It is (relatively) easy to track attendance in a corporate park or branch. How do you handle attendance tracking and compliance when you have dispersed outlets with varying staff strength of ten to fifty employees? Even large brands have not found the perfect answer. They end up using a mix of methodologies like thumb-based/card-swipe systems in larger stores and some manual registers in smaller ones. Neither are fool-proof and the age-old problem persists even today.
What are the top retail attendance challenges and their solution?
Hardware Installation: Installing a hardware for attendance at every single shop is not practical, especially when the staff strength is not large. Besides, retail chains are always in an expansion mode and installing hardware in all new stores is not a scalable idea.
Solution: Opt for a solution like Truein face attendance which does not require any hardware installation. How face recognition attendance system works? It works on any Android or iOS device. It can also be configured to work from an employee’s own phone. It is scalable to as many stores as one may need, without any added upfront hardware cost.
Remote locations: A lot of retail stores are located in far-off locations, with limited internet access. Most attendance systems require the internet to function and may be redundant in smaller towns.
Solution: Always check if the system you shortlisted works in offline mode. Truein face attendance can work offline and sync data online when the internet comes available. That way, all stores can have a single attendance system. No exceptions!
Parallel systems: When attendance systems like the thumb or card don’t work at all times due to non-detection or errors, people start using parallel systems like manual registers. Smaller stores don’t have the infrastructure for maintenance and resort to alternatives. That makes the organization prone to proxies and leakages in the system which add hidden costs.
Solution: Try to use a system that does not allow people to slip through. A face attendance system like Truein works practically hundred percent of all times. Thumb not being recognised or the card getting damaged are not the kind of excuses you hear with face recognition. It simply works, no matter what!
Store wise reconciliation: With retail chains using multiple systems across multiple stores, it is often a task to bring it all together at the end of the month and calculate salaries. Not to forget, there are sick leaves, casual leaves, public holidays and other such complexities too. It takes many man hours to sync this data across stores and of course, it can never be foolproof.
Solution: An attendance system backed by solid software can link everything from holidays and leaves to shifts and compliances. Everything flows through just one comprehensive system so you can simply export the reports and disburse remunerations. No manual syncs! Truein makes it possible.
No visibility: It is not possible for HR or leadership teams to see what is happening at different outlets on a day-to-day basis. Attendance, compliances and all are left to local teams. Head office comes to know about the attendance percentages only at the end of the month when there is a manual sync. The system is not agile. It is difficult to ensure that rules are complied with.
Solution: It is important to choose a system that syncs data in real-time back to the head office or HR admins. Anybody can see analytics through the web dashboard or on their mobile. Truein brings this power and transparency.
Shift management: Retail stores often operate for twelve hours. They have staff working in rotation shifts. Often, separate morning, afternoon and general shift registers are maintained to manually track the shift allocation and attendance. Again, another manual entry which has to be synced and is prone to human error.
Solution: Have it all as part of the attendance system! Shift allocation is technically an extension of attendance and systems like Truein make it possible to link the two. One can allocate shifts in bulk to the entire staff via a simple spreadsheet upload or can do it individually for every staff member.
Retailers can heave a sigh of relief
Finally, there is an attendance system that works in every situation – offline, with shifts, with compliance rules and more. One click enables complete sync and export for next steps like salary disbursement.
Large retailers like PC Jewellers have trusted Truein and have rolled it out to their entire chain in no time – no hardware installation required, after all! When the pandemic posed more challenges to the already existing retail attendance woes, there was only one solution they could reliably depend on – face attendance with no hardware and a solid software.
When companies evolved from paper-based attendance to one that was technology enabled, they were asked to install machines for card swiping or thumb imprints. Once upon a time that felt like an obvious choice. Not anymore! If you are still installing bulky attendance systems, you are probably living in a cave.
There are choices. Go hardware-less!
Introducing hardware-less face recognition attendance
The charm of technology is not in its complexity, but in its practicality.
Consider Truein’s face attendance app – it can be installed on any tablet or mobile to get started in no time. A common tablet (any Android or iOS device) at the gate is all the infrastructure you need. Or better still – install nothing!
Ask your employees to do a selfie-attendance from their very own phone. How do you ensure they are not marking attendance from home or a beach holiday? With Truein geo-fencing, of course. Our geofencing attendance feature lets employees mark selfie attendance only from geographical boundaries set by you. Define the radius from your office and you are set.
Why does hardware-based attendance increase liability?
If you have hundred construction sites or two hundred retail stores, would you invest a machine everywhere? The cost would multiply manifold. Besides, nothing lives forever. You are looking at a similar investment every few years.
Hardware that you or your IT does not understand will always have an external dependency. It will have its maintenance requirements. It means calling the technicians every time you hit a snag. It can also mean annual maintenance contracts and more cost.
In comparison an Android or iOS based simple tablet or mobile needs little to no troubleshooting. And anyone can do it!
Lack of portability
Typical hardware-based systems have heavy installations which act as permanent fixtures. They are immovable. They sit with your furniture. When you move somewhere, you need a technician again.
Contrast that with a simple iOS or Android-based mobile attendance system with a temporary stand. Move it around as you please. Rainy days? Move it inside. No problem!
Whether it is card-based system or thumb-based system, you always hear complains about card not getting recognized or thumb not being accepted. An oily hand or scratches on card are common reasons for the system to not work. Result? The admin pulls out a manual entry register which is reconciled end of the month.
We take attendance seriously. With Truein face attendance, you get practically hundred percent accuracy and reliability. No parallel systems, please!
Limited use case
When you install a hardware, you are only thinking about your desk employees. What about your field workers or mobile workforce? Can a marketing manager mark attendance from agency’s office? Can a salesperson report from distributor’s office? Not if they need a large machine to mark attendance.
Consider the Truein mobile-based selfie attendance. It works for very many use cases:
- On field staff doesn’t have to come to office only to mark attendance
- In construction industry or similar industry where sites keep changing, there is no unnecessary infrastructure created. The security guard can take attendance of all contract workers from his device.
- Retail outlets which run in hundreds and thousands can just geo-fence their stores and let employees mark attendance from their phones.
Every time a new employee joins in, there is a long process of thumb registration or card activation. How would you like to replace it with a face recognition system that lets new employees click a selfie and onboard themselves in no time? You will like it very much, especially when the organization grows. Think scale? Think ease of onboarding with face attendance.
It becomes even more relevant when you are dealing with contract staff that changes on daily basis. The common bane in the construction industry!
Step into the future
Don’t hold yourself in the past. In the 21st century, getting an attendance machine is like buying a keypad based mobile. It is like using pigeons when you can use emails. Embrace technology that is light, portable and practical.
Go touchless, go hardware-less.