Wholefood Company Goes Biometric
Buy Whole Foods Online, a family-run wholefood business, has just installed the very latest biometric, interactive time and attendance system to provide accurate and reliable staff attendance data and reduce administration for HR and payroll staff.
Founded in 2007 and initially operating from shed in the back garden, the company grew dramatically, experiencing 50% year-on-year growth, and expanding quickly from the shed into a mini warehouse. Continued growth ensued and the company moved into larger commercial premises in 2011 and again in 2016, and now employs 46 staff. Firmly established as one of the leading online shops for whole foods, health foods and superfoods, Buy Whole Foods Online operates both directly and via an Amazon shop front with customers throughout the UK and Europe.
Production & Packaging Manager, Ashley Woodall commented, “One of the problems with a successful, rapidly growing business like ours is ensuring that management systems keep pace with the growing workforce. Each department here recorded attendance using basic timesheets which had to be completed manually. These were collated by department heads onto spreadsheets which were then sent to accounts for the payroll. This was very time consuming, of limited accuracy and took little account of time taken for work breaks, so we felt it was time to automate the process.”
Buy Whole Foods Online approached Bodet which installed their latest interactive, biometric X4 clocking in terminals with supporting self-service software which included Absence Request and Personal Result modules. When staff start or end their shift, they simply place their finger onto the scanner which captures a fingerprint, eliminating the need for staff to complete time sheets. The terminal then compares the print against a stored profile to identify the employee, and time stamps the record. This is stored on the master database in real time which means managers can see directly from their PC if any staff are absent or late.
The software also generates either standard or customisable staff attendance reports for HR, management staff and payroll. There is also a safety issue with the system as it provides an accurate record of who is on site should an emergency situation arise.
“We decided on the X4 system because staff clocking in and out using the fingerprint sensor avoids the issue of fobs or cards being passed around, and ensures the attendance data is irrefutable,” added Woodall. “The integral touchscreen also allows staff to request holidays and access their own personal attendance records directly from the terminal.”
“We are really pleased with the system, as it saves a lot of routine work for the HR staff. We can also scan in sick notes and return to work forms, and all the data is recorded on the individual’s personal file. The workforce have readily embraced it, as it engages them directly and they have an input via the touchscreens. Being a modular system means we can extend the system for visitors, and can add other management modules as the business continues to grow.”