When it comes to the people who pass in and out your business’s doors, are your visitor management solutions stuck in the past?
In many facilities, visitors still register using a handwritten paper log. While this method is perceived as quick and easy, it provides virtually no security and leaves visitor information available for anyone to see.
Automated visitor management solutions, however, lend a more professional appearance, enhance security, and meet compliance mandates for the collection and auditing of visitor data.
Looking to implement advanced visitor management solutions at your organization? Here’s what you need to know.
Advances in Visitor Management Solutions
When many companies are considering visitor management solutions, they only think of the customers that come to the office. But, visitors go beyond business guests and potential clients — employees’ family members, candidates arriving for interviews, delivery people, food handlers and caterers, contractors and tradesmen, repair service people … the list goes on and on.
Some visitors will be recognizable; others will be complete strangers. You’ll have your regulars and repeat customers, and you’ll have first-timers and those who are there for their one and only time.
Whatever the case may be, comprehensive visitor management solutions will help you greet, identify, and check in those guests. From there, you can administer credentials and identification badges, record and log visitor information, and track the details of every visit, so you’ll always know why people are there and where they should be.
Everything is automated and data can be stored and sent to a variety of devices. Email notifications can be sent to the proper people, anytime, anywhere.
Visitor Management Solutions for Security
Growing security concerns over the last decade or so have shifted some of the focus of visitor management from hospitality to security. More often than not, when people go to visit a business, they expect to go through some type of security check.
When it comes to security, there are four major elements to visitor management solutions:
1. Verification of identity. Who is the person seeking access to the building, and how well can they prove they are who they say they are?
2. Validation of the visit. Does the person have a valid reason for the visit? Is there a scheduled meeting with an identifiable person in the organization? Is their host expecting them or prepared to accept them?
3. Screening for contraband. What is the content of packages or carried cases? Many commercial operations have instituted the use of package x-ray units, inspections, and walk-through magnetometers. On the flip side, retail businesses almost universally have devices to detect possible theft as part of their visitor management solutions.
4. Access control. Is the visitor issued a badge? Can the badge be used as an access control at card readers? Are escorts required?
Are Visitor Management Solutions Right for Your Business?
Businesses of all types and sizes can benefit from visitor management solutions, but the actual design and set up of the solution will vary based on a number of different factors.
Building Occupancy Type
Is the business owner-occupied or are there multiple tenants? Do tenants share facilities within the building? In designing the system, how much input is required from other tenants? How much will the security system from one company interfere with another company in the same building? Wealth management companies and law firms would probably find photographing visitors objectionable. Other contractors would probably demand that identification procedures be recorded in such a way that the record could be audited.
What security levels are mandated by your business? Pharmaceutical manufacturers and secure government agencies may demand systems that meet strict government compliance standards. What is the corporate culture and how would the corporate brand be affected by a strict security regimen? Security concerns could be an important part of risk assessment. What is the balance between security risk and budget limits for a visitor management system?
How many visitors per day will have to be processed? What is the peak volume period and how well can it be handled? How will the distribution of visitors affect the workday and the flow of employees in the building? What is an acceptable delay and wait time for visitors at the particular kind of business?
How will visitors arrive? Will they come in groups? Can they be pre-processed by the host? Will there be many exceptional visitors, like VIPs, whose arrival processing can be altered? What happens to visitors whose documentation is invalid or who arrive without appropriate documents? Can the security threat level be modified because of special circumstances?
How many processing stations will be required? Where should they be located? How will the visitor management solution be staffed? How much training will be needed for the staff of the visitor management solution? Is there enough lobby space or space near entranceways to accommodate the needed system?
What policies will have to be formulated to accommodate the visitor management system? How will procedures be formulated for escorts, duties of staff in the system, authorizations, exceptions? What will the criteria for admission be?
Once you can answer those questions, you’ll be ready to install the visitor management solution that’s right for your business. Once you do, you’ll have an efficient tool to reduce delays in logging and badging visitors, distinguish special consideration visitors, and identify individuals who are not allowed in a building. The solution can be customized for the size of your business, and will help enhance the professional feel at your front door.
At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 30 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.