Visitor management is a critical part of any building’s security and safety plan. While most organizations focus on protecting their staff and employees, visitors must also be adequately identified, managed and logged. Visitors also should enjoy a smooth and straightforward entry and exit, whether they are dropping off a delivery, coming for a job interview or attending a meeting.
Traditional methods, such as sign-in sheets or communal badges, can be time-consuming and inefficient. It could even create security risks. That’s why visitor management systems and software are becoming increasingly popular.
When it comes to the safety of visitors, management is an essential part of any organization’s security strategy. Visitor management refers to the process of managing, tracking and identifying people entering a building or premises. Furthermore, visitor management aims to create a secure environment for staff, visitors and customers.
Traditionally, visitor logging was done with physical sign-in sheets. But these are time-consuming, prone to mistakes or manipulation and can create a security risk if the visitor logging sheet is not secured properly.
In contrast, an efficient digital visitor management solution allows organizations to easily capture visitor data, identify them quickly and conveniently as well as ensure that only authorized guests enter the premises.
Some of the best visitor management systems and protocols also include automated reception software such as a visitor check-in system, visitor management apps, a visitor badge system, video analytics or digital signage. These features enable organizations to better manage their visitors while providing them with a seamless and efficient experience.
Visitor management systems are software solutions that streamline the process of managing and tracking visitors to an organization. From check-in to check-out, these systems automate many of the processes related to visitor registration and identification. They also give administrators and security personnel more control over who is accessing their premises.
When a visitor arrives, the visitor tracking system identifies that someone has entered the building through the use of video security cameras, sensors or access control. Examples of visitor management systems for arrival include intercoms and kiosks, but can also extend to visitor management apps or calendar integrations. Once identified, visitors can be attended to quickly and easily with the assistance of a physical receptionist or automated software.
Before proceeding, visitors must check in via their smartphone or a self-service kiosk with visitor check-in software, depending on the system. As part of the electronic visitor sign-in system, guests will have to provide information such as their name, the reason for their visit, who they’re visiting, contact information and any other data the organization deems relevant.
While not always necessary, in some cases, using an employee badge system with a visitor badge system might be helpful, especially for larger organizations that have high volumes of visitors. Visitor badging systems can also be integrated with other security systems, allowing security personnel to quickly identify visitors and ensure they stay within their designated areas. If visitor badges are not ideal, there are several alternative visitor management tools that can help you secure your site, such as visitor management apps, temporary PIN codes or digital guest passes.
Once a visitor check-in process is complete, visitor management software can send notifications to the appropriate personnel so they know someone is there to see them. Depending on the security protocols and visitor monitoring system in place, the receiving employee might have to greet the visitor in the reception area. If the visitor management software is integrated with the door locks and access system, the employee may be able to facilitate remote unlocks to let the visitor in without having to be physically present.
At the end of their visit, visitors should check out as a best practice. Again, this can be done via a kiosk, smartphone or by a member of staff. The visitor tracking system should have recorded how much time the guest spent in the building, where they went and the time of their departure.
In addition to tracking visitors in real time, visitor management systems can also be used for scheduling visits in advance. This is especially useful for organizations that receive many visitors, such as schools or hospitals, or in commercial settings where on-site meetings are frequent and spaces need to be reserved in advance. Visits can be scheduled by employees or visitors, and the system can keep track of all these events, helping to ensure that no appointments overlap. A visitor scheduling system can also be integrated with company calendars and room reservation software to facilitate automatic visitor credentials.
Visitor management systems can be used in various applications, including hospitals, schools, offices and other facilities where having detailed reports of all visitors is key to security. Some use cases based on the setting include:
In hospitals, a visitor management system can help control the flow of visitors, allowing only authorized people to enter and exit. As a result, the chances of infection spreading from an unauthorized visitor can be significantly minimized, and can help limit security incidents like theft and vandalism.
Additionally, a visitor check-in system for hospitals can be used to ensure that visitors are aware of any protocols, such as the need for masks in certain areas, or include special instructions for visiting hours, parking and maps of the premises. Plus, if the software for visitor management includes tracking capabilities, having a log of all movements can be helpful for contact tracing if an outbreak arises.
In schools, visitor management systems can determine who is allowed in the building and when to conveniently provide access to the right people at the right time. For example, parent-teacher meetings can be scheduled in advance, and the system can provide real-time tracking of who is in the building at any given time.
Furthermore, a school visitor management system can be integrated with access control so that only authorized personnel can enter certain areas or classrooms equipped with readers or wireless locks. Leveraging watch lists and video security alongside visitor management is important for keeping students safe from any potential intruders or known criminals who may try to enter as a visitor, too.
For offices, visitor management systems can be used for guest access for situations like on-site meetings, interviews and maintenance. By issuing temporary and time-based credentials to visitors, commercial buildings can maintain a record of all those that enter the premises, even if they don’t possess any access credentials, and can be used to track visitors’ movement to ensure they are within their designated areas.
For government buildings, visitor management systems can quickly and efficiently process visitors. In addition, security personnel can use the system to track visitors, ensuring that no unauthorized person enters or exits the building by checking against active watch lists automatically when a guest checks in. And if required, visitors badges, either physical or digital, can be used to quickly identify legitimate visitors as they navigate the building.
