7 factors that affect the cost of a visitor management system
by Paul Kazlauskas
A visitor management system helps give you security and control over your workplace. The tool assists in providing a safe environment for your employees, with full control and visibility of everyone in your building. It allows you to quickly register visitors to your database, ask them to sign legal documentation, and identify them easily with visitor badges once they have entered the premises. However, visitor management software solutions are not minor, discretionary purchases. They could be complicated and potentially expensive. Doing your research ahead of time could save your facility serious money. Here are seven factors that affect the cost of a visitor management system.
1) What is the cost to initially purchase – and what is the 3-year cost of ownership?
Visitor management systems have obvious initial costs that include the software, equipment (such as cameras, scanners, and printers), and visitor badges that visitors will wear while on company property. It is important to realize that some components to visitor management software have recurring fees and expenses that may not be so obvious. For example, some software licenses have annual fees after the first year. Equipment, such as driver’s license readers, could come with yearly fees as well. How many visitors do you see on a daily/monthly/yearly basis? You’ll need enough visitor badges to hand out, whether they’re reusable or disposable.
2) Can I select individual features or do I have to buy the whole package?
Many security integrators offer “one-stop shopping,” where you can get all your software, system components, and visitor badges in one purchased “bundle.” That convenience is efficient for your time, but if you don’t need all the features a visitor management system offers, is it efficient from a cost perspective? It may be better to pick a vendor that allows you to choose only the features you plan on using, while allowing the flexibility to upgrade should the need arise in the future. eVisitor software makes it easy for you to get started and is easy for you to use. You don’t need to add it to your network or provide space for data storage. This helps make it affordable — you pay only for the functionality you need, including automated recordkeeping and reporting.
3) How is the data in the visitor management system protected?
Protecting the privacy of visitors is critical. In many instances, they hand you their driver’s license to be scanned, and their personal data is now in your company’s hands. Visitor management systems store the visitor information either on local drives or remotely. That data should be encrypted with password-protected systems. Your company is liable for the security of the data you collect. Finding a visitor management system with above-average encryption might cost a little extra, but could be worth it in the long run.
4) How much support is needed to keep the system working?
Does a receptionist or security person need to run the visitor management system for it to work efficiently for your visitors? Dedicating a staff member to its use, even if it’s only a part of their responsibilities, is an important consideration because that person could be accomplishing something else with their time. In addition, how reliable is the visitor management system itself? If the software goes down, which employee is going to contact the vendor’s support team when things aren’t working properly? Is a backup system, like a sign-in book, needed if the primary system runs into technical issues or experiences a power outage?
5) Will the visitor management software's required equipment work with my office’s systems?
This could mean the difference of thousands of dollars. If the new visitor management system equipment does work with your office’s existing systems, there shouldn’t be any additional costs for infrastructure upgrades. However, if your existing systems need to be upgraded to work with the new VMS equipment (for example, it may be proprietary), the company will have a much larger security investment to make than in the first scenario.
6) What kinds of reports and statistics are available and what can they tell me?
A major reason why a computerized visitor management system is an upgrade over manual sign-in books is the ability to analyze visitor data digitally. There is complete data on every visitor that has ever been to a facility, and that data can be mined to identify trends. Most visitor management systems can generate custom reports that can be shared with security personnel very easily. Besides the obvious security reasons for knowing who is in the building at any given time, there are other non-security benefits for the visitor data. For example, visitor reports can verify arrival and departure times of contractors to ensure they have been on the job as invoiced.
7) How can the visitor management system improve my company’s bottom line?
In addition to confirming contractor hours, a visitor management system can identify busy and slow periods of visitor activity. This can help your facility’s bottom line for staffing purposes. When visitor activity is slow, less staff could be needed for processing visitors. Another option during very slow visitor activity would be implementing a self-serving station, similar to check-in kiosks at airports.
As you can see, there are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to a visitor management system. Doing the research ahead of time, while considering the seven factors above, can lead you to the right tool for increasing facility security at the right price.
Our robust yet simple visitor management software, eVisitor, makes it easy to sign in visitors by keyboard or driver's license reader, take a photo, print a badge, keep a visitor log, and issue reports.eVisitor software makes it easy for you to get started and is easy for you to use. You don’t need to add it to your network or provide space for data storage. This helps make it affordable — you pay only for the functionality you need, including automated recordkeeping and reporting.
Schedule a free demo of eVisitor Software today!
Posted on 1/31/2023