Greytip Software is a HR & Payroll solutions provider to SMEs, Startups and Enterprises across India. The company says that off late, small and medium businesses are facing numerous challenges in identifying the most effective attendance management software. The question they ask themselves is, how reliable and affordable is my attendance management system? Some of the pain points they witness while adopting a software is the amount of time that goes in training, selection, the cost involved in implementing the hardware and software etc. Keeping in mind all these elements, most of the small businesses and retail outlets generally have only a time clock with some variation and some basic time and attendance tagging.
The company says that by using GPS, employees can mark attendance seamlessly through greytHR mobile application. This app enables employees who are working on field to mark attendance and also is cost efficient for small companies devoid of CAPEX leverage. The company also say that studies indicate that around 60% of organizations have stated that their employees are not able to accurately mark attendance due to lack of best HR management tools.
In an interview to DATAQUEST recently, Girish Rowjee, CEO & Co-founder, Greytip Software demystifies the attendance management challenges and how GPS based attendance system ushers in defined benefits. Excerpts.
What are some of the key challenges faced by SMBs in terms of their attendance management systems?
Attendance management is the most important setup for any organization to maintain and manage a systematic work culture. Keeping this in mind, there are some key challenges that the SMBs are facing in this area that needs to be addressed.
Some of the key challenges faced by SMBs are:
- Maintaining attendance registers/ Punch cards: Actually there are some organizations who do not follow or have any attendance management system to speak of. Unless you want to count physical attendance registers or punch cards (still used in few manufacturing companies) as attendance management systems in today’s day and age which often gets dusty, soiled or worn out very fast. Maintaining such attendance registers, punch cards manually, calculating total hours spent at work, along with overtime is time-consuming Moreover, these calculations liable to human errors, and is an obsolete exercise.
- Using Excel sheets for attendance: A small set of SMBs use excel sheet to mark and capture attendance for their employees. Capturing attendance on excel sheets is prone to human errors, takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of effort to maintain and update for each month and each shift.
- Capturing attendance via swipe machines or biometric devices: Some SMBs depend on capturing attendance from swipe machines or biometric devices installed at their premises which in turn has to be purchased and maintained. Its maintenance involves internal wiring, multiple number of swipe machines and biometric devices, associated serves, and setting up of IP network for authentication purposes, etc. which have to be managed accordingly. Moreover, the cost of setup and maintenance is huge and can be easily avoided. Also, few SMBs may have employees, who work out of multiple offices. For instance, some firms have employees who are always out on field work or on the move. During such situations, it becomes a great challenge for the organization to keep accurate track of their attendance.
- Multiple attendance systems create chaos: What if one of their office locations captures attendance based on manual swiping of ID cards? And another location has employees logging on to an HRIS application to mark their attendance? What if, a third location uses excel sheet to mark and capture attendance? Such a situation poses a difficult challenge for every shift, every month. SMBs need to collate, compile and maintain attendance accurately and reliably from different sources before processing payroll. This may cause multiple recalculations and double checks, which may turn messy. This may also increase friction between their leaders and their employees leading to dissatisfaction on both sides.
- On-site employees’ attendance issues: Some SMBs, especially the ones who are into staffing, solution providers, IT & ITeS, IT companies may have employees who work on-site or out of client locations. In this case, they can’t use their clients’ attendance management system to capture attendance data of their own employees. They will have to rely on their client-side manager or SPOC to provide them with their employees’ attendance details, which would tax the client highly. Also, this may not be reliable and can lead to unnecessary friction and trust issues.
If you were take a due diligence on the state of affairs now, what are the technologies they use and why is it cumbersome to manage?
