This story appeared in the Daily Herald on September 13, 2002:
By Heather Cunningham
Daily Herald Correspondent
Copyright 2002, Daily Herald
Imagine every day you come to work and use an electronic button attached to your key chain to punch in. When you do your name pops on a computer screen that tells you not only what your work assignment is, but also how many hours you have worked that week.
Now, imagine you are the boss. Because you use this system, you can program the computer to automatically dish out work assignments as soon as your employees beep in.
Best of all, few of these iButton electronic timecards ever get lost 3/4 because not many people are as careless with their key chain, where it is safely attached, as an ordinary paper or plastic timecard.
Sound like a supervisor's dream come true? According to Doug Marsh, chief executive officer of TimePilot Corp. in Batavia, it is. And not only will it make everyone's life a little easier, but it saves money to boot.
"We designed the TimePilot system so it is very inexpensive to manufacture," says Marsh. "Because of that, we are the very first electronic timeclock on the market that is priced to sell at the retail level, like in Office Depot or Home Depot. Normally timeclock systems start at around $3,000, but ours costs only $750. We are also going to continue to drive that price down."
TimePilot is a start-up company that Marsh spun off of Spectrum Cos., a 30-year-old company that produces drive-through equipment for the restaurant industry.
While he was at Spectrum, Marsh was approached about designing an efficient time and attendance system for a hospital client. Although it was outside of Spectrum's normal arena, he jumped at the challenge.
"We completely redesigned the product they had, and it became the TimePilot system," Marsh says. "At that point, we began to raise outside capital to form the company TimePilot Corp."
Today, TimePilot has six employees who have produced 185 systems, ringing up $500,000 in sales.
"One of the reasons launching this company was such a smart business move is that 80 percent of all businesses in this country still use punch clocks or paper to track employee hours," says Marsh. "So it is a huge market, wide open at this point."
It's a market that TimePilot Corp. has taken by storm. Marsh says sales have been even better than they expected, and he attributes that to the TimePilot system which can save business owners both time and money.
According to his data, studies have shown that companies can save 1 to 5 percent of gross annual payroll costs and cut payroll preparation time by 25 to 50 percent by converting to an electronic payroll system like TimePilot.
The system also reduces the average error rate of 1 to 8 percent associated with manual payroll calculation to zero. Marsh says that can add up to big savings.
He cites research that indicates that the hidden cost of a punch-card system, due to errors, is an additional $25,000 to $50,000 a year for a 50-employee company, depending on wage levels.
For more information on TimePilot, call 1.630.879.6400 or visit the Web site at TimePilot.com.
• You can e-mail Heather Cunningham at HCJC1993@aol.com.