8 Fun Facts about the BLE powered Beacon

Did you know that ……

1. Before the days of the BLE Technology, Beacons were typically referred to Lighthouses, tall structures that guide ships to navigate at sea. The BLE Beacon, however, is no lighthouse. 

2. The BLE Beacon is a small device that transmits signals. Designed on purpose to be low powered, and to emit short-range signals at set intervals. Its short transmission range makes it the perfect device for providing location-based information and services, such as marking time attendance.  

3. BLE actually stands for Bluetooth Low Energy, it is an enhanced and advanced version of the Classic Bluetooth designed by Nokia back in the days. BLE has come a long way from its predecessor, enabling a greater variety of functions and data exchange capability, including reporting Time Attendance. 

4. BLE Beacons are easy to use, and apps such as TimeTec TA has made it so that users only need to Sign in, and with a single tap, you can mark your attendance in the office. It's technology, not magic!

5. Beacon is a widely accessible technology. Because BLE capability is found in most of our mobile devices today, Beacons are able to work on Android and iOS platforms on smartphones and tablets.

6. With BLE, Beacons maintains a very good battery life. Generally lasting from about 18 to 24 months, while some may even last over 5 years. Despite their reliability, Beacons don’t actually work that hard. They let Bluetooth do all the work, and Bluetooth is incredibly energy efficient. Even with a small sized battery, it packs a good punch.

7. Beacons are not just user-friendly, they are respectful. Because Beacon requires users to Opt-in for a successful pairing. It makes a secure, friendly and respectful device for Time Attendance.

8. When BLE Beacons are implemented with TimeTec TA in your office, you can forget punch cards and access cards, all you need is your smartphone to clock in and/or out. 

Try your hand at Time Beacon for Attendance using TimeTec TA mobile app and watch this video to know how easy it is to get your attendance data sorted out. Stay tuned for more info about beacon on this blog. 

4 Ways Cloud has Changed Data Analysis

What are the components necessary to carry out data analysis? Usually, this includes a suitable data collection process, the architecture, and infrastructure in place, access to data, transformation, techniques and models for analysis and finally the interpretation of results.
Add in the Cloud element and the process is similar to what is commonly practiced, with exception to differences in the method of data generation, storage, and access. Information can be collected on a larger scale and centralized more conveniently because of the scalability and broad network access feature when using cloud infrastructure.
Data is also now remotely hosted but the access is ubiquitous. Applications and services operating on a cloud platform can be accessed worldwide by users on connected computers and smartphones.
In TimeTec TA, essentially what we offer is a system that captures, stores and processes the data of working hours for employees using cloud technology. With cloud, the data is simply generated through more methods, capable of incorporating the interaction from many computer browsers and mobile devices.
So, how does cloud change data analysis for the better? 
Better Access
When we use the cloud software such as TimeTec TA for time and attendance, it leads to better data accessibility as the privilege of access can now be offered to all employees based on company policies and role settings. Each staff can access their own attendance records in real time and request for amendments where necessary. This gives them the chance to manage their own time and fosters responsibility for their own performance.
Using system role, direct supervisors who work with employees on a day to day basis is given the tool to effectively manage people in their own team. Information sharing becomes straightforward and aligned with operational needs and personnel responsibilities.
By giving access to relevant information within limits, these people can also analyze patterns in the working hours and spot inconsistencies or non-compliance instead of leaving it all in the hands of the Human Resource Manager or Administrative staff.
Better Response Time
Over here at TimeTec, we are constantly working on making improvements and product enhancements to deliver the best possible user experience to customers. To achieve that, we need to understand our users’ needs, and naturally, this entails gathering information and customer feedback before making changes. We also established a mechanism such as ‘Request Form’ for users to directly share their thoughts or submit features request within the software.
Due to the nature of a cloud-based system, performing clear analysis in this step is even more crucial as the eventual solution when it goes live; as it is immediately and simultaneously available to all users. However, the upside is that this becomes an opportunity for us to achieve a better response time for our customers.   
More Data to Support Decision-Making
Data analysis these days can be done on many levels, be it basic and rudimentary or done through business intelligence applications with highly tailored dashboards or even using the latest processing engines on very huge datasets. Whichever way used, the purpose is to get meaningful insights and preclude bias in supporting decision making.
As mentioned above, due to the connected and elastic nature of cloud, data can be collected on a larger scale and from more sources such as from devices or sensors. Generally, being able to gather more information is better so as to give us a more complete and well-rounded picture of things. However, this also presents new opportunities and challenges in terms of using complementary data sources, integrating them and choosing the best analysis techniques and ways to interpret data. We wouldn’t want to be making flawed interpretations and bad decisions based on the data.
Data Analytics Cloud
To go a step further, with some of the analysis software moving to cloud drives, information and analysis results are becoming even more accessible in organizations. For instance, Time Warner Cable’s B to B Sales Division use the Salesforce Cloud for analytics and forecasting. Amazon also has recently launched their Kinesis Analytics, a new service for its AWS cloud platform allowing developers to analyze data being streamed to their servers in real time.
Cloud technology has indeed changed the way we collect, store, analyze and share data in the workplace today.  And I reckon that cloud has made its way into the world we live in and it’s here to stay.