Most of them use ID card, swipe machines and/or biometric devices (attendance hardware) to capture attendance. However, to capture real-time attendance details they have to make sure that their attendance hardware interacts with an HRIS tool such as greytHR. In order to do that, they should buy and maintain swipe machines and biometric devices, associated servers, internal wiring and necessary IP networks for setup (for authentication purposes). This IT infrastructure, setup, integration and its maintenance is a huge cost that they can easily avoid. Third-party swipe machines or biometric devices mostly come with poorly maintained AMCs and poorer after-sales service. In some cases, these devices may not even capture accurate attendance data due to technical glitches, soiled or dusty fingerprints causing incorrect fingerprint recognition. Both situations may lead to friction between employees and HR. Resolving them may cause both parties to lose productive hours as well.
Why is GPS-based attendance system touted as the panacea?
GPS-based attendance is the latest feature to be launched on greytHR as part of our continuous effort to find solutions to our clients’ emerging problems. We wanted to find a way to mark and capture reliable and accurate attendance of all our clients’ employees without:
- relying on obsolete attendance registers or punch cards
- relying on biometric devices or swipe machines, their maintenance, internal wiring, integration with greytHR and associated AMC costs
- making our clients’ employees worry about marking their attendance accurately
- them and their managers writing approval/ clarification emails and follow-ups to one another to resolve ambiguous attendance details
We found a panacea: a one-stop solution that addresses all problems. And this solution is integrated with the ubiquitous gadget of our times a ‘smartphone’. Yes, all that our clients and their mobile, remote or on-site employees need is a smartphone or table that is GPS-enabled with good internet connection.
Can you elaborate on your solution and how it ushers in simplified management and efficiency?
The GPS-enabled attendance feature on greytHR simplifies attendance management and improves efficiency in the following manner:
- SMBs will no longer have to rely on third-party attendance hardware system to be integrated with greytHR to capture attendance. They do not have to worry about AMCs, which come with poor after-sales service, to maintain their attendance hardware.
- SMBs do not have to worry about availability of electricity or UPS systems to power their third-party attendance hardware to work properly. The GPS-enabled attendance feature does not rely on electricity, it only requires for each employee to maintain enough charge on their smartphone batteries
- This feature eliminates human interventions completely and also nullifies any chances of human errors or biases creeping in while marking or capturing attendance details
- While capturing attendance accurately is just one part of the problem, another important aspect would be to see what business can do with that data. A good attendance module will integrate time-in and time-out data for employees with their shift schedules while seamlessly integrating it with the payroll process. greytHR’s attendance module is completely automated and operating at the backend so that SMBs no longer have to worry about gathering and using attendance-related information in the right way at the right time.
If you look at the market you are in, what is the scope you see for your offerings and the traction you are seeing for your solution in the market since the launch?
We are seeing excellent traction for this GPS-enabled attendance feature in the market. We have been receiving a lot of enquiries from prospects and our existing clients alike. A lot of start-ups and smaller IT and ITeS companies, who do not want to invest in third-party attendance hardware systems and be burdened with AMC costs, are asking for this GPS-enabled attendance feature.
Finally, this comes under the domain of HR Tech, how difficult is to persuade an SMB company to go for this solution, because most SMBs in India do not have a progressive tech roadmap and some see IT as a cost center. How big a challenge is this?
While it is true that most SMBs have no tech roadmap, they are very keen to explore technological solutions which can solve current problems that they face. For example, as far as technological solutions exists in an ecosystem where training and upskilling employees is easy and costs are less, SMBs are ready to adopt newer technologies. This is exactly what India’s leading accounting software has done. A lot of SMBs search for solutions online too and are quite keen to read up on customer reviews and social proofs about latest technologies before they buy them.
SMBs have started seeing SaaS and cloud-based solutions as a service-oriented, pay-as-you-grow model, which is pocket-friendly and provides long-term solutions as partners. In terms of SMB interest in adopting a solution, our belief is that organizations are looking for solutions to their business challenges and requirements. They are keen to adopt a “solution” either technological or otherwise that can effectively and efficiently solve this for them. However, there is a certain sensitivity to price and that is the challenge that software product companies should address.