8 benefits of visitor management for building managers and occupants

People need to feel safe in the buildings in which they work, live, and enjoy themselves. Effective building security should contemplate everyone who enters a building, including staff, casual, visitors, clients, and contractors. If your building uses outdated, manual methods of tracking visitors, you are most likely compromising the building’s security. It is also likely your records are unreliable. 

The latest cloud and wireless visitor management technologies ensure occupant safety and give building managers peace of mind. They make a better impression on visitors, and they guarantee your easily accessible records are well organised. They are essential in today’s digitalised world.

What is visitor management?

Visitor management is a process through which occupants and visitors in a building are verified. There is no one standardised process—it depends on building type, purpose, location, and management team. Processes range from people manually signing in and out to technologically advanced biometric access control

Most building managers—from residential buildings to office blocks and leisure facilities—are moving towards making their buildings intelligent. They frequently use tools to help their visitor management policies and are upgrading from manual systems to visitor management solutions that give buildings and administrative teams options.

For example, today’s visitor management solutions have advanced features, including touchless visitor sign-in software—which is in keeping with Covid-19 hygiene standards. Upgrading to the latest visitor management technology is convenient, provides a better building experience, and more building security.

Should I update to a visitor management solution?

There are good reasons visitors are asked to sign into buildings: security, safety, and compliance. Although we have relied on a pen and paper system for the past hundred years, it no longer provides a comprehensive and accurate record—necessary on many levels. In the event of a fire, for example, a record in the cloud of who is in the building could save lives. And if there is a theft in the building, it has an accurate record for any potential insurance claim. 

The first place to start could be an electronic visitor sign-in system, which will ensure thoroughness and accuracy, not to mention a better visitor experience. This software will allow the building manager to establish visitor management procedures for different types of visitors: expected clients, walk-ins, and contractors.

The 9 benefits of using visitor management software

1. Improving wellbeing in the time of Covid-19 

Health and wellbeing in buildings are paramount; therefore, legacy visitor management systems could be damaging your organisation. Touchless visitor sign-in systems show your commitment to occupant wellbeing. Visitors can use their own devices to sign in, avoiding the need for multiple people to be touching common devices. As an additional extra, sign-in software can include health questionnaires, which contribute to keeping everyone safe.  

2. Using the latest technology 

There are clear benefits of using the latest technology in your building, for example removing the burden from administrative staff. If visitors can use the building’s tablets, or—even better their own devices—to register, then the management team can access a detailed list of people entering the building without having to manually check everyone. A number of features such as QR codes, facial recognition, and ID scanning can provide completely touchless visitor experiences.

3. Providing remote access 

Upgrading to a visitor management system will allow the building manager to remotely control visitor access. Today’s remote world demands we retain control whilst being anywhere on the planet. And, even if you are only down the road, having to go to the office every time you need to review records is inefficient.

Building managers can use cloud-based systems to remotely create and send digital visitor passes, give visitors access to specific areas, and monitor check-in and access activity. From a management perspective, this is advantageous on several levels as it helps:

  • Distributed teams 
  • Operations across multiple locations
  • Flexible work schedules

4. Customizing visitor registration

Intuitive visitor registration software is a great way to provide a seamless visitor experience. The software you use should be flexible and completely customisable depending on the type of visitor: the experience of a potential client should be very different from the experience of a contractor. 

If your building requires, software can also be used to screen visitors against pre-determined watch lists, which is a key feature to prohibit criminals from accessing your building. 

Additionally, if your building needs to grant a high number of temporary access needs in a short period of time, the software you use needs to have the capacity to handle a large number of visitors. In this case, visitors should be advised to pre-register, which will free security staff to focus on more important issues than checking credentials.

5. Enhancing building security

Building security is everything. Any visitor may represent a potential security risk. This could be either a direct threat or an indirect threat such as unauthorised personnel accessing sensitive areas.  

Nowhere is security more important than in schools, which need to take active measures to keep out dangerous individuals. Not only should your visitor management software screen visitors prior to their registration, but it should also provide you with tracking information that works in real-time to precisely monitor visitor activity. Additionally, a tracking system that functions together with your building’s access control will restrict visitor access to sensitive areas.

Visitor management solutions keep your building safe from the moment a visitor arrives as your team knows exactly who they are expecting and can identify any uninvited guests. However, it also keeps your visitors safe as they can supply a photograph and sign any relevant information before arriving, so they know exactly what they have agreed to. 

6. Making a better first impression

The front desk or reception is the first point of contact for visitors—so you want to make a good impression. Replacing pen and paper sign-in with a tech solution certainly improves the visitor experience. It even helps from a design perspective; sleek areas that are clutter-free speaks volumes about your business. 

Certain visitor management platforms even allow you to communicate with visitors before they have arrived, which means you can send them directions, information, and any requests in advance. An intuitive and easy to use platform will inspire confidence in you.

7. Streamlining visitor sign in

Visitor management apps allow guests to pre-register. They can fill out personal information, add their photo, and include required information before they arrive at your building. This avoids congestion and streamlines the process for both staff and visitors. 

Visitor management systems also help staff to manage visitors by giving them prior warning of who will be arriving, alerts for when they have to pick up a package, and automatic reminders for deliveries.

6. Improving operations

Cloud-based visitor management software collects all the data your building needs and hosts it in one easy to access place. Your team can easily track visitor activity and search for contact details using the same interface. Visitor management teams can verify which people have the most visitors and improve operations to accommodate them. For occupants, having well-organised data means they spend less time worrying about their visitors’ logistics and more time on the visitors themselves.

8. Centralising administration

Visitor management systems are incredibly helpful even for single buildings; however, organisation is even more important for companies that have multiple sites. Centralised information means less time wasted on administration as everything you need is available in one place—for every site. People visiting different buildings will also save a great deal of time by not having to reregister on every occasion. 

Conclusion

Using pen and paper for visitor management is no longer an option. A cloud-based, wireless visitor management system is essential in today’s digitalised world. A good visitor management system will guarantee your easily-accessible records are well organised and make an impression on visitors. More importantly, it will give building managers peace of mind and ensure occupant safety.

 

Access Control

     
Darren Gibbons
Written by Darren Gibbons

Darren is a security systems, life safety and fire protection specialist and Managing Director of Ace Fire & Security.

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