Ms Lai Yuen Kuan is a Monash University Graduate in Business and Commerce, majoring in Accounting & Finance. She worked at KPMG Malaysia as an Auditor for 5 years and now serving TimeTec as a Data Analyst.

Reasons Why Mobile App Matters

This is a true story. While I was taking a vacation on a beautiful island, indulging in its amazing view and clean air, my phone rang. My company needed to submit a very important application that only I could write about, and the application had to be submitted before the end of the day. I didn’t bring my lappy (like how the hipsters called it nowadays), so what was I to do? I could write on a few sheets of high-quality grainy Resort papers laying around in my room, snap a photo and send it over, but could they understand my near-doctor handwriting that even I had the problem reading? After a few moments of panicking, the genius in me kicked in and made me installed Google doc App on my mobile that made it possible for me to carry out my important task on a tiny little screen until the sun went down. Okay, forgive me for the incident's over-dramatization. I could simply go to the Resort’s business Center to finish my job but the fact remains that people do stuff on their mobile nowadays; it’s hard to even talk to these people and look them in the eyes, literally. 

Therefore, when TimeTec develops our cloud solutions, mobile App instantly becomes the focus of the development. So, why does app matter in today’s workforce? It’s because people no longer open their computers for facebook and people publish their selfies using mobile. But more importantly, today’s workforce have to deal with the fast pace of business and technology, that having things centralized in their mobile would make their life simpler and better.

Workforces are fluid these days more than not. Things need to get done faster and more efficient that they can’t afford to just stay in an office. Travels become common and when employees are not available in the office, they need to be given tools to complete the pressing tasks. With TimeTec TA, they can report their whereabouts accurately and TimeTec Patrol utilizes App as its patrolling tool. The technology of the mobile like GPS, NFC, Wifi, and the Internet make everything possible. Next, TimeTec Leave lets employee manage their work leaves from the App and TimeTec MW (Mobile Workforce) can trace the routes taken by the mobile workforce with great certainty. Irrespective of your employees’ locations, when they have the right tools to get things done, things will get settled without intrusive supervision.  

Nowadays also, everybody has his/her smartphone of choice and as long as they can install the Apps on their phone, the Company doesn’t have to be concerned about the type of phones they are using. And that’s why TimeTec apps are built on the common iOS and/or Android platforms for easy download.

Study finds that humans are naturally selfish, they like anything that is related to them. Hence, it’s very important for Apps to not forget personalization. TimeTec TA App has a dashboard that shows one’s productivity of the day and time management. i-Neighbour makes visiting your loved ones easier and TimeTec Leave is about your personal leave management. People love themselves, and if an app provides something that improves their lives and has something to do with them, they’ll definitely be using it.   

App like Spotify makes us listen to music without CDs, Whatsapp lets us communicate intensely in silence with so many people from around the world for free, Google presents Office on mobile in case we need to work at odd hours, and Waze shows us the way. The world has gone mobile and mobile is nothing if without its useful apps.

