What is a Visitor Management System?
A visitor management system is the process of tracking everyone who enters your building, office or site. It could be a visitor, a customer, a delivery person, a job applicant or a contractor. Essentially, anyone who is not a regular full-time employee is classed as a visitor.
Visitor Management – Before The Web
The typical visitor management system is the paper sign-in book, usually kept in a folder at the front desk. When a visitor arrives, they write down their name, who they are there to see, and the time they arrive. The receptionist usually then notifies the host that their visitor is waiting in the reception. At some point, that sign-in sheet gets filed away, shredded, lost and a new sheet is produced.
Visitor Management – Today
A busy reception can be a challenging environment in today’s world and keeping track of visitors is no longer a straightforward task. While it might be easy to tell how many visitors are currently on your site, would you know how many were on site this time 6 months ago? While it might be possible to find this information, it is an extra workload to go through files and folders to check, or to go through excel spreadsheets and review information, and this data is often required for audits. Other questions relating to visitors which can often pop up include:
- Have you a record of who each visitor met with during their time on site?
- Have all visitors signed out when leaving? Or do some forget to do so?
- What other information is missing in the visitors log? Time checked in, car registration, etc.
- Are the check-in and check-out times correct and accurate?
- Some companies have unattended reception areas and lobbies. What happens in this instance? What do visitors do when they arrive? Enforcing the need to get full information becomes a lot more difficult in this instance, and this can also become a security issue where people can walk in unannounced.
These scenarios are common in offices worldwide and highlight the need for some kind of visitor management system. To combat these issues, more and more people have started to look towards electronic visitor management systems as a means to be more efficient, but also for compliance, security, projecting a positive corporate image & reporting.
Some information or documents might be required by visitors before they come to site. There is also a need to make visitors aware of site procedures, potential risks and health and safety requirements. This can all be easily managed using an electronic visitor management system.
Security & Emergencies
One of the major benefits of an electronic visitor management system is the ability to know who is on site, who is expected and when, what type of visitor they are, who they are visiting, where are they visiting & their identity. All of this information can be made available instantly and is vital information for your security team as well as assisting in the event of any emergency on site.
Moving away from paper-based visitor logs and sign-in sheets to an electronic system can help your company portray a professional and modern image.
Paper-based visitor books do not provide you with an efficient audit trail (such as how many visitors attended site, where and who they visited). While this can be done manually by going back over visitor logs, it can be very time consuming. Simple and quick reporting can be processed using electronic visitor management systems.
To conclude, electronic visitor management solutions can simplify reception tasks, ensure the smooth processing of visitors upon arrival, allowing you to be rest assured that your health and safety obligations have been met and that your site remains secure.