The Time Clock: Simple Modern Solutions Made Reality

Simple Modern Solutions in 2019

The time clock hasn’t changed much since its invention in 1888 by Willard LeGrand Bundy. His original design used heavy paper cards that would strike a contact located inside the clock, at the rear. Once struck, date and time information was stamped onto the card, and the employee would place the card into their proper compartment for the next use. Many versions of this type of time clock were produced with differing configurations. A few of these designs can be found on Wikipedia.

The mechanical time clock had inherent flaws. First, the mechanical system needed a Human to tally hours. Long hours were spent by payroll divisions tallying the hours of hundreds or sometimes thousands of employees. This sometimes resulted in payroll errors that gave employees too little or too much pay. Second, the time clocks themselves were prone to mechanical issues. Some were poorly maintained and would break down, and others would suffer problems for no apparent reason.

Then came the problem of time theft. Employees would deliberately misplace their time cards or sometimes even outright lie and misrepresent the hours they worked. Some even spent parts of the day doing no work whatsoever. Employers would end up losing large amounts of money as a result of time theft because they were paying their employees for time they hadn’t actually spent on work activities.

The Race to Develop Simple Modern Solutions

Many companies began working on simple modern solutions to these problems. The time clock received its first major change in almost a century. It was introduced in 1979 by the Kronos Company. Their time clock used a Z80 microprocessor. Their goal was to computerize the time clock, eliminating the errors in manual timekeeping and increasing the speed and accuracy of payroll processing. This type of time clock used electronic badges that the employee would swipe. Another form of this time clock used badges equipped with RFID chips that were brought into proximity with a reader device that would input the date and time of each punch.

However, the badges did little to solve the core problem of time theft. In fact, a new form of time theft came about: Buddy-punching. Employees that were running late would have another employee, usually a friend of theirs, punch in for them.

The Second Major Change to the Time Clock
Fingerprint Attendance

Another major change was introduced in the late 20th century: the Biometric time clock. This was actually a series of simple modern solutions designed to solve the problem of time theft. Instead of paper cards or electronic badges, these time clocks used some physical attribute of the employee, usually a handprint, fingerprint or the retinal blood vessels, to log a person into the system, recording the time and date of the punch and granting the employee entry into the building.

Buddy punching was no longer possible because the biometric scanner can determine the identity of the puncher. If a person misrepresented their hours, the employer could check the login history of the employee and discover such misrepresentations and discipline the employee accordingly. The problem of time theft was mostly solved, and businesses that have implemented the biometric time clock have reported dramatic decreases in lost revenue.

MinuteHound Designs Simple Modern Solutions to Push the Envelope Further

Today, a company known as MinuteHound is working on new ways to push time clocks even further than ever before. Their new biometric time clock uses simple modern solutions to further reduce incidents of time theft. The system is software-based and does not require a dedicated server. You can install the software on any computer in your corporate network. The time clock software comes with a small fingerprint scanner. This is how your employees will punch in and out of the system. Because the system is cloud-based, the scanner and software can be installed on two separate computers.

For more information and to set up a 30-day trial of the MinuteHound time clock, contact MinuteHound at (800) 351-7237.

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