For cultural institutions and event venues, visitor management systems can be used to streamline ticketing processes and enforce capacity limits. Visitors can purchase tickets in advance and then check in with a kiosk or their phones. Additionally, the system can log any irregularities, such as people tailgating ticket holders.
Security for any organization is of utmost importance, and resources that adequately protect the facility and its occupants are often a large investment. While sometimes overlooked in the auditing process, visitor management is a critical component of any comprehensive security system and offers a wide range of benefits, including:
When considering how to create a visitor management system and implement it, it’s essential to consider the following challenges:
As mentioned, the best visitor management systems can be integrated with other security systems to create a comprehensive, unified system. When implementing software for visitor management, consider how it will work alongside existing platforms, or any other systems you intend to install on the premises.
As the demand for online solutions continues to grow, the latest trends and technology in visitor management systems are also changing.
Cloud-based solutions offer several benefits, including scalability, cost savings and improved security. Cloud-based visitor management systems allow organizations to store data in the cloud, reducing overhead costs.
They also help streamline operations and reduce the administrative burden of managing visitor data. Thanks to the cloud, organizations can access visitor data anytime and anywhere. And if visitors can pre-register and check in remotely with cloud-based visitor management software and apps, it helps reduce wait times.
More organizations are also turning to mobile solutions for visitor management. Instead of relying on paper forms and physical access control badges, visitors can leverage mobile credentials via their own mobile devices to access the facility through a touchless sign-in process.
A modern visitor management system enhances building security, while reducing costs and time spent manually managing visitors through a paper logbook and issuing ID cards or badges. Mobile solutions also allow organizations to easily communicate with visitors, if necessary.
AI is increasingly used to help identify suspicious visitors and alert security personnel. For example, AI-enabled systems can be programmed to recognize behaviors or activities indicative of a security breach and check against active watch lists through facial recognition and analyzing visitor data for patterns.
AI also helps automate processes like check-in and visitor check-out, and can be used to automate communication with visitors.
The latest visitor management technology enables organizations to pre-register visitors remotely and check them in without needing physical contact. Touchless access control helps limit contact between visitors, security personnel and others in the facility without compromising on guest experience or security.
Visitor management systems are also being used with other technologies like biometrics and voice recognition to provide an extra layer of security. These visitor management tools and technologies help authenticate visitors and ensure that they are who they say they are, reducing the risk of unauthorized access.
It’s vital, though, for any software for visitor management to have robust encryption protocols in place to protect visitor data and ensure the safety of all parties.
Visitor management systems are a valuable tool for organizations looking to improve security and streamline visitor processes. The latest technology and trends in the field enable organizations to add a layer of security while automating operations, reducing the time and resources spent on managing visitors.
When using a visitor management solution, organizations should ensure they are using the best technology available and that all visitor information and data is kept secure in line with regulatory compliance. With the right visitor management system in place, organizations can reduce their risk of a breach and ensure the safety and security of everyone, while ensuring that visitor screening and visitor access is convenient and efficient.
If you’re looking for a cloud-based visitor management solution, Proxyclick is a top choice for many small, mid-size and enterprise businesses. Proxyclick helps organizations facilitate efficient visitor check-in when they arrive on-site, as well as ensures all work locations are secure and comply with necessary regulations for data and privacy.
Top Proxyclick features and benefits:
Offering visitor and office management solutions, Envoy streamlines workflows while enhancing security and boosting productivity. Envoy offers digital tools that improve the office experience while being flexible enough to accommodate hybrid work models and prioritizing safety. For visitors, access is streamlined with convenient registration and check-in. With easy-to-use mobile and web-based software, Envoy visitor management tools help create a safer, more efficient place to work while simplifying processes.
Top Envoy features and benefits:
Splan provides next-generation cloud software check-in solutions for visitors, events and schools, delivering intelligent and fully automated security solutions for small or large organizations. Cost-effective and easy to use, the enterprise-centric, web-based system allows customers to manage visitors, vendors, tenants, contractors and deliveries with feature-rich visitor capabilities to help reduce security risks and enhance visitor experience.
Top Splan features and benefits:
A simple but powerful online visitor management system, Lobbytrack makes it easy to manage end-to-end visitor workflow, including pre-registration, touchless sign-in, host notifications, security alerts, visitor monitoring and emergency evacuation. The cloud-based software is accessible through a user-friendly browser interface and native mobile apps.
Top Lobbytrack features and benefits:
The Virdee visitor management solution offers a virtual reception and check-in system to boost satisfaction for hotel guests and enterprise employees. Leveraging mobile technology, Virdee offers a streamlined hotel and hospitality visitor management experience, combining visitor check-in, identity verification, key issuance and more into one smartphone app.
Top Virdee features and benefits:
iLobby offers enterprise-class facility and visitor management systems to simplify typically complex screening processes through automation. Built to solve the unique challenges of mission-critical facilities and multi-site commercial infrastructure, iLobby visitor management solutions can help speed up check-in processes, automate reception tasks and ensure organizations are compliant with industry standards.
Top iLobby features and benefits:
When considering the top visitor management systems, the enterprise-grade solution from Sign In Enterprise (formerly Traction Guest) is a common choice for multi-site offices and commercial buildings. The visitor management software offers a customizable mobile experience that also extends to on-site kiosks, making it simple to adjust the visitor check-in process for different buildings and locations, even in multi-tenant properties.
Top Sign In Enterprise features and benefits:
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