4 reasons why a company visitor management system makes good security sense
by Paul Kazlauskas
Electronic visitor management systems (VMS) are an electronic version of the visitor sign-in sheet (or visitor log book) used in buildings for years and are being implemented more frequently in the business world. While more expensive than a traditional log book, the VMS offers a more efficient and full-proof sign-in process. It is the most secure way to sign-in visitors that come to your office and a very affordable way to improve the visitor management and security of your company.
1) Know who is in your building at any day/time (including past and possibly future times too).
A critical component to a visitor management system, and a major reason why they are an upgrade over manual sign-in books, is the ability to analyze visitor data electronically. There is complete data on every visitor that has ever been to a facility, and that data can be mined to identify trends.
Visitor information is stored in a computer database, which allows you to search, sort, analyze, and retrieve visitor data. Generate reports on your visitor data to know who was in your facility at any day/time in the past or know who is in your building right now. In addition, if you know particular visitors are coming in for a meeting, their information can be added to the system ahead of time (pre-registration), which speeds up the sign-in process when the visitors actually arrive.
2) Standardize the way you register your visitors.
A visitor management system allows your company to capture the driver’s license information of every visitor. Use a driver’s license reader to scan the visitor’s I.D. The scanner captures the name and driver’s license number in seconds and allows you to uniformly capture critical information of every visitor in a mistake-proof manner.
Using a driver’s license scanner with an electronic visitor management system also means the visitor doesn’t even have the opportunity to enter phony information. There is no hand-keying of information, which eliminates human error. Plus, there is no need to try to decipher handwriting from a manual visitor log book.
3) Print a professional-looking visitor badge that includes critical information.
A crisp, clean visitor pass shows your facility cares about security. The badge should never be wrinkled or unreadable. A visitor badge imprinted with your company’s logo deters forgery and promotes your facility’s identity.
A visitor pass printed from a VMS should contain the visitor’s name, where they are going, the date, and the time they arrived. The text should be easily readable from at least a few feet away. We advise using a camera in conjunction with your visitor management system. A photo can be added to the visitor pass for further identification. Electronic visitor management system photos can also be used in investigating security breaches, even used to compare with security camera footage to further identify any person.
A visitor management system offers the ability to lower operating costs by eliminating unnecessary staff. Many visitor management systems are built to be self-serving, similar to check-in kiosks at airports. Having visible signs directing visitors to your VMS will help guide people to your system, where they will be able to register themselves with their driver’s license. There is no need to have a receptionist just to handle your visitors.
Second, electronic documentation of contractors cuts down on dishonest billing. When managing a building, working with contractors involves an element of trust. If you don't have an electronic visitor management system, you essentially trust your contractors to bill you correctly for time spent. However, using your visitor management system, you can track exactly when your contractors began and ended work because you know when they arrived and departed.
Third, a VMS allows your company to “Go Green” and cut down on the use of paper. Visitor management systems eliminate the need for visitor sign-in sheets and log books. The manual system costs money in supplies and also in the time it takes to update and archive them.
Finally, a VMS helps your employees be more efficient because they stop visitor interruptions from hurting office productivity. Research has shown that it takes about 25 minutes to get back into a task after being interrupted, which means that a once-a-day interruption of even five minutes translates into about 2.5 hours of lost productivity each week.
What are some other security-related reasons for getting a visitor management system for your office? Please add your thoughts below in the “Comments” section.
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Posted on 4/3/2017