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This story appeared in the Kane County (IL) Chronicle, 12/28/01:

The timeclock revolution

Shaw News Service

Copyright 2001, Kane County Chronicle

BATAVIA - If Doug Marsh has his way, gone are the days of "punching-in" at work with a piece of cardboard and a timeclock.

A Batavia resident and chief executive of TimePilot Corp. of Batavia, Marsh released to the business world recently a new, innovative timeclock system which brings employee hour tracking into the 21st century.

Within this new system, employees simply touch a small button, which is usually attached to their key chains, to a wall-mounted or desk-mounted TimePilot station that transmits the clocking-in and clocking-out time to a computer. This enables a supervisor and receptionist to easily determine who is at work and who isn't.

According to Marsh, the tiny button that is utilized by the employee is called an "ibutton," meaning identification button.

It features a microscopic computer chip that is programmed with a specific employee number. That number is assigned to the employee and, when touched to the station, immediately shows on a small display area who the person is, whether they are clocking in or out, and whether they are checked into the building or out on a business call.

"This is one of he most important features of the system," Marsh explained. "The employee is immediately able to see that the system has the correct information. If John Smith, for example, is checking in, he touches the ibutton to the station, and it will show the name John Smith, the date and time, and whether he is checking in or out.

"If he had forgotten to check out the day before, he will see that right away because the screen will show that he has been on the clock for x-number of hours and that he cannot clock in again. He can then get a supervisor to correct the error right away."

With this system, he said, errors are usually corrected within 24 hours, rather than days later "when it's hard to remember details of when you checked in or out."

Companies that use the system also can determine payroll calculations in a fraction of the time it used to take, when hours were manually calculated from paper time cards. Since the information is stored in a safe central location on a computer, the accompanying software will do the accounting calculations at the click of a computer key.

According to Marsh, the system can save thousands of dollars in each year in payroll processing costs, as well as many hours of payroll production.

It also eliminates overtime abuse and "buddy punching," in which friends clock-in for friends who are not at work.

Since introducing the system in June, TimePilot Corp. has tripled its client base to more than 50, Marsh said. Clients are located as far away as Alaska, Canada and Jamaica. The system is manufactured by Spectrum Cos. International Ltd., in the same building that houses the TimePilot offices. Located at 340 McKee St., the 15,000-square-foot building is the former Batavia Dairy.

With the client base already expanding nationally and internationally, does the former Geneva resident foresee moving his company out of the tri-cities?

"Batavia is the perfect place for us to be," Marsh said. "It is centrally located in the Chicago area as well as in the country, it is reasonably close to O'Hare Airport, and we don't have the expensive overhead like we would if we had a building in a place like Chicago or Oak Brook."

Having invested the last four and a half years on the development and marketing of the system, Marsh is pleased with the potential for sales.

"Over 80 percent of businesses still use paper time-clock systems," he said. "There are companies out there who are hungry for this product."

For information, contact Marsh and TimePilot at (630) 879-6400, or visit TimePilot.com.

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