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In a production environment, what are the best ways to keep track of employees' hours and control labor costs?

Russ Smith Jr.'s Profile

All production environments are different, but what are some of the best systems out there for keeping track of hourly employees' time worked, breaks, lunches, time off, etc?

Overtime and lost minutes add up over the year and I am hoping to figure out best practices for successful time management and cost mitigation.  

Some great features would be:

1) Real-time tracking
2) Time-off earned
3) Advanced rule setting (for example, can only check in 7 minute prior to shift)
4) Alerts for employees approaching 40 hours for the week

Thank you in advance for the help.  I'd love to hear what systems people are using and how they like them.


Topic Expert
Christie Jahn
Title: CFO
Company: Prime Investments & Development
(CFO, Prime Investments & Development) |

Our POS system works in real-time and we love it. You can see who is clocked in at any time; we even went to the extent to require fingerprint readers. Our associates are paid commission on productivity and we have seen some interesting ways of trying to fraud the system.

All OT must be approved before hand but management; so if you wanted to give each leader a budgeted allowance then they are held accountable for anything over that.

You can compare schedules against actual to look for variances. This can point out someone constantly clocking in more than the acceptable limit (you mentioned 7 min). We found someone that had been late 18 times in one month once by checking this report.

We use IQMetrix; however it may be tailored for our industry.

Topic Expert
Regis Quirin
Title: Director of Finance
Company: Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP
LinkedIn Profile
(Director of Finance, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP) |

A company I work with uses Paychex. It is simply a 21st century punch clock. The employees (exempt and non-exempt) use their employee id's to clock-in and clock-out. Non-Exempt employees clock out for lunch. The system offers all the reporting you may wish. Collecting the data is not hard.

With respect to #3 and #4 you listed, the system simply collects the information. It requires Managers to read the time and counsel the employees that are not following the established schedule. The difficult piece will be developing policies for situations, as described by Christie...and sticking with them.

David Belgum
Title: CFO
Company: LeoNovus, Inc.
(CFO, LeoNovus, Inc.) |

We use ADP and have looked into but have not implemented yet their time clock solution. The time clock can either use a security badge to double for swiping the clock or thumb print to clock in and out. I believe you can enter a manufacturing job code when the employee clocks in. They also offer a smart phone app that will allow hourly employees to enter their time. Depending on the company's goals and availability of smart phones by production personnel, you can use one or both of these solutions. Your feature 1 is probably best addressed by the time clock. Feature 2 is addressed by the smart phone app. Features 3-4 is addressed by the smart phone app used by managers.

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