If you’ve ever played a game of pinball and triggered the multiball feature, you know how exhilarating it can be. But keeping all the balls in play takes patience, timing, quick fingers and perhaps a little luck.
It shouldn’t be that way with Time & Attendance.
For Time & Attendance software, being able to offer multiple partner solutions to your small and medium-sized business (SMB) clients is just as exciting, but there’s no balancing tricks needed. Each integrated partner offers different options that might suit the needs of a certain type of business—or company in a certain industry—better.
For instance, some Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) and Administrative Services Organizations (ASOs) focus on the hospitality industry while others have more of a health care focus or maybe technology. And while some fields require complex Time & Attendance management features, others require simpler functionality: start, stop, start, stop.
“We look at multiple vendors for two reasons,” says Pathik Mody, the Chief Technology Officer of Trion Solutions, based in Troy, Michigan, and one of the largest PEOs in the country. “We want to provide what the client wants. We don’t want to force the client to use one technology. Instead of saying to a client, ‘This is the solution,’ we tell the client it has multiple options. And that’s why we have selected two Time & Attendance partners, so our clients can select the one it feels best meets its needs.”
More Than Just Clock In, Clock out
One function that is particularly important to some companies is an advanced scheduler, which allows nonexempt worksite employees (WSEs) to see who is working when. That way, they can use their Time & Attendance application to see colleagues’ schedules and put the word out if they need to have a shift covered. That takes the burden off the manager to have try to fill holes in the schedule and puts the onus on the WSE to ensure their shift is covered.
Additionally, some companies that use on-site workers might be interested in geofencing and geotracking to ensure workers are clocking in and clocking out from where they say they are. With the former, companies have the ability to set an area where employees have to be in order to clock in and out; with the latter, companies can see where the workers are performing that function. You know, it’s hard to assemble pinball machines from a beach in Florida.
Complexities Are Omnipresent
Much like obstacles and hazards in a pinball game, there is no shortage of potentially complex situations that could come into play when it comes to Time & Attendance compliance, especially since it is a key component of payroll and benefits.
“Some businesses need a more sophisticated system that can handle more complexities,” says Alecia Mastin, PrismHR’s senior manager of platform growth. “For example, a restaurant group that has several locations in a metro area that sits on the border of two states, such as Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas. The restaurant could have several employees that pick up shifts at multiple locations doing various jobs, such as a line cook at one location and a bartender at another location. Now they have one employee with multiple pay codes working at multiple locations. Labor cost allocations need to be divided and they may need a paystub to reflect hours that are aggregated.”
Others that service more white-collar industries might be more concerned with keeping track of paid time off (PTO) for their exempt workers who are still asked to clock in even though they are on salary.
On the other hand, if it’s just a time-in and time-out tracking situation, a simple solution would do the trick. No need for clients to spend more for something they would never use. The key is to have multiple Time & Attendance options to accommodate all types of clients, Mastin says. Each time partner has its strengths, so why not utilize them all as part of your PEO’s or ASO’s holistic growth strategy?
Integration Is Essential
For a PEO or ASO that wants to expand their business, they need integrated options to accommodate different types of clients. When software solutions work well together, it’s a bonus. While our Time & Attendance partners—such as PrismHR Time & Labor powered by TCP Software, Swipeclock and Timeco—do an awesome job on their own, your game will be elevated when even more “balls” are put into play.
Richard Torrence is TCP’s Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) reseller partner director. As he explains, “The vast majority of PrismHR’s PEOs’ average size clients are 30, 40 employee companies. While a 30-employee client is the average size, all PEOs want solutions that allow them to scale and want to be able to service the 200-employee company, the 500-employee company, the 2,000-employee company.”
That’s part of the reason why more is more with Time & Attendance provider options. Here are some other things to keep in mind when it comes to evaluating solutions—and becoming a “pinball” wizard:
- Plug and Play: There will be some degree of setup involved with any Time & Attendance offering, but it’s best to understand how long it takes for a new client to be up and running. A smaller company might want an easier solution to administer, but a larger organization could want something that’s more robust with more features and options.
- Easy-peasy: Is the solution available on a smartphone? Is it simple to use? All valid questions to ask.
- Compliance-ready: Compliance is absolutely a huge part of Time & Attendance, especially when it comes to regulations like the overtime rules found in California, Kentucky and New York. In Kentucky, for example, companies must pay time and half for any work done on the seventh day of the week or risk a penalty of at least $100 but not more than $1,000 per violation. Violations could get pricey very quickly.
- Your Attendance is Congratulatory: Some clients might want to be able to reward perfect attendance. If so, you’ll need to be able to capitalize on that feature.
- Don’t Leave ‘Leave’ to Chance: Being able to handle multiple types of state and federal leave might be important to some clients, but to smaller businesses, it might not be an issue.
- Stay on Schedule: Requesting time off is a common need for most companies, but how a Time & Attendance solution handles said requests might differ. Clients will want to find what works best for them. So give ’em options.
- Stay on Schedule, Part 2: Complex staffing needs, such as in health care, require more sophisticated modular options. How the Time & Attendance solution handles these variable shift options could be more important to some clients than others.
- What’s It Cost? There aren’t many business decisions that don’t come down to cost, and Time & Attendance software is no exception. If a client only needs punch in and punch out solution, for instance, chances are they aren’t going to want to pay for a more expensive system with features they don’t need.
Are you ready to get the ball rolling? Learn more about our Time & Attendance partners today.
James Tehrani is PrismHR’s digital content marketing manager. He is an award-winning writer and editor based in the Chicago area.