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Reducing Time Theft and Improving Payroll Accuracy with HandReaders

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Monday, July 21, 2014
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With 80 years of experience in retail and wholesale agricultural products, Eldon C. Stutsman Inc. is one of Iowa's larger suppliers of agricultural products. Nearly 170 employees work in three buildings on the company's main campus in Hills, Iowa. With many hourly employees, it's critical to keep track of employee time and attendance to ensure profitability in every facility.

Stutsman originally used a traditional punch clock in all of its buildings. It became evident, however, that the organization was experiencing issues with "buddy punching," a practice in which an employee punches in for someone else on the time clock. Stutsman partnered with integrator Longley Systems Inc. to find a time-and-attendance solution that would prevent buddy punching and provide an accurate report of employee time.

That's when the company deployed a biometric hand reader. The first solution, used for approximately 12 years, was the HandPunch® 3000 from Schlage®. Recently, Stutsman upgraded its readers to Schlage's newest HandReader, the HandPunch GT-400.

The HandPunch 3000 biometric reader with integrated time clock verified an employee's identity in less than one second by comparing the unique size and shape of his or her hand to a hand template on file in the reader. Because every employee's hand geometry is different, it's virtually impossible for one employee to clock in or out for another.

No one can punch in or out for another employee any longer. Stutsman eliminated false reports, reduced time theft and improved its payroll accuracy. Additionally, a biometric reader is much simpler to manage than a card reader, because there are no cards to create, administer, carry or lose.

Stutsman has used the HandPunch 3000 readers for more than a dozen years. When it was time to replace them, the company tested a fingerprint biometric reader to see if there were additional efficiencies. It became evident, though, that the fingerprint reader could not provide the same level of performance as a HandReader.

Not only was the HandPunch 3000 extremely durable to last for so long, it was just ideal for an environment such as Stutsman's. In an agricultural environment, a solution must work effectively even when a user's hand or the device is dirty or damp.

Upgrading to the New Model

Stutsman wanted to continue using HandReaders for time and attendance but decided to upgrade since the technology had advanced. In 2013, Stutsman replaced all the HandPunch 3000 readers with Schlage's newest HandReader, the HandPunch GT-400. It works just like the HandPunch 3000 did, but it also offers some new features.

One of the most advantageous features was the GT-400's push technology. When an employee uses the GT-400 to clock in or out, the reader automatically "pushes" the employee's punch data from the time clock reader to the cloud-based payroll server in real-time.

Previously, the payroll software collected the punches from the individual clocks and loaded them into the database in batches throughout the day. But, because it wasn't automatic, it didn't always give a true real-time account. With the GT-400, as soon as the individual is verified, the punch data is automatically pushed into the payroll software when it occurs, without any person or workstation needing to go out and collect it. It eliminates steps as well as the touchpoints where errors or failure could occur. On the GT-400, employees can also perform job transfers, input leave time, and view timesheets, work schedules and accrual balances, all at the clock.

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The GT-400's auto enrollment is a tremendous improvement. An employee can be added to any time clock remotely, making it easier on everyone. Implementation of the GT-400 has also decreased administrative efforts, because it seamlessly integrates with NOVAtime, Stutsman's workforce-management software. In addition to improving record-keeping and payroll accuracy, the company mitigates risks by ensuring the organization and employees are compliant and productive, mirroring industry statistics.


Organization: Eldon C. Stutsman Inc.

Headquarters: Hills, Iowa

Primary Business: A provider of retail and wholesale agricultural products.

HR Technology Challenge: To find a time-and-attendance platform that would prevent buddy punching and provide an accurate report of employee time.


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