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New biometrics system for Buckingham Foods

Redmoor-based Buckingham Foods is using a new biometric system, which cuts administration and management time,  installed by recruitment firm Barker Ross.

The technology is now operational at a number of food production, processing and packaging plants to which the agency supplies temporary staff.

It works by reading the unique shape of a person’s hand and allows information to be accessed via an IP address using an employee’s own unique log-in – a facility which means companies can identify who is on site at any given time and whenever they choose to.

Biometrics removes the need for clock cards, signing in sheets or company swipe cards – and stops the costly practice of “buddy punching” – where workers swipe or clock each other in and out.

Alex Noble, HR director at Buckingham Foods, said: “Following Barker Ross’s recommendations biometric units have been installed at both our sites and we are most impressed with the system’s capabilities.

“Having biometrics provides us with accurate reports which show our labour costs in the parameters we chose – whether it be by person, department, shift or site – instantly.

“This reduces the risk of queries and the possibility of fraudulent practices.”

Tim Sutcliffe, managing director of Staffing Solutions, Barker Ross’s industrial operation,  said the system’s advantages were being felt across a wide range of manufacturing and distribution industries but were of particular benefit to companies involved in the food sector.

He added: “Food manufacturers can have several hundred workers on site at any one time so being able to keep track of who is doing what and where is most useful.

“The accuracy of the biometric units, which we install without any extra cost to our clients, means we can produce detailed reports that show, for example, the cost of an individual worker, a shift or a whole week of shifts. Similarly it takes away the need for detailed invoicing and makes it almost impossible for overpayment or underpayment queries to occur.

“As well as saving time and money, biometrics also has positive health and safety implications, particularly on sites where large numbers of people are working.”

Buckingham Foods, which supplies sandwiches and snack salads to major multiples and a leading chain of coffee shops, has an annual turnover in excess of £60 million and some 950 staff.