Best Time and Attendance Systems for Manufacturing Companies

Author: Eugenija Steponkute
Published: 05/12/2022
time and attendance for manufacturing

This article is for owners and managers that are shopping for time and attendance systems for manufacturing companies. Inside you will find a diverse list of functionality solutions may offer, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you need them. Ultimately, we always recommend you try out the

Given you have landed on this article, we dare to assume you’ve come to terms with your manufacturing business being in dire need of digitisation - and time tracking being the best starting point to kick start the process. However, the needs one has for the tool largely vary from business to business, covering both internal and on-site processes. The purpose for which you employ the software will strongly influence your decision too. 

With that said, there is no one-for-all solution. In fact, most solutions for this specific sector are very different from one another. Some offer only a cloud-based platform, while others come with an array of hardware to support the operations. From all-in-one tools to brand tech stacks, there is certainly a vendor equipped to accommodate your needs. You may think your search won’t be extensive as the use of the software isn’t as prevalent in the manufacturing industry as it is in other sectors - but you are wrong. Let us explain.

The Pool is Wider Than You Think

Despite the digitisation progress being slow in manufacturing companies, it’s not non-existent. Software developers have taken a notice of that and are therefore rushing to fill the gap in order to address the growing demand. What this means is that while you need to service a rather niche industry, there are plenty of time and attendance systems to choose from. And so, while your search is narrowed - there are still tons of vendors to choose from.

To make this task a little less time-consuming, we hand-picked some of the solution features we like the most. Although all are servicing the same industry, their use and benefits, long and short-term, differ - just like different businesses do. We made this list as diverse as we could, so take a look. Your perfect solution might be just a small read away. 

What Are the Core Features of Time and Attendance Module?

To summarise, the following features are at the foundation of time and attendance module:

  1. Overtime calculator

  2. Leave management

  3. Remote and on-site clocking system

  4. Shift scheduling

  5. Onboarding

Let’s discuss them in greater detail.

  1. Overtime Calculator

Despite set business hours, it’s understandable there’s sometimes more work to be done and it stretches past the time outlined in a contract. Whether it’s due to tight deadlines or any other reason, you most likely need to pay for that extra time. Very often, the rate will differ from what you pay your employees normally, and that can become a black hole sucking your time in when trying to work out the final pay. 

Decent time and attendance systems are intuitive enough to automatically change the rate for the time that’s logged after the preset business hours. Some are advanced enough to even apply different overtime rates for different projects, tasks, shifts and other factors. That said, neither you nor your accountant will need to manually calculate the extra pay you owe - with the right integrations, it will also be automatically exported to your accounting software.

  1. Holiday Allowances and Carryover

As you must know, you are legally obliged to give your staff a number of paid vacation days, also known as minimum holiday entitlement. Depending on the size of your team, however, it can be tricky to keep track of who has been claiming their holiday allowance and who has let it accumulate. But probably the biggest challenge is the most common situation when the member of staff has used some of their paid leave but not all; meaning the remaining days are to be carried over to the next year. Holiday carryovers are pretty tedious to deal with. 

The good news is that upon adopting a time and attendance tool, you won’t need to think of holiday management past approving/rejecting time off requests. Most solutions come with a module giving you control and visibility over your team’s annual leave situation and therefore take over the tasks associated with it. 

  1. Remote and On-site Clocking 

Depending on the size and nature of your business, there is a chance your employees might be migrating between the locations. In manufacturing, most companies utilise the on-site clocking system, whether it requires a card swipe or, a buddy-punching proof option - use biometrics. Most time and attendance systems have their own hardware to provide, ensuring the data is logged straight into the platform. The caveat is that the biometric devices normally come at an additional cost, require an installation and you may be needing more than one unit. 

This is why you should consider solutions that offer a more hands-off approach, enabling your employees to clock in and out using their mobile devices. The geolocator in the app will secure it from misuse, you will cut your costs significantly and it will automatically allocate time spent on specific locations to the potential rates applicable to them. 

  1. Staff Scheduling

There are many benefits of automating shift distribution across your team. First and foremost, it saves you time from having to do it manually. Not to mention, the software will consider things like annual or sick leave, availability, existing overtime and, in some cases, even the potential percentage of the workforce needed on the assigned day. It is also great for filling in when short-notice absences occur and can be handled by either you or the workers themselves.

This feature is particularly important for busy periods or holiday periods when you’re most likely to be understaffed. The more you use the system in general, the better it understands your business, your peak hours, and your downtime, therefore scheduling accordingly. In other words, it helps you avoid both understaffing and overstaffing. 

  1. Onboarding and Compliance

Given the manufacturing industry utilises heavy machinery, there is plenty of compliance to go through during the onboarding process. From general health and safety to ensuring the new hires have the required training and certifications (if applicable) to operate the equipment - the papers stack up quickly. Instead of collecting them one by one, potentially misplacing/losing/damaging them and struggling to find them when required, time and attendance systems can provide a better option. 

Some tools come with an onboarding platform, often complete with digital document storage. This way, instead of chasing your new employee for the documents, they will themselves be responsible for uploading them right into your system. Backed on the cloud, these documents are safe from physical damage, are easy to track and are quickly accessible. At Timesheet Portal, you will even be notified when they’re due to expire so you can request a renewal.


Although digitisation of the manufacturing industry is still at the beginning of its road, the market for solutions is steadily growing. It’s already challenging to navigate through time and attendance systems, especially when they each seem to have vastly different offers. The key, however, is within your business. Before you start looking for a suitable tool, evaluate your core operations and how can they be enhanced. 

We have put together core functionality for time and attendance tools, but the right solution doesn’t need to have all of them. Undoubtedly, they are all important and highly beneficial features, but the truth is not every business will be utilising them. For example, if you don’t pay overtime, you will gain nothing from calculating it. Neither will you need a shift scheduler if your staff has preset working days/hours and is paid a salary. In other words - to each, the combination of these core features will be different.

What are the features you’d value the most? Let us know.

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Timesheet Portal online software provided by Anfold Software Ltd, a registered company in the UK.