Creating a reliable trainee attendance tracking solution at the ctsb facilities with Trac-Tech system
Keeping a finger on the pulse of local community needs is important to South African electronic design and manufacture company, Trac-Tech (Pty) Ltd. The company’s involvement with the Cape Town Society for the Blind (CTSB) has increased security and now allows the organisation to accurately track trainee attendance.
The CTSB was founded in 1929 by a group of Cape Town women with the objective of providing much-needed training and employment opportunities for blind and visually impaired persons (VIP’s) within a secure and supportive environment.
The Society has for many years provided invaluable support to the community of blind and VIP’s and in 1997 it embarked on a programme to transform itself from a purely welfare model to the current capacity building model.
Instead of only providing sheltered employment and career training, a self-sufficiency programme was implemented, whereby those in sheltered employment were able to create their own small businesses as suppliers to society.
Trac-Tech’s relationship with the CTSB goes back to the installation of a tagging system for access control at the main entrance to the facilities. “With the growth in the number of learners attending the training facilities at the CTSB, the Society felt it would be prudent to upgrade its existing system,” said Trac-Tech Sales Manager, Marj Valasek.
“The CTSB runs a number of short courses, with durations of up to six months. Learner attendance is not always regular and is difficult to keep track of learners with a manual register. In order to correctly assess the number of hours attended by each learner, it became necessary to implement a system that would allow more accurate timekeeping. The tagging system was unfortunately open to misuse, with cards being lost, damaged or left at home,” said Stephen Hibbert, a CTSB Facilitator.
After researching the viable options, Hibbert contacted Trac-Tech to discuss the advantages of a biometric fingerprint reader access control system. “Trac-Tech came to the party by providing the CTSB with Time Register software, Unis software and ViRDI biometric readers at a substantially reduced rate. We selected the ViRDI AC2100 and SL100 readers as being most suited to the task at hand,” said Valasek.
The biometric readers are installed at the main entrance and are networked with the CTSB’s server. They are utilised for all new as well as learner enrolments.
Installation at the 1 000 m2 facility commenced in early August 2012 and was completed a week later. “Two of our visually impaired employees attended training at Trac-Tech to familiarise themselves with the enrolment process. In addition, the Trac-Tech team has made themselves available to assist us with any teething issues,” said Hibbert.
“Due to the fingerprint wear experienced by some of the visually impaired and blind people as a result of their use of a cane, we spent extra time ensuring that all users were adequately enrolled. The readers have dual biometric and RFID readers incorporated, so people who are not able to transact on the reader using fingerprints, would be able to use an RFID tag to gain access,” Valasek explained.
“We are currently investigating the possibility of installing a vehicle access reader, which will be utilised for vehicle movement as opposed to vehicle access control,” added Hibbert.
Hibbert explained that the system rollout started with the enrolment of approximately 50 volunteers, employees and other tenants. “We will commence with the enrolment of learners in the next couple of months. Based on our positive experience with the system to date, we do not anticipate any problems.”