Install TimeTec App now for workforce time management in Google Play and App Store

Effective Job Costing with TimeTec TA

Job costing is the process of tracking costs by tasks assigned, where employer gets to monitor the cost of each work completed by the employees. Having this information, company can evaluate its profitability and review its decisions based on the return-on-investment or cost-effectiveness of the work done. 

3 Obvious Job Costing Benefits!

Improve Profitability – Job costing is calculation of cost based on each work. It’s the process of quantifying each work into dollars and cents, allowing the management to calculate the monetary value for individual task. As the management reviewing the report on job costing, it’ll become apparent on which tasks that are hemorrhaging money and which tasks are doing fine, resulting in cost control measures that can bring better profits to the company. 

Assess Work Performance – Through job costing, you will be able to assess your employees’ individual work performance, based on everyone’s productivity and efficiency. Always when dealing with a group of employees, there’s no accurate indication of who’s actually doing what and how effective this staff is. With this tool, you will be able to identify and justify employees who fail to meet performance expectation and recognize the ones that have performed well.

Estimate Future Costing – By having the cost for each job, management can make estimation of the future costing that will incur and plan on their resources better. This will enable company to understand what the REAL cost for a job to be completed. 

Regardless of the size of your company, job costing can deliver an efficient method to calculate the exact expenses required for your company’s production. Be in control of your company’s costing today! Try the job-costing feature in TimeTec TA through the steps below:

1. Create the work code at Company > Remark/Workcode. 
2. Add in user work rate per hour in their Profile at User > Manage User.
3. Create flexi schedule and enable the work code in Schedule settings

4. Assign users into the schedule.
5. Make sure that users under this schedule choose their work code each time they clock for work.
6. Generate report at Report > Attendance Listing > Job Cost Analysis. 

Note: We will enhance this feature in the future by allowing Admin to add in the rate per hour for each work code to provide a more detail job costing report. 

Overtime Fixes Your Business Requires

Ideally, a business should operate during regular work hours only on weekdays. Well, that’s in the land where customers do not need instant support and fast delivery, in the place where deadlines are unheard of and all services and productions happen during the day. Businesses need agility and one way to achieve business’s objectives is to implement overtime in the workplace. The truth is, if life doesn’t demand overtime nobody wants to volunteer for overtime. It’s undeniable that working overtime can earn staff some extra money but it also can take a toll on employees. 

When work couldn’t be completed in the provided time period, but the deadline is nearing, overtime works as a savior. This happens when there’s a mismatch in workload and workforce; too much work to be done by too little people. This situation could be temporary for example, a company that needs to implement overtime to handle the incoming stock or a sudden surge of sales during festivity period. It could also be a permanent situation whereby your company does not employ enough manpower to deal with your business’s demands. While the first one can be corrected or managed by overtime, it’s much better for a company to resort for a better solution by employing more staff to match the requirements for the second scenario. Forcing your employees to work overtime at all times can lower down the morale and the overall productivity. 

Overtime also can result from too many meetings, too many emails and too many distractions. At the end of the day, employees need to do what they need to do and when the time required for them to do their jobs is replaced by meetings, answering emails and office distractions, they will find a way to finish their job by taking overtime. In situations like these, managers need to pay attention to the activities assigned to their team in the office to make sure that employees get ample time to settle their required jobs. Overloading your staff with office activities that are not productive is not the way to go to achieve excellence. Cut backs on meetings, simplify email replies and identify areas of distractions in the office to make your staff more focused on their tasks. 

However, in lesser circumstances, over striving staffs also like to take overtime willingly because they want to prove their worth to the company. My life is my work and my work time proves it, so please let me climb the (corporate) ladder. It wouldn’t become a problem if a company allows overtime and happy with these over striving employees. Nonetheless, various researches have proven that spending too much time in the office could be unproductive and shouldn’t be encouraged because it’ll cause the staff to overwork and not performing at his/her ideal rate. 

Manage your workforce’s overtime by fixing its causes. The objective is not to eradicate overtime but to keep it at a minimum to control cost and to maintain employee satisfaction.

TimeTec TA provides a tool to manage your business’s overtime by allowing you to set the rules and schedules that favor your company. Give it a try by signing up with us at www.timetecta.com and get 10 user licenses free for life. 

Note: The writer does not apply for overtime to write this blog entry.