Punch Clocks: Innovation Dead Zones

As consumers, we’ve been subjected to innovation at a break-neck pace in nearly every aspect of our lives: computers, phones, shopping, travel, entertainment. Today we don’t think twice about whipping out our phones to search and navigate to the nearest restaurant, while listening to music that is streamed live to our ears. Yet, there are some areas and products where innovation has not happened in any significant way: the Innovation Dead Zones. The humble time clock or punch clock is one such Innovation Dead Zone. The time clock has seen little innovation in the three or so decades that electronic devices were used to keep track of employee time.

Caveman TimeClock

Take a look at your punch clock. Now look at your iPhone. Look back at your punch clock.

I’m willing to bet that your time clock is ugly, hard to customize and a hassle to maintain yet your time clock cost 5 to 15 times more than your phone for a fraction of the functionality. The clock is treated like a household appliance. When it breaks (and it does), you have to call for service person and pay for maintenance. Why do you have to buy a new clock to get new features? Why do you have to get multiple clocks to track different employee types?

 

Innovation dead zones are often created by a combination of two factors: large profits for producers and lack of demand from consumers. In the case of punch clocks, the well established clock vendors today make a killing by charging high prices for simplistic hardware and primitive software. Businesses who use time clocks, and are the consumers in this case, don’t have the time to demand and push for better products from vendors. Therefore there is no incentive for vendors to innovate and bring creative solutions to the market.

 

At Replicon, we strongly believe our products, while sophisticated and technologically advanced, should be wrapped in elegant design. We want to create business solutions: hardware and software that combine ease of use, innovation and elegance in ways you commonly associate with products from Apple or Google.

 

We know our customers deserve more than the market provides today. Time Clocks and Time & Attendance software do not need to be in an innovation dead zone anymore.

 

We have a lot of exciting products coming to the market in the next few months. Stay Tuned.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Praveen Krishnan
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