The Top 5 Time-Saving Inventions, Processes, and Developments of the 20th Century

19th April, 2023News


The aphorism “time is money” is typically attributed to Benjamin Franklin, and for businesses, saving time means saving money.

Over the past century, many inventions, processes, and developments have helped businesses operate more efficiently and effectively.

In this blog, we will explore the top five time-saving inventions, processes, or developments that have helped businesses over the past century.

Assembly Line

The assembly line is one of the most significant inventions of the 20th century. Henry Ford developed the first moving assembly line in 1913 to mass-produce the Ford Model T automobile.

The assembly line allowed workers to specialise in one task and increase production speed.

This innovation reduced the time needed to manufacture a car from 12 hours to 1 hour and 33 minutes, revolutionising the manufacturing industry.


Computers have revolutionised how businesses operate, from managing inventory to tracking sales to automating manufacturing processes.

The first computer was built in 1943 by John Atanasoff and Clifford Berry and several decades later, the development of personal computers in the 1970s made computing accessible to businesses of all sizes.

With the internet and the rise of cloud computing, businesses have further streamlined operations and made remote work possible.

Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing is a process developed by Toyota in the 1980s to eliminate waste and increase efficiency.

The system focuses on continuous improvement, waste reduction, and just-in-time production.

This approach has been widely adopted by many manufacturing, fast-food and technology companies and has led to significant time savings.

Barcode Technology

Barcodes were first introduced in the 1970s and have since become a ubiquitous technology in retail and manufacturing.

The use of barcodes has streamlined inventory management, reduced errors, and increased productivity.

Barcode scanners can quickly read and process large amounts of data, allowing businesses to save time and money.

Online Payment Systems

Online payment systems, such as PayPal and Stripe, have revolutionised how businesses accept payments. These systems allow businesses to process payments quickly and securely, reducing the time and resources needed to manage payments.

Online payment systems have also made it possible for businesses to sell products and services online, opening up new revenue streams.

Many inventions, processes, and developments have helped businesses save time over the past century. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see more innovations that will help businesses save time and operate more effectively.

The role of time clocking in saving money

Time-clocking machines have become more advanced in recent years, and many now offer features such as biometric identification, mobile clocking, and real-time reporting.

The use of time-clocking machines has improved efficiency and productivity by automating the process of recording employee work hours, eliminating the need for manual calculations and reducing errors.

Time-clocking machines also provide valuable data to help businesses make informed decisions about scheduling, resource allocation, and workforce management.

Industries such as healthcare, hospitality, and manufacturing have seen significant benefits from using time-clocking machines to manage employee attendance and improve operational efficiency.

How PeopleKey helps you save money

How does PeopleKey translate the aphorism ‘time is money’ into a business rule that helps deliver value?


From automating repetitive tasks to streamlining workflows and eliminating time-wasting, the ability to automate certain processes is a value-adding and value-creating endeavour.

PeopleKey’s unique time & attendance systems often see our clients save more than 20% of their time on tasks including payroll and report processing.

Just imagine what you could do with that time saved and value created.

For an obligation-free demonstration and quote call ☎️ 1800 015 458.