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Why time and attendance software improves productivity in the manufacturing industry

Published: July 4, 2018

While software solutions for efficient HR management had grown more sophisticated and user-friendly over the past few years, a large number of Canadian manufacturers are still ignoring its benefits. The reasons for this trend are not completely clear, but stubborn sticking to tried-and-true methods of workforce control might be at its root. This is unfortunate, since skillful application of advanced computer-based methods could significantly boost productivity, setting up the foundation for a sustainable increase in long term sales and revenues.

Several factors contribute to the overall gain, with their contributions varying from case to case. Major arguments in favour of this technology include:

Every hour matters – keeping a precise tally even more

With the pressure of low-cost imports forcing native manufacturers to control costs very closely, absences must be accounted very precisely. Employers need to know how much time it takes for a single worker to produce a single unit, so skewed attendance numbers can throw off strategic calculations and possibly endanger economic viability of the company. Of course, due to specialization some workers are more essential to the manufacturing process than others, and their availability needs to be tracked more proactively. That’s why it makes sense to use an advanced tool rather than a simple punch clock – modern cloud-based HR solutions can be customized to reflect the needs of each company.

Psychological impact – workers enjoy fairness

Automated systems for entrance control and attendance registration are inherently impartial, sending a clear message from the ownership that efforts will be measured objectively. That creates an atmosphere of fair competition, where individuals are motivated to demonstrate their dedication and responsibility. This effect can be amplified if the management publically recognizes and rewards team members who are always the first to arrive and the last to leave. Accolades based on attendance can provide a strong incentive to be on time, eliminating the need to implement any unpopular punitive measures, such as demotions or salary deductions. In this way, employers can strengthen team spirit and improve internal dynamics while boosting the manufacturing output at the same time.

Analytics shine a light on the path forward

Due to the scale of investment necessary in the manufacturing industry, strategic decisions often carry great financial weight. Projecting future production capacity is necessary in order to define realistic targets and hire a sufficient number of workers. Time and attendance solutions bring a valuable ability to collect and store accurate information about employees and their patterns of behaviour. This trove of data can be more valuable than gold as manufacturing companies move toward more data-based planning and decision making. Spotting areas where manpower shortages are limiting the efficiency of production is infinitely easier to do when you have a complete overview of historical data at the palm of your hand.

Digitalization of HR functions is the universal standard right now

We are already at a point where resisting digitalization of business processes is a futile exercise, since the entire business community is rapidly switching to this model. Staying wedded to old HR practices might confuse newly hired employees used to digital sensors and objective measurements. It could also create difficulties with reporting, since the government has increased the level of scrutiny and might demand summary information about salaries in a digital format. Manufacturing companies that fail to make the transition in time could end up losing a lot of valuable time trying to iron out all the quirks resulting from their incompatibility with current standards. Considering that inexpensive, plug-and-play time and attendance solutions are readily available for the Canadian market, any further delays are bordering on poor management.

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