Member Profile – Causeway Technologies
Intro: Software solutions company Causeway Technologies began integrating facial recognition technology into its well-established biometric labour management product, Donseed, before the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Matt Sadler, Causeway’s Sales Director, reveals the impact that the new solution has had on the industry and explores the future of biometrics.
Matt, tell us about the Causeway Donseed technology.
The Causeway Donseed solution is primarily a means of capturing time and attendance, via biometric technology, which provides accurate data for employers so that they can understand who is on site and for what time periods. It also provides companies with enhanced visibility about who is on site, making sure that each individual has the required credentials, conforms with PPE requirements and has completed a site induction.
From my perspective, the key to any labour management system in construction is the use of biometrics. Systems have evolved from using paper-based records or fobs, because these can be prone to buddy-clocking and of course, human error. With biometric technology, you get a unique profile for each individual and therefore heightened security, as you know you have the correct person – with the correct qualifications – on site. And whilst the adoption of fingerprint recognition has become the norm for the construction industry, we are now seeing a growing demand for facial recognition systems too.
In 2019, we acquired a company called Aurora Construction and Security whose time and attendance solution utilised facial recognition technology to verify identity on site. Since then, we have looked at how we could add contactless facial recognition as a token to our existing Causeway Donseed solution, which has always used fingerprint recognition.
Has the industry’s experience in the pandemic prompted Causeway to adapt or advance the technology in any way?
As we saw sites revamp to prevent the spread of COVID in spring last year, some contractors temporarily reverted to older technologies and paper-based records to manage their workforce. This is something that we wanted to help our customers avoid.
We always had contactless facial recognition on our roadmap as it was the natural next step in our offering of biometric solutions. And last year, we responded to the challenges facing our customers with a focus on enhancing our facial recognition technology into an ultimately contactless solution, in addition to our fingerprint systems. This was to complement our existing facial recognition solution in the Aurora product, which is primarily a wall-mounted system that can also be used in conjunction with access control.
So, along with engagement from customers about trying to find a contactless biometric solution, we have now released a new facial recognition token, which is available on our Causeway Donseed portable tablets. For those businesses that are already using our existing solution, we can now offer them more choice with this alternative option via a software upgrade. For the broader industry, this solution gives companies flexibility that they didn’t previously have.
Another solution we have that lends itself well to the current challenges facing the industry is online inductions. Some of the guidance that is being given around Covid-19 safety concerns limiting the time that people spend in close proximity to others. When workers have inductions on arrival at the site, historically that would have been given via a video or presentation in a cabin on site. This would involve a number of operatives being in the room at a set time. But under the current restrictions, there is a necessity to try and remove that.
Companies now have the ability to apply their induction material electronically, so operatives can review, agree and sign off the induction prior to arriving at the construction site for the first time.
Is the Donseed technology already popular with CONSTRUCT members?
Yes, almost 60% of CONSTRUCT’s contractor members currently use the Causeway Donseed biometric solution. The majority are using our fingerprint technology via a portable tablet, with additional hygiene measures in place. One of our newer customers, Tamdown Group, is among the first set of contractors to adopt our new contactless facial recognition technology on site.
We’re really keen to make both existing and potential customers aware of the solutions that are available to assist them, along with additional functions and facilities that we can help with.
What will be the key workforce management issues for the industry going forward?
One important consideration is traceability. It’s becoming ever more important that companies know who they’ve got on their sites, where and when. Also, a growing focus on productivity is reinforced by the fact that, as an organisation, we see in excess of 20% net savings on labour cost payments. In the current economy and climate, controlling costs is a real concern for construction companies. Everyone is having to be really careful about what they spend so, if there’s an opportunity to put some additional controls in place to help manage that better, that’s really important to contractors.
We want to make it as easy as possible for construction companies as they transition away from paper-based records.
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