Birmingham City Schools to Use Biometrics for Employee Attendance

159 HandPunch units to track employee time at 61 Alabama school sites


CAMPBELL, CALIF. - Recognition Systems, the biometric component of Ingersoll-Rand's (IR) Security & Safety's Electronic Control Systems, announced today that Birmingham City Schools in Birmingham, Ala. will be using 159 of its biometric HandReaders to track time and attendance for employees at 61 school district sites, making it one of the largest deployments of biometrics in a school district. All 6,200 district employees will use the HandReaders.

HandReaders automatically take a three-dimensional reading of the size and shape of a hand and verify the user's identity in less than one second. Recognition Systems was named recipient of the 2004 Application Market Penetration Leadership Award for access control and time and attendance applications in Frost & Sullivan's study, World Biometrics Market.

"Birmingham City Schools wanted a complete employee attendance management system that would encompass logging attendance through an advanced time management system," reports Tom Vines, sales manager for the district's dealer/integrator, Gorrie-Regan & Associates, Inc., of Alabama. "The district desired to combine the biometric technology with advanced Internet- and telephone-based absence reporting systems that actually search the substitute employee database to find the most qualified substitute employees. One of the main issues the district was trying to solve was the difficulty of selecting and utilizing its substitute employees."

So far, 133 of the 159 total HandPunch 3000 units have been installed. There will be at least two HandPunch units at each school and administrative facility. The HandReaders are connected to each other, the CRS Subfinder system, and the Attendance Enterprise time management system, by a Windows 2003 Server network with fully redundant IBM servers. The total cost of the project, including all cabling, is $1.25 million.

"Birmingham City Schools chose biometric technology as the backbone of the system because of the integrity of employee punches," Vines explained. "With the HandReaders, district officials know with certainty that each employee is punching their own registration."

In addition, district officials liked that they no longer had to create, maintain and distribute employee badges.

"The district feels it will be able to track employees much more accurately now," Vines added. "They also like the ease of enrolling employees on one clock and then distributing that biometric template to all other clocks the employee may use."

HandReaders handle any population volume with ease while providing impeccable reliability. With dramatically lower false reject and failure to enroll rates than other biometric technologies, the value of HandReaders grows as the number of users and/or transactions increases. They are recommended for outdoor applications.