Monthly Archives: July 2015

Self-Service Kiosks: A Valuable Human Resource Management Tool

We often hear about the fear of manual functions or services, traditionally performed by individuals, becoming redundant with the introduction of technological advances, including robots and self-service applications. One may wonder if this is truly a reality or just something akin to a conspiracy theory.

Recent developments in the quick service and fast casual restaurant (QSR) industry have not done much to allay these fears; with fast food giant, McDonald’s joining the ranks of Panera and others with the rollout of self-service kiosks. An article on bizjournals.com asked a similar question: Restaurants welcoming tablets, kiosks – will it cost jobs?. It was also a topic we covered last year in our blog: Will Self-Service Kiosks Eventually Replace Humans?. In our blog, we concluded with the paragraph:

As Martin Smith, Professor of Robotics at University of Middlesex, so aptly puts it in Ms. Williams’ article, “Though many fear their jobs will be taken over by machines, it is more likely that robots will be used as assistants, and the future workforce could have the benefit of avoiding hazardous and repetitive tasks rather than suffer mass redundancies.”

A great example of this is the increased use of human resource kiosks to assist in the effective management of employees and their data. These kiosks are not intended to replace the human resource function, but to assist in providing better access to and management of employees. The kiosks are usually used to provide some or all of the following:
• Company information and employee data
• Training Center
• Job Application Center
• Compliance with employment laws

The most common use of human resource kiosks is to provide employees with important and current information. It may include updates about what is happening with the company especially matters that may impact employees or their jobs. This information can be disseminated via the company intranet that can be securely accessed at the kiosk.
The kiosks also allow access to administrative forms including:
• Leave requests
• Employee manuals
• Insurance forms
• Benefits applications
• Stationery and equipment requests
• Non-urgent service requests
• Salary inquiries

Customize X7E HR Kiosk

Customized X7E HR Kiosk

It eliminates the need to have human resource employees dedicated to providing this information; instead these staff members can focus on more complex HR functions. Completion of these forms at the kiosk also ensures that employee information is always electronically updated and accessible. A great example of the use of human resource kiosks can be seen here.

It is also very important to remember that these kiosks which can be built to ensure durability, can be placed at any location, including factories and warehouses. It ensures that employees that are usually unconnected, due to the nature of their jobs and locations can also easily access information.

TriMas Corp's Employee Center

TriMas Corp’s Employee Health & Wellness Center

It is a great way to keep these workers up-to-date with their online training requirements as online modules can also be provided at the kiosk. Employees can register for traditional training classes, as well, by accessing the schedules, times and locations of training sessions that are most convenient for them to attend. It is something that is often overlooked by businesses that usually provide this information via emails which are not accessible to employees without computer workstations or via office notice boards which can easily be bypassed or overlooked. We recently completed a project to provide kiosks for a company’s Employee Health and Wellness Resource Center. Read more about it here.

Another great benefit of human resource kiosks is that although traditionally used internally for current employees, they can also provide a more efficient way to accept job applications. These applications can then be accessed online by the human resource department and stored electronically, eliminating the need for excess paperwork and storage. The kiosks can also provide information about the company or current events to potential candidates, with the use of optional overhead screens.

Human Resource departments require precise processes and systems and by law must ensure the confidentiality of employee or job applicants’ information. Kiosks allow them to provide secure, guided and self-service access of HR services to current and potential employees.

The availability of HR Guidelines as well as information related to labor laws, unions, safety, insurance and taxes at the kiosks, automatically ensures that companies are complying with employment laws and standards by informing employees of their individual benefits and rights. It’s one of the many benefits that human resource kiosks provide. But let us not forget that they also increase the productivity levels of human resource staff, reduce costs, enhance recruitment and improve employee performance.

How Kiosks Make Our Daily Lives Easier – Part 3

This is the third and final installment of our series on How Kiosks Make Our Daily Lives Easier. If this is the first you’ve seen of this, you can read Part 1 and Part 2 on our website.

Today, we will consider the value of using Government Kiosks, Advertising Kiosks and Interactive Signage.

