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During our weekly MT, I told my team members about the significant savings we can achieve on our time registration. Our CEO Bjorn interrupts our conversation with a question.


“Wait, before we start asking questions, I want to know what this joke is going to cost us. Because the assignment was to cut costs. Do not increase costs. So what about Michel?” he asks me.


“I understand your question Bjorn. If we automate our time registration, we will save 1300 euros for each employee every year. In our case, that is a saving of 313,000 euros for the entire organization.”  


There was silence for one very long second. Then they burst out laughing. Some of the Management Team only had a smile on their face. But others actually laughed out loud when I mentioned the amount. Sjaak, our IT manager, skeptical as always, couldn't contain himself.


“Haha! Really!? no way man. Now I'm curious!"


All eyes were on me. I started explaining.


“Okay, here it comes. Time is money. So if we can save time, then we save money. And because it involves a large number of field staff, 235 in our case, that adds up very quickly. Just look at this calculation.”


Insert explanation on the slide

“OK, you have my attention, Michel. But how much does it cost? How much of this savings goes towards the cost of this automation?”  


“Well Bjorn this saving is AFTER costs.”




"Yes indeed. But you still had a lot of questions, didn't you?”


Bjorn continues our conversation with light enthusiasm.


“Ehhh, yes, ehhhhmm, I can see the benefits of this. It's actually a kind of automated time clock on location I think. But sometimes reality can deviate from what has been measured in terms of entry and exit times. How do we deal with that then?”


“We have thought about that. In fact, there are three levels of data. The app registers the 'hard data'. So what actually happened. As soon as the employee drives out of the geofence area, the app presents the data for that day. The employee can then approve it with the push of a button, or, if necessary, nuance it with a comment. Such a nuance is the soft data and this may be necessary, for example, if he has taken a longer break, or has had a fairly long private telephone conversation, or has been working on project B on project A.  


Because the data is automatically presented to the employee, this saves a lot of time. And in most cases, a nuance is not necessary. In any case, both the hard and soft data are registered via the cloud and entered into our existing hours portal via the API. There the project leaders can see the hard, factual data and the soft, nuanced data of the employee himself.  


Ultimately, they determine which of the two is processed in the administration. That is the final, approved data. The data is 100% correct and always complete.”


“Hmm, interesting. So they have an API link?”


“Yes, our programmer said it is standard and easy to implement. Everything from registration to administrative processing is fully automatic. The approval of the proposed data will of course continue to be done by us.  


And that becomes easier, because then we don't have to rely solely on what the employee has entered. After all, we also have the hard data for control. We simply indicate the too great deviations to the one who approves, so that the approval is done in a curse and a sigh.


“So an employee can no longer indicate that he started at 8 a.m. if the hard data shows that he entered the site at 11 past 8.”




“I have had a question in my head all the time, but now I really have to put it on the table: “What about the privacy of the employees?”


“Good question Marcel. For the Works Council, the privacy of the employees is of course an important concern. In any case, all data is encrypted and its processing is fully in accordance with the GDPR privacy law. So that's already nice.  


In practical terms, once the employees' working day is over, they can put the app in private mode so that their location is no longer recorded.   


If they first come here at the farm before going home, they can also disable the app when they leave the geofence around the farm. Because we can create as many geofences as we want.


But I suspect that if you present this to the staff, they will be very happy with it. After all, they no longer have to fill in those forms themselves. Life really does get a lot easier for them.  


And that app is so easy to operate that they don't even have to be trained for it. It is a matter of installing and you are up and running.”  


Meanwhile, everyone at the large conference table had sat up. Pen in hand, they were busy taking notes and writing questions. The cogs were spinning at full speed. Ready to shoot holes and ask questions.  


And Bjorn? He was sitting relaxed in his chair. He was already convinced. Now the rest.  

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