Exclusive interview: Workforce management made simple with GT Clocks 

GT Clocks

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GT Clocks Vice President of Product, Ben Lagden talks to Security Journal Americas about Workforce Management utilizing his company’s solutions to employee interaction

1-ISJ- Exclusive interview: Workforce management made simple with GT Clocks 
Ben Lagden GT Clocks VP of Product

SJA: Tell our readers the background of GT Clocks.

Ben Lagden: We have 35 years’ experience providing Workforce Management (WFM) solutions into a wide range of geographic and vertical market sectors. Our objective is to remove the challenges WFM application providers face in surfacing and providing their products. At GT Clocks, our Professional Services Team allow the user experience to be tailored specifically to our partners’ requirements. We provide a variety of branding options to tailor devices specifically for larger end-user clients, where their logo, name or colors can be incorporated into the time clock. Our goal is for the time clock experience to be a true extension of the wider customer experience.

Explain the advantages of GT Clocks in workforce management and how this now works with GTConnect 

Our hardware is designed with longevity and reliability in mind for high foot-fall, always-on environments and this is not the case with cheaper solutions or tablets. Our hardware combined with our GTConnect platform significantly decreases total cost of ownership in several areas including: 

  • Reduced integration costs with our modular integration approach. This significantly reduces the development needed to take the solution to market both at a clock and a cloud level. 
  • The management of your assets is significantly simplified with the estate management functionality. All security updates, feature enhancements and configuration changes can be deployed at a click of a button. 
  • Our platform allows you to take a proactive approach to supporting your estate. Analytical insights mean issues will be identified often before the phone rings. The remote support capabilities have revolutionized the support approach with software and configuration issues being fixed quickly, without the need for an onsite engineer visit.
  • Buddy punching can account for 2.2% of your total payroll and biometric solutions are best placed to eliminate the practice. The ever-changing data protection legal landscape often creates a reticence to deploy. GTConnect eliminates risk by ensuring compliance both with privacy enhancing technology and enforcing processes around consent, retention and deletion of the required biometric data. This allows businesses to capitalize on the savings whilst maintaining the lowest possible risk. 

You offer a range of GT Clocks, tell us about the differences and how each type would be utilized?

3-ISJ- Exclusive interview: Workforce management made simple with GT Clocks 

We design and manufacture a range of WFM hardware to suit every environment and every budget. From a simple badge-in-badge out unit to a fully featured touchscreen device with capabilities for a variety of biometric options; we have an offering that fits the bill. 

GT4 – Entry-level device designed to provide small to medium enterprises with an affordable and fully featured workforce management clock.  The GT4 has a high resolution 4.3” color screen with 8 soft function keys allowing multiple nested menu structures to be configured to allow time & attendance and Employee Self Service (ESS) data to be captured and displayed. The GT4 is available with a wide range of reader technologies, including an integrated fingerprint biometric device to ensure high levels of security and employee verification.

GT8 – The GT8 supports the Android 10 operating system which can run Android apps natively via a number of other frameworks.  This opens up a wide range of possibilities for clients who have already invested in mobile development and self-service applications. 

Our flexible approach to app development comprises three options: using our standard ‘off-the-shelf’ application, an app developed in collaboration between Partners and our Professional Services team, or our Partners can develop their own in-house app. This rich functionality allows employers to support functions such as self-service applications; motivational and informative audio-visual content; training modules; booking services; and employee-engagement functionality for every member of staff in their organization. Its flexible, open platform creates opportunities for deployment as an adaptable, simple-to-use kiosk in any market sector. Combined with secure physical user identification and access to web-based functionality can enhance user experience, provide access to services, drive efficiency or generate additional revenue streams

GT10 – The GT10 clock features a large ‘Kiosk’ type screen designed for complex employee self-service applications.  The GT10 is available in both Linux and Android versions and provides support for web-based functionality via the large 10” color touchscreen display.  The GT10 supports a wide choice of conventional reader technologies, including barcode, mag stripe and proximity, as well as fingerprint and facial recognition biometrics.  

Can you tell us some individual solutions that you were able to offer after discussion with the client?

Ben Lagden: Across the world we have customers in retail, manufacturing, healthcare, food production, restaurants, grocery stores, and of course standard office environments. 