Government Kiosks
Government kiosks are often used to facilitate a more efficient execution of administrative services, such as document requests or payment of fines, tickets, bills, taxes, etc. Prior to the use of kiosks, accessing these services would often result in standing in long lines or spending more than one day to complete the transaction. It was a process that most people usually endured as the alternative (ignoring monies owed to the government or not having pertinent documents in your possession) would be a high price to pay.

Customized X6 Clark County Kiosk

Customized X6 Clark County Kiosk

The drive and need for more efficient systems, as well as budget constraints that have resulted in reduced staffing, has led to innovative solutions, including the use of kiosks to provide what should be straightforward services. A great example of the positive effect of kiosk usage is a project we did in Clark County about two years ago that is still being utilized today. The kiosk was implemented to allow users to request certified copies of marriage certificates. The office has processed over 4,000 orders since the kiosk was introduced and has not only provided a more positive experience for customers and eliminated the need to engage county personnel for this repetitive task, but it has also generated over $81,000 gross resulting in a positive Return on Investment (ROI) in less than a year. You can learn more about this project here.

 

We have also provided corrections kiosks including prison kiosks that assist in providing a way to conduct commissary transactions within the prison system and parole kiosks which are utilized by corrections offices and allow selected minimum risk clients to check in with their probation officers at stipulated times throughout their supervision. Parole kiosks must include specialized software and components to ensure accurate identification and security standards. Components may include signature pads, fingerprint and card readers, as well as the software which would enable the recognition of the user’s fingerprint and capture their signature and photo. The kiosks also sometimes facilitate the receipt of payments. Learn more about corrections kiosks we have provided.

 

270120101669An extension of government kiosks are their administrative use at educational institutions. Education kiosks provide a secure, user-friendly platform for administrative management at schools and universities, including student registration, tuition payment as well as faculty and student updates. Many schools also use these self-service kiosks to make school processes more accessible to parents, while enhancing school security by using the units as check-in and check-out systems to keep track of students, as well as visitors.

One of our earlier projects included the installation of interactive signage in three different languages at Stoddert Elementary in Washington, D.C. The signage facilitated the school’s efforts to become more energy efficient. Since then, we have installed many types of kiosks and signage at educational institutions, each customized to address the specific needs of the school.

Advertising Kiosks and Interactive Signage
Advertising Kiosks and Interactive Signage can easily be considered the ultimate marketing tool in more ways than one. They not only allow companies to advertise and deliver content via their screens, but the kiosk can be physically branded to showcase a company or product using specific colors and logos.

Slabb's X10 Digital Signage

Slabb’s X10 Interactive  Signage

The advances in technology and the introduction of interactive signage now facilitates the input of data by customers to access additional information, or the manipulation of the image on the screen for a more in-depth, realistic look at a product’s features and benefits. Interactive screens facilitate easy navigation, using touch screen technology. The signage/kiosk, therefore is more than just a static sign or moving image, it becomes a tool that customers can manipulate to find the information they need, making it a great platform for searchable directories and wayfinding tools. The technology allows versatility across multiple industries for an enhanced user experience.
It is hard not to see the benefits this can provide to a business, especially to retailers that strive to provide their customers with an exclusive experience that showcases all the positive attributes of their brands. Some other benefits of the kiosks we highlighted today include:

 
• Reducing administrative duties and costs.
• More effective emergency management providing schools with an accurate headcount, if needed
• Providing additional information to customers that can be easily seen or accessed via an overhead screen when using the kiosk
• Printing of important documents including schedules, forms or grade sheets, campus maps
• ‘Topping up’ of smart cards thereby reducing the use of cash by students for school transactions
• Providing access to important documents including transcripts, identification (certificates, licenses, etc.)
• Facilitating and encouraging participation in surveys. Businesses and schools can obtain relevant information to provide future services
• Providing multiple uses as a payment, information, internet or advertising kiosk
• Enhancing the customer service experience
• Providing a positive Return on Investment (ROI)
• Decreasing wait times for customers
• Providing a great avenue for product marketing and company branding

 

We hope you enjoyed our three part series on the benefits that kiosks can provide. Kiosks can be used to provide a variety of services/solutions across various industries. Learn more.