Leading up to our participation in the National Retail Federation’s 2011 “Retail’s Big Show” from January 9 – 12 in New York city, M2SYS Technology is publishing a blog series on the top 15 reasons that biometrics is a smart choice for retail organizations to consider as an authentication technology in workforce management and retail point of sale applications.
Reason #2 – Increase Productivity
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Productivity Is Your Ace In The Hole
Want to put the gleam in a Retailer’s eye? Only two words will do it. These two words are the magic potion that all retailers seek. They are the secret sauce that lower expenses and drive revenues higher. The grease that makes the wheels of the business turn faster. Those two words are: increased productivity. All retailers seek it. Few achieve it without either raising incentives and/or investing in technology that eliminates unnecessary tasks and enables employees to focus their time on more money producing activities. This post focuses on how implementing biometric technology will directly lead to increased employee productivity.
Wikipedia defines productivity as, “a measure of output from a production process, per unit of input.” It goes on to say under the subtitle Economic Growth and Productivity, “Production is a process of combining various material inputs (stuff) and immaterial inputs (plans, know-how) in order to make something for consumption (the output). The methods of combining the inputs of production in the process of making output are called technology. Technology can be depicted mathematically by the production function which describes the relation between input and output. The production function can be used as a measure of relative performance when comparing technologies.” Good information to know as you evaluate alternative technologies for a retail and workforce management environment.
Increasing Productivity Pays Dividends
Recently, M2SYS spoke with one of our end users about how they are using biometric technology to calculate employee time and attendance. Since implementing fingerprint biometric technology, the end user estimates 10 employment service staff hours saved per pay cycle by eliminating the need for supervisors to authorize hours in the system after processing. That equates to 10 hours per cycle, 20 hours per month and approximately 240 hours per year which they have allocated to other projects and initiatives. (Monetarily speaking through a combination of increased productivity and reducing buddy punching they estimate $15,000 in savings per year through a $5,000 investment in biometric technology. That’s a 300% return on investment during the first year of using biometric technology and a tremendous boost in productivity for their employment service staff. Not too shabby and you can read more about it here).
What Causes Disruptions In Productivity?
Close your eyes and think for a moment of the little things that inhibit your staff from maximizing their productivity throughout the day. Maybe they forgot their swipe card, PIN, password or login ID to access the system, causing a slight delay as a manager provides an override or an IT support person resets a PIN or user ID. Perhaps there is a line each morning, afternoon and evening at the punchclock which results in a 2 minute delay as employees clock in and out. A couple of minutes may not seem like a big deal, but let’s take the 1st example of an IT support person resetting a password or login ID extrapolate those numbers across a year’s time and see how they look:
A Closer Look at the Impact of Biometrics on Productivity
Number of calls received per day to reset a login ID or password or both: 2
Average time spent on each call: 2 minutes
Estimated number of calls received per month: 46
Estimated time spent on support calls to reset login ID’s and passwords per month: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Estimated time spent on support calls to reset login ID’s and passwords per year: 18 hours
Since implementing biometric technology eliminates the need for login ID’s and passwords and augments operational efficiency, each IT person on staff responsible for performing this function can save approximately 18 hours of their time per year. If you had two people on staff responsible for resetting login ID’s and PIN’s that would be 36 hours per year they could be spending on other IT projects, perhaps concentrating on finding additional cost savings by streamlining technological infrastructure. Think about the extra time that it takes your staff to perform a task which could otherwise be eliminated by using biometric technology. Is it payroll verification? Transaction overrides?
If you have cut your prices to the bone, trimmed the fat from your business by eliminating overhead and streamlining processes, consider implementing a technology that has a direct impact on raising the output per hours worked for your staff. Biometrics could be the answer.
What are some additional ways that you can foresee additional productivity gains from using biometric technology?