Project: Time + attendance recording for the NASSCO shipyard

How do 3,600 employees track their time when they work on a site as large as 50 soccer fields? This was the challenge which Kaba helped to resolve for the Nassco shipyard in San Diego, CA.

General Dynamics Nassco, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE:GD), is the only major shipyard on the West Coast of the United States. It employs more than 3,600 staff in designing, building and repairing auxiliary and support ships for the US Navy and constructing oil tankers and dry cargo containers for commercial shipping. Last year, Kaba fitted the entire shipyard with an efficient time + attendance system. This was no easy task, as a shipyard is not at all like an office building. Employees do not simply arrive at reception, clock in and get the elevator to the fifth floor. A shipyard works along entirely different lines and is more akin to a town in its own right. The Nassco site in itself is huge, covering an area the size of 50 soccer^ fields. What is more, most of the work is done outdoors. Every ship is built in seven separate stages.

In such an ever-changing environment, errors can creep into time + attendance recording and that affects production costs, which depend directly on the hours worked by engineers, welders and electricians. Hours are assigned directly to the task in hand, enabling precise cost control at all times. According to Ms. Susie Helms, ISD Business Systems Supervisor for Nassco, “The benefits of the Kaba system include the availability of real-time labor hours, automatic validation of work orders, shift scheduling, labor approval and the ease of delegation of authority”.

Mobile time + attendance recording

It was clear to Kaba, once it had taken a careful look at the situation, that a complex setup like a shipyard require a decentralized solution. It therefore installed 175 movable terminals for time + attendance recording, in cases protected from the elements. Employees use their badge to enter their hours. When the work shifts to another corner of the shipyard, the terminals go too.

The technology selected was the Kaba Workforce Solution, which includes terminals, software and consulting. According to Nassco, the Kaba system provides the human resources department with a highly versatile tool that, in addition to improved operational efficiency, allows for accountability to federal and state labor and payroll laws.

Overview in real time

The system displays the hours worked by each employee in real time and uses the data to calculate the employee’s wages. At the same time, it enables ongoing monitoring of budgets through ready access to hours worked for each contract. Compliance with government controls is also ensured for government contracts. In addition, useful information about employee attendance can be recorded and usage of benefit balances can be maintained and tracked. A further advantage is that the new system enhances general awareness of employee attendance.

By capturing and analyzing actual labor costs in real time, Nassco will continue the tradition of delivering ships ahead of schedule, under budget, and in substantially fewer man-hours than the lead ship of the class. A spirit of partnership shared by the project teams of Kaba and Nassco, coupled with strategic identification of specific requirements and careful planning brought this project to a successful completion in September of 2010.