RFID technology has changed the way companies monitor much of what they produce. Physical products are often tagged and scanned throughout the entire supply chain, from vendors, through production, and eventually all the way to the consumer. Up until now, human capital has been a more difficult asset to quantify and assign accurately to jobs or projects. RFID is changing that in some industries.
ADR Software, LLC, creator of the Workforce Monitor service, is using RFID to monitor labor at commercial construction sites across the United Sates. ADR was founded in 2009, specifically to address the challenge of daily reporting for construction companies.
Daily reporting is an issue for many labor-intensive industries, from power plant workers to web designers. The process of assigning manpower (measured in time) to specific projects is extremely important in determining project cost, which affects the price of a product or service, future bids, and eventually workforce planning decisions. However important this assignment of labor is, it is often imprecise and can be a burden to the employees involved.
ADR’s Workforce Monitoring Portals read RFID-enabled stickers that can be affixed to hard hats or ID badges. Information about the workforce, like labor hours logged at a particular site, is sent to ARD’s Workforce Reporting. The reporting application is totally web-based and can be accessed from any mobile device with a web browser, giving project managers access to real-time workforce information.
In addition to monitoring labor hours and work progress, Workforce Monitoring allows managers to see the makeup of a workforce by gender, ethnicity, zip code and more, so that companies can be in compliance with local economic development and hiring objectives. Workforce Monitor is currently monitoring over 20,000 workers at construction sites throughout the United States.
CM2000, a UK provider of homecare monitoring and management systems, utilizes RFID and QR code technology in their Mobile Workforce Monitoring Solutions. CM2000’s system allows homecare workers in the field to pass a mobile phone over an RFID-enabled sticker affixed to the customer’s home, recording date, time, and duration of visit. The system can also display a customizable menu that allows for recording of tasks, capturing visit notes or photos, recording mileage, and more.
In Atlanta, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is partnering with Bombardier Transportation to utilize RFID for workforce monitoring to keep rail transit workers safe. According to the Federal Transit Authority (FTA), between 2003 and 2008, 53% of reported rail transit worker fatalities were right-of-way related incidents. TrackSafe is a Bombardier solution that uses RFID and other technologies to improve location awareness for track workers and train operators, providing alerts in real time.
The potential for growth in the field of workforce monitoring is impressive. For employees whose work product is an engineering design, advertising plan, or audit procedure, the question remains: how can RFID or QR code technology simplify tracking time? We may see developments in these arenas too, as the rewards of virtual workforce monitoring play out.