Access using Pin Code Card Reader Wealden District Council Enhances Efficiency with ATRACS From Borer Data Systems
Over recent years there has been a large increase in employees seeking flexible working hours. This is especially true in the public sector where accommodating the flexi-worker has become an integral feature of the day-to-day running of many organisations.
Meeting these changing staff demands whilst still operating efficiently requires that organisations run an effective flexitime administration system. Many local authorities run paper-based flexitime systems which can significantly add to the administrative burden of the typical time-pushed public sector organisation. Increasingly alternative IT based systems are being sought out and implemented, as in the case of Wealden District Council in East Sussex, which has recently upgraded from a paper-based flexible working administration system to a new enterprise-wide computer software version.
Switching from a paper-based to an IT based system was no mean logistical feat for an organisation that currently employs around 600 people at two main offices - one in Hailsham and another in Crowborough. However, Gerry Palmer, Purchasing and Facilities Manager at Wealden points out: “Upgrading from a paper-based system has proved easier than expected and provided us with many real benefits. The staff have easily absorbed the system’s features into their daily routines and, most importantly, we are saving a significant amount of time as a lot of form-filling has become redundant.”
The council required an enterprise-wide solution – one that could link both offices into one security information system – and a system that could combine staff time & attendance (T&A) information with building access control functions. The council considered products from three different manufacturers and chose Wokingham-based Borer Data Systems’ ATRACS package as the one best able to fulfil their exacting requirements.
Working closely with the council’s Facilities Management Team, Borer installed the ATRACS system onto the council’s existing IT network with the minimum of disruption. The system allows the Hailsham and Crowborough offices to share T&A information across the network, whilst also combining access control data from both sites to create a single security system. One major advantage of the system is that it requires just a single card to be used for staff ID, time and attendance recording, access control and vending machine operation. Integrating these functions onto a single card simplifies matters for staff whilst also enhancing security.
Borer has developed ATRACS as a highly cost-effective personnel information system. It is intended to run on a client’s existing corporate network (LAN or WAN) to link one or more sites into one efficient and fully integrated staff information system. ATRACS provides a single platform that combines access control, attendance recording, visitor management, alarm monitoring and photo-ID card production functions, into one enterprise–wide security information system. Each element of the programme can be used separately or in any combination to create a tailored package for individual requirements. ATRACS thus reduces administration and infrastructure costs, whilst offering both commercial and public sector organisations a comprehensive range of security features.
Fully TCP/IP compliant, ATRACS runs under a Windows NT and uses a relational database to enable the sharing of information and the combining of applications previously run as stand-alone. This integrated approach provides greater security as local and remote sites can be monitored from a single location, and reduces operating and administration costs as a single database is shared across an organisation. Authorised personnel, from any workstation on the corporate network, can use ATRACS to monitor activity and report on the status at security points potentially many miles apart. A subset of the database is held at each site controller to enable autonomous operation. This distributed intelligence allows control to be exercised at each site and easy monitoring from a central point.
For added flexibility, certain information in the ATRACS database can also be linked to an organisation’s intranet. Crucially, the learning–curve with ATRACS is straightforward as the user-interface features icons and toolbars based on the standard Windows model, which guarantees instant recognition.
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