A British technology company has chosen an innovation centre in Hampshire from which to launch a digital clocking-on service for businesses and organisations across the UK.
The web-based mobile application by Smarter Innovation Systems - www.smarterinnovationsystems.co.uk - enables workers to remotely clock in and out through their smartphones or other internet-connected devices, ensuring time and attendance are accurately recorded.
These are accessed on user interfaces, via biometric facial or fingerprint recognition, to prevent fraudulent practices such as ‘buddy clocking’ or ‘ghost employees’.
Encouraging positive behaviour, it also means that people who genuinely work contracted hours and overtime can be rewarded, as well as deterring repeated lateness or unsanctioned breaks.
Senior management can also access remotely who is where during a major incident, such as a fire evacuation.
Fifteen potential customers are already in talks with Smarter Innovation Systems, run by founder and managing director Colette Hemstritch-Johnston from Ocean Village Innovation Centre (OVIC) in Southampton.
They include a tyres depot concerned about productivity problems caused by high levels of smoking breaks and a school requiring transparency after calling into question work done by cleaners after the premises has closed.
A company responsible for providing home care to the elderly and vulnerable, and a bakery with shift patterns, are also among interested parties.
OVIC, which has 70 serviced offices and is operated by UKSPA member Oxford Innovation, Britain’s leading operator of innovation centres for start-ups and early-stage firms, has 93% occupancy. There are just 20 workstations available.
Smarter Innovation Systems, which currently employs three people, has been granted the UK distribution rights by ZKTecho, a global provider of biometric security solutions, to sell the software packages.
Adrian Precious, Smarter’s head of sales and marketing, said: 'Whilst there are companies involved in this field, we’re thought to be the only British one, and it’s fitting that we are starting out in a serviced office space which is dedicated to supporting innovation.
'What’s more, we are unique in that we conduct physical site surveys to ensure that customers receive software which supports their actual needs through bespoke integration, rather than having a remote solution which might well be impractical.
'Our solutions are cost-effective and pay for themselves many times over. One care home has realised savings of up to £10,000 a month after our technology transformed productivity.'
As part of OVIC’s business ecosystem, where 40 firms on site increasingly do business with one another, Smarter Innovation Systems has forged partner links with HR and recruitment consultancy Stellamar.
Adrian said: Our software packages, which come under the Smarter Innovation Systems brand, will be of keen interest to HR professionals at companies large and small - the time-and-attendance applications are their eyes and ears.
'Thanks to OVIC, we have been introduced to Stellamar, presenting new opportunities in the HR and recruitment sectors.
'We searched long and hard for the right premises in Southampton. OVIC was the right choice because of the friendly centre staff, the professional look and feel of the reception and meeting rooms and the excellent value for money regarding office space and various services, such as reception calls and mail handling.'
Rob Greenberg, OVIC’s centre manager, said: 'Work-recording technology has been around since the 1880s and is perhaps best epitomised in old TV comedies of factory and office workers punching in cards as they ‘clock on’ to the sounds of merriment or groans or both.
'However, there are well-documented flaws in this outdated process, with sharp practices which cost employers both productivity and profit and leave hard-working employees brimming with resentment that some colleagues are less than scrupulous when it comes to time-keeping and attendance.
'I have no doubt that Smarter Innovation Systems, our latest customer here at OVIC, will be in demand from customers keen to embrace clock-on-the go technology, especially as the rise of mobile working in Britain now presents field recording challenges that weren’t present before the digital age.'
In another example of OVIC’s business ecosystem, the new website for Smarter Innovation Systems was completed by fellow occupier Nutley & Nutley, a website design agency.
Other occupiers at OVIC include tugs company Svitzer Towage, Project Kudos, the international asset-backed investment specialist, business organisation Business South, DHI Water Environment (UK), PayFlow, Little Shipmates Group, The Training Room, YA Logistics (UK), Vadatech and iXBlue.