Here are a few general tips to consider when selecting a time and attendance vendor:
- Who is implementing the system? Will the vendor have primary ownership (and thus be responsible for maintenance, training, upgrades, and ongoing support)? Or will your IT staff implement and maintain the system (and thus reduce your purchase costs, but at the same time, incur operational costs by devoting your internal resources to owning the system)? The decision depends largely on the size of your staff, your budget, and the degree to which you feel comfortable with a partnership-type relationship.
- Is outsourcing an option? This could prevent a lot of headaches, free up your staff to perform other activities, and get you up and running faster. On the other hand, it will cost more; and you have to be assured that the vendor can work with your employees, systems, and culture.
- Does the vendor offer compatible payroll and HR systems? It may be better to work with a vendor who does it all rather than with multiple vendors who will piece together a system. On the other hand, if you’re happy with your other automated processes and are just looking to add time and attendance tracking capabilities, seek out a vendor who has a track record of integrating with other systems and technologies.
- Off-the-shelf or custom? Or maybe an off-the-shelf package with some customized features? If you’re not sure what you need, ask prospective vendors to analyze your needs and propose the best solution in terms of how it addresses your requirements, how much it costs, and how it works. Most vendors are willing to demo their product before you buy.
- Do you have industry-specific needs? A growing trend is for vendors to specialize in time and attendance solutions customized to a particular industry, such as hospitals. You may find that a vendor who already specializes in your industry already has what you want, while a more general business application would have to incur the expense and time of customizing your industry requirements.
There are numerous time and attendance system vendors and resellers to choose from. The comparison checklist below will help you determine what these different vendors may have to offer.