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RFID Automates Payroll Process

LSI Mortgage Plus, a national mortgage banker/broker, deployed an RFID system to track employee work hours, reducing overtime pay and achieving an ROI within months.
By Bob Violino
Jul 18, 2011—Payroll is one of the biggest expenses many businesses have, and managing the payroll process can be one of the largest operational challenges companies face. That's because many firms, like LSI Mortgage Plus, in Duluth, Ga., rely on labor-intensive manual processes to track functions such as overtime pay.

At LSI, a national mortgage banker/broker with 130 employees working in three offices across the United States, workers fill in paper pay sheets to verify their work time and commission. These forms are collected by supervisors and are sent to the office's human resources (HR) manager, who enters all the information into a spreadsheet. That data is then keyed into the firm's payroll system by a member of the accounting office.

The process requires as much as 20 hours of labor in the HR and accounting departments every two weeks. And because so much of the process is manual, errors such as work hours being entered incorrectly are common, says Scott Koller, LSI's IT director.

LSI's managers wanted to improve the payroll process by finding a way to automatically track the attendance and work time of employees at its Atlanta headquarters. "The idea to have a system that told us when someone was in the building and when they weren't just seemed like an easy answer that would automate almost the entire process for us," Koller states.

In late 2010, the firm evaluated several technologies, including hand scanners, thumb scanners, an old-fashioned time clock and a Web-based time-tracking system. But these options required either employees to go to one central location, or the company to install multiple scanners or clocks throughout the facility. The Web-based tracking system didn't begin to record users' time at work until they were logged onto their personal computers and the system itself, Koller says, which made tracking work times inaccurate.

"The one problem all these options had that we wanted to avoid was the manual nature that required all employees to perform some action to comply," Koller says. "We wanted a system that automatically accomplished this across the enterprise."
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