Some of the more unusual solutions that we have worked with our clients are:

  • Salt mines where the customer needed an industrial enclosure for the clock to protect it from the elements.
  • Prisons where we had to secure the clock to the wall so it couldn’t be used as a weapon by inmates/employees.
  • Adult entertainment, the customer had numerous venues where we had to ensure and even guarantee that the camera for face recognition was completely disabled.
Ben Lagden, Vice President of Product at GT Clocks has been with the company since 1999. He has worked in several roles across the business, including running development teams, professional services consultancy and management and most recently focusing on product direction and strategy.  He says: “I have a unique blend of people, technical and commercial expertise that allows me to develop effective, long-term working relationships with our partners.”

Information collected and collated on a workforce can be used in many ways. Can you tell us some of the advantages?

GT Clocks provides a secure at scale methods of collecting workforce data to provide accurate real time data to our workforce management partners allowing them to focus on their core business of providing leading human capital management solutions globally. 

Employees who work shift patterns, in particular within the hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing and retail sectors, typically work according to a particular schedule pattern. The clocks have the ability to enforce different schedules to ensure that employees are only paid according to the schedule defined within the HCMS system.  

5-ISJ- Exclusive interview: Workforce management made simple with GT Clocks 

The implementation of web-based functionality that can be accessed via the secure user identification integrated into the clock opens the possibility to have real time data presented on the device via a rich web experience whilst maintaining resilient offline data collection capabilities. Examples of the sort of data that can be presented via this web-based interface include holiday booking, schedule management, audio/video content and training material.  

Most people have a mobile phone these days, can you tell our readers what the advantages are offered by a GT Clocks system for access control and monitoring, over the mobile phone? 

We all know that mobiles are extremely convenient and a portable way of using the service. However, mobile technology poses a multitude of issues, in terms of accuracy and security.

When it comes to punching-in and out, geofencing technology is often applied to prove a point of presence. But we’ve all been in a big city with high rise buildings where our Google Maps or car navigation system is wildly inaccurate, showing our location maybe several streets away.

A large part of the value proposition for time and attendance solutions is accuracy and cost-saving, the solution should deliver fast ROI. By ensuring staff are ready to work when they punch in rather than walking to work or maybe still in the break room a significant walking distance away can impact these savings, particularly when multiplied per employee, several times a day and 365 days a year!

User adoption is an issue for employers too. Having an employee use their personal device introduces a cyber security risk to an organization. While mobile device management (MDM) platforms can be used to offer varying levels of protection to an organization again; employees may be unwilling to allow the level of control their employer may insist upon as adequate risk mitigation.

In summary, time clocks offer significant savings and accuracy over mobile solutions. Especially when you consider the total cost of mobile, BYOD, and MDM ownership, additionally, from a risk perspective, you’ll have a reliable, secure device – designed, tested and certified on your network rather than a multitude of third-party devices varying in age, OS version and security patch level. Your time clock platform will also be continually developed, patched and updated by you via our cloud management platforms, ensuring lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and peace of mind.

Tell our readers the progress that GT Clocks has seen and been able to offer to clients over the past five years.

One of the biggest changes in the market over the last five years has been the rapid adoption of biometric technology within workforce management devices.  This was particularly relevant during the global COVID pandemic that initially highlighted the need to provide a touchless environment for employees. Whilst this led to a huge initial demand for facial recognition technology as well as the use of temperature screening devices as a way of creating a safer workplace, we have seen a significant return to finger biometrics as the world returns to normal.  The greater use of biometric technology and the protection of this data within GT Clocks is a trend that we anticipate will continue to grow for the foreseeable future as the significant reduction in fraud via our solutions and the significant financial impacts are easily demonstrable from an ROI perspective.

SJA: What do you see as the next big leap in security and workforce data management technology in the future?

7-ISJ- Exclusive interview: Workforce management made simple with GT Clocks 
SJA June 2022 Ben Lagden interview from page 50

Security of PII data has become a critical element for global organizations.  Introduction of biometric security legislation in many countries has demonstrated the need to ensure that the capture, processing and storage of data must be a core part of any organizations’ strategic security plans.  Class action lawsuits that have been taken against companies who have failed to maintain compliance, clearly demonstrates how employees are becoming increasingly aware of their employers’ rights and obligations.  

GT Clocks see the security of their devices and the GTConnect platform as being an essential part of any organization addressing the need to maintain compliance with current (and future) legislation.  The tight integration of our devices into the GTConnect platform ensures that very high levels of data security and encryption will be applied at every stage of the workforce data management process.

This is the full version of the interview with Ben Lagden in the June 2022 issue of Security Journal Americas

You can read the magazine online HERE with the GT Clocks Ben Lagden interview beginning on page 50.

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