in they also have to do the same with their respective ID cards. This way, the attendance details are captured immediately. Details of a new worker walking into the site are also captured for the purpose of recording and ESI registration. The process also validated access to prevent unauthorised scans or duplication. The entire procedure is repeated at the end of the day. Staff and workers ‘Punch out’ once they are ready to leave. All this information is then instantly available to the administrative office.
The app was useful in reporting daily attendance details of workers, absentees and late arrivals. This in turn was useful in calculating wages including overtime.
The contracting company now spends less time in processing the attendance and payroll and their efficiency has gone up several folds.
In all, except for the cost of the tablet and for the development of the custom app, all other costs proved negligible. The attendance process now gets over in a few minutes avoiding crowding and delays. Reconciliation of daily attendance, over time calculation, registration of a new worker etc. became simple tasks and did not require additional administrative staff.
For an SME, this simple technology is a sure way to improve operational efficiency.
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Posted bySridhar Narayanaswamy
Managing partner of Innovatus Systems, founded by him on January 1, 2013. Sridhar is a result oriented professional with over four decades in the Information Technology &...
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