A check in and out system is a piece of software used in conjunction with an access control system to monitor the in’s and out’s of people and equipment.
Check in and out systems offer useful data to help measure productivity as well as track employee attendance and visitors, but is also a valuable safety tool in emergencies when it is helpful to remotely monitor the number and location of people in your facility. Similarly, tool tracking with check in and check out systems minimizes loss and theft, tracks wear and damage, and makes scheduling maintenance easy.
In this article we’ll take a look at both these access control applications and how they look in action.
Track Employee Check In and Check Out
Check in and check out systems for employees use a keycard, key fob, or smartphone in conjunction with a smart reader to keep track of in and outs. Each entry and exit is stamped with a date, time, location, and identity information for the employee. Temporary visitor badges also have this function.
In-and-out tracking for employees has three-fold use: for time tracking, attendance tracking, and emergency situation data.
Productivity and time tracking
When check in and check outs are tracked by your access control software, you’ll be able to see how much time each employee spends in the office.
While overall productivity isn’t always in lockstep with time logged in the office, it’s still a factor in productivity, and keeping track of this time can help both managers and employees have a better understanding of how their time is spent.
And for companies that empower employees to have a flexible schedule that’s not a strict nine-to-five, you’ll still be able to keep an eye on their overall hours and general schedule.
Aside from this, gathering data on when people tend to be in the building and when they’re not can increase other efficiencies, such as lowering or raising the temperature, or turning lights off and on.
Office time tracking is also useful as basic timesheet data, which can be leveraged by payroll software in addition to access control and productivity tracking. For companies that pay their employees an hourly wage, digital timesheets are faster, easier, and more economical to use than old-fashioned cards and clocks.
Check in and out systems also make it easy to have a virtual attendance roll of who is in your facility and who isn’t in real time.
This feature is helpful for managers who are coordinating workflows and workforces across multiple locations. Additionally, for communications such as emails or in-office messaging systems, managers who know when employees are in or out of the office will have a better idea of when to send their message, and when to expect a reply.
And for coworking spaces, taking attendance simply helps keep track of which renters are using their spaces according to the terms of their contracts, and which might not be.
For coworking spaces with extended hours, check in and out systems ensure that all entrances and exits from the space are authorized or at least monitored and recorded. This provides extra security for renters and visitors, and legal security for facility owners as well as peace of mind.
Check in and check out systems allow you to keep track of who and, to some extent, where your employees are. This has obvious applications for emergency situations.
In the case of evacuations, even if employees do not check themselves out, managers will have a roster of everyone who was checked in earlier that day that they can use to confirm that everyone has left the building.
And for buildings that have a secondary checkpoint inside the facility, managers will be able to remotely access the data for that checkpoint and confirm whether or not any employees are still there.
For locations such as mines or industrial manufacturing facilities, making sure that everyone is accounted for at the end of the day is a basic safety procedure that is vastly simplified by check-in check-out systems.
And as with all access control systems, check in and out systems will log and record unauthorized entries, whether that be from an actual breaking and entering, a mishandled ID card, or an attempt to brute force the software to allow someone through.
In fact, for companies that deal with sensitive data and equipment or that have had problems with brute force attack before, a check-in check-out system paired with a fingerprint access control system is an effective way to eliminate ID cards altogether, and grant access control on a literally person-by-person basis.
Check In / Check Out Equipment Tracking
Another application for check-in check-out technology is equipment tracking. In equipment tracking, each item that is chosen to be tracked is given a unique QR code that can then be followed through checkpoints.
This system helps reduce accidental loss and theft, but there are other systemwide advantages to this tracking as well: tracking users and locations, tracking performance indicators, and tracking use and maintenance cycles. The data collected here also makes it easier for managers to schedule equipment maintenance and replacement at the right time.
Tracking users and equipment
A check in and check out system for equipment will require that whenever a piece of equipment is checked out, the person who checks it out must also be recorded. This can be achieved with an ID card or fob, a security code, or a manual entry attached to the device check-out.
Thanks to this system, you’ll never have to guess where a piece of equipment is or who has it now: it will be tracked in real-time.
This helps prevent in-house theft and also creates a clear data trail for each employee as well as each device, which plays into performance indicators.
Tracking performance indicators
A digital, QR-code based check in and check out system is time efficient: it speeds up equipment tracking and eliminates hunting for “lost” equipment.
Additionally, the data on which departments use which equipment for how long is useful to managers who are tracking performance and productivity. This data helps managers set goals and timelines, as well as adjust and revise those goals and timelines to create an optimum workflow.
Tracking use-hours and maintenance cycles
Check in and check out systems can also be used almost like a timesheet for equipment, letting you know how long it has been at work. Since a large part of workplace safety is equipment maintenance, this comes in handy when it comes to following maintenance schedules.
Operators can use this timesheet to determine when a piece of equipment needs maintenance, and when it needs to be replaced or overhauled. And the maintenance sessions themselves can be entered into the check in check out system, for a complete data trail for each piece of equipment.