Biometrics eliminates ''Buddy Punching'' and provides enhanced self-service functionality


July 18, 2005

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July 19, 2005 The benefits of biometric employee ID terminals may not be entirely obvious in terms of ROI, but some interesting results came through recently from Nucleus Research, an independent research organization, that has been studying the benefits and ROI of biometric Kronos 4500 Touch ID terminals. Nucleus found that these kiosk-like terminals help organizations save, on average, 2.2 percent of gross payroll annually, by using biometric technology to eliminate "buddy punching". With the use of employee self-service through the terminals' unique Smart View transactions, they also are able to help organizations save as much as $210 per employee per year.

"Buddy punching", or employees inappropriately entering time and labour data for each other, is a problem that many organizations face but are unable to prove or determine its financial ramifications. Nucleus Research found that 74 percent of organizations experience payroll losses directly related to buddy punching. Biometric terminals eliminate buddy punching, which, for an organization with 5,000 employees, can account for more than $4 million annually.

"Like most organizations, we knew we had a problem with buddy punching, but we had no way to prove it," said Mike Edwards, of Chicago Public Schools. Chicago Public Schools, with more than 65,000 employees, installed the Kronos 4500 Touch ID terminals across its organization to overcome the issue of buddy punching. "With the … biometric technology … we are able to ensure we are getting work for the hours we're paying and that our budget money is being spent on providing quality education for our students," continued Edwards.

While employee-self service is typically reserved for professional workers, many organizations are providing this functionality across the enterprise. These organizations have found that providing their entire workforce, including hourly employees, with self-service functionality that was once reserved only for those with access to a PC improves efficiencies, increases productivity, and enhances employee satisfaction and retention.

Nucleus Research found that automating work-related processes such as viewing accrual balances, schedules, timecards, and even time off request directly from the terminal, can save employees an average of 15 minutes per month; managers an average of three hours per employee each year; and HR an average of five hours per employee per week.

Kronos reports that more than 30 percent of their data collection terminals are now sold with the biometric option.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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