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  • How Inaccurate Time Damages Your Business: The NTP Time Server Solution

It’s approaching the end of another day, and as the clock on the office wall shows 5pm, your staff pack up and leave. However, what if that clock isn’t accurate? As your employees go out the door, you notice that your computer clock shows 4.55pm, which is actually the correct time. Someone leaving five minutes early doesn’t seem like an important matter. However, this lost time soon adds up when you start to consider a few basic factors.

Let’s assume that your clock has been running five minutes fast for a year, and that you have 10 members of staff (and that they start work at the correct time, referring to their own watch or mobile device). Within 2020, there are 253 working days, and taking a minimum of 20 holiday days, this leaves 233. This would total a loss of just over 194 man-hours, all of which you’ve paid for. With accurate time, this could have been avoided.

Inefficiency through unsynchronized time

When considering organisations with multiple departments, the absence of synchronized, accurate time is even more damaging, as it can result in breakdowns in multi-departmental processes.

Let’s consider a fairly simple procedure. Your sales team pick up a rush order one morning, which the customer has stipulated must go out that day. The order is created and processed, with credit checks for the new customer being completed by 3.55pm. Your admin office immediately calls the warehouse, who have a 4pm deadline for any orders shipping that day. Cutting it close, but it can still go out.

However, the time in your business is neither accurate, nor synchronized. The clock in your admin office is five minutes slow, and it is in fact 4pm when the call goes through to the warehouse. What makes it worse is that the warehouse clock says 4:05pm, since it’s five minutes fast. The warehouse say that the deadline has been missed, and the order isn’t shipped.

Your clocks being out by five minutes doesn’t seem significant, but here it has cost you an order, and future business from that customer.

The importance of accurate and synchronized time

If you notice that your watch is five minutes slow, you can correct it yourself. The impact of just one person running late is minimal, and it’s a simple fix. This is very different for a business.

Not only is it likely that you’ve got multiple clocks across different departments and buildings, it’s also likely that they’re all displaying the wrong time in different ways; some might be fast, some might be slow. Even if you were to complete the time-consuming task of setting each and every clock to the correct time, this wouldn’t fix the issue for long. Unsynchronized clocks are subject to time drift, and as this won’t occur in a uniform fashion, you’re quickly back to square one. And clocks are just the tip of the iceberg; many other devices across your business will have their own internal clock with these issues.

It’s very easy to overlook the importance of accurate and synchronized time, but this lack of awareness costs your company both in lost man-hours and potential business, and fails to promote punctuality as a value within your organisation.

Dedicated NTP time servers

The solution to these issues is to employ a dedicated NTP (Network Time Protocol) time server, something intrinsically designed to provide accurate time to devices across your network. Netsilon is Bodet’s NTP time server, offering precise time accuracy in addition to ensuring the network security of your business and providing increased reliability.

The false economy of free internet time servers

The availability of free internet time servers (also called public stratum 1 NTP servers) might initially make them seem like an attractive method of synchronizing time across your network. However, there are a number of flaws with using an internet time server when compared to dedicated NTP time servers.

In order to utilise a time signal from internet time servers, you need to open a port in your firewall. This creates a vulnerability in your network, potentially exposing it to an ever-increasing number of cyberattacks, coming from the internet, which can harm your business. Not only will there be a cost to fix the security issue, there will also be a cost associated with your impacted business operation.

The other flaw of public internet time servers is in the name; they are operated by public organisations. As such, they are totally out of your control. There’s nothing to say the signal will be continuous or accurate, and no way to vouch for the security practices of the organisation distributing it.

Despite internet time servers being free, it’s easy to see how they can actually end up costing your business money in both security and reliability issues. They just cannot compete with the inherent benefits of dedicated NTP time servers, offering superior accuracy, security and reliability.

Dedicated NTP Time Servers you can trust

As Europe’s leading supplier of Time Solutions, Bodet have been providing time measurement products since the 1860s. Designed and manufactured in-house, Bodet’s Netsilon NTP Time Server is the culmination of all our experience in the time synchronization field.

Netsilon NTP time servers provides total peace of mind, knowing that you can rely on accurate time being synchronized across your organisation without interruption, and with a solution which won’t compromise your network security.


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