Visitor Management System Guidelines

Internet technology has evolved within the 21st century, COVID-19 has even driven faster adoption of automation for business. In particular, Visitor Management Solution’s adoption has increased during the pandemic.

This guide will introduce visitor management from both macro and micro perspectives, including some of our thought-provoking key terms within visitor management to help readers understand our unique approach to improving workplace safety, productivity, efficiency, and visitor experience while cutting costs.

What is visitor management? A Definition

Visitor Management is a task in facility management that tracks the usage of a public building or site, managing visitors’ arrival and ensuring they have a great experience when they are at your building. Visitor Management usually involves a multitude of processes that keep visitors and employees safe, secure and in the correct place.

Visitor Management is relevant in many industries including commercial, retail, hospitality, tourism, finance, manufacturing, and education.

What types of visitors go to offices?

The type of organisation you have will determine what kinds of visitors you have. Examples of office visitors fall into three broad camps with different subgroups amongst them:

  • Employees are now a new type of visitor
  • Visitors
  • Contractors 

including sub-contractors, visiting employees from other offices, prospective new hires, delivery drivers, customers, VIP customers, business partners and cleaners. 

An effective Visitor Management Tool enhances the building’s security and the visitor experience by having a high-level overview of all types of visitors and giving them different levels of access permissions.

elements-of-visitor-management

Why is visitor management important?

Visitor management is vital to ensure the workplace is safe and compliant while delivering an outstanding experience for every person on site. However, the traditional process of managing and tracking visitors that relies on manually collecting and storing visitors’ data, usually with a paper-based visitor sign-in book, could put corporations at potential risk while losing efficiency and productivity.

Is visitor management relevant to my industry?

Visitor Management is relevant in many industries, including commercial, campus, retail, hospitality, tourism, finance, manufacturing, and education. The benefits of using a visitor management solution can be seen in any type of building in any industry.

Companies across different industries that are using Vpod visitor management systems include VodafoneLAX AirportCBREMitie, Ricoh, GE, Sodexo, and many more.

Collecting visitor details with GDPR

Drafted in the European Union, GDPR relates to any organisation that stores and processes the data of any countries that are in the EU. Even if the country you operate in is not part of the EU. GDPR is a regulation that strengthens individuals’ rights while ensuring the free flow of data in the digital market. The regulation amps up the role of several concepts such as visitor consent, deletion period, and more.

Why does it matter?

 

Any personal data of people in the EU such as names, addresses, date of birth, purchases, and bank details must now be stored in a specific way and for a specific time frame. In any organisation, visitor data is commonly collected to deliver a better visitor experience or ensure the building’s safety. Organisations collect the personal data of people who enter and exit your offices. Whatever the purpose is, the manual process of collecting, managing, and erasing the data requires techniques and experience which might lead to a single point of failure.

Read more about how Visitor Management Systems can help you stay GDPR compliant

Problems and challenges of Visitor Management

Traditional electronic visitor management systems use a web-based network to monitor and record visitor information. However, whether the pandemic impacted you, corporations are challenged to decrease the contamination risk in the building with reduced cost and improved visitor experience and implement a flexible and safe workplace to bring the employees back.

Here are the challenges of traditional visitor management that most businesses are not aware of.

  1. The manual processes at the reception desk
  2. The compliance risks
  3. Employing more receptionists at peak times leads to inefficient use of the resources
  4. The visitor management system is isolated from other building systems which leads to more manual work for the team
  5. The visitor experience is inconsistent across different sites, relying on human presence.
  6. High administrative cost

You can also go into detail about the challenges for each reception type, depending on the number of the receptionists you have.

How do we solve these problems with effective Visitor Management?

  • Use technology to automate manual repetitive tasks using a visitor management system.
  • Use technology to deliver a contactless express check-in that can efficiently handle more visitors a day.
  • Upgrade the reception staff to meet and greet service and implement the human-touch element of service.

The right technology not only solves the problems but also brings significant benefits to the organisation, all while providing an impressive ROI. Continue to read why and how you can achieve the same.

 

What is a visitor management system (vms)?

A visitor management system (VMS) is a solution that allows organisations to streamline and automate their visitor management process, using technology to monitor, track, and record visitor information.

The combination of visitor management software, hardware, and databases enables preregistering visitors, effective communication, express check-in, interactive mapping, and efficient visitor management workflows.

What’s the evolution of visitor management systems?

Managing visitors is not a new task for business but it took a long time to go from the paper visitor log book to digital. The obstacles were the overlap of operations, facility management and IT, and difficulties in introducing a unified system to multiple company locations with different processes and requirements. The legacy on-site visitor management software is expensive and requires maintenance (Source: Forbes).

These obstacles lead to cloud-based visitor management software that are cost and time-efficient, becoming known as software as a service, or SaaS, a software licensing model that makes it available to users all over the internet. Users can manage visitors from a web browser or an app.

Many cloud-based visitor management systems provide comprehensive customer support along with monthly or annual subscriptions that can be updated constantly, removing the need for manual patches and updates. There are several visitor management tools available in the market, let’s take a look and help you understand how to choose the best solutions.

electronic-visitor-management-system

1. Electronic visitor management system

The products we are referring to is the digital version of sign in books. Visitors or receptionists key visitor details into the system upon visitors’ arrival, followed by printing them visitor badges for granted access.

An electronic visitor management system might be gdpr-friendly, but the manual processes are not removed.

visitor-management-software-on-phone

2. Software only

Being able to installed in iPad or smart phones, these software only packages usually offer users a free-trial. 

A wide range of visitor management software is available on the internet for users to download. The important software features are visitor registration, effective communication, easy and express visitor check-in, and customisable workflows.

 

However, visitor management software or apps need to be downloaded on iPad, tablets, or mobile phones. If we look at the current market offerings, they are

  • software only
  • iPad/app variants
  • Software vendors that started in something else and strayed into the visitor management
  • Kiosks that are not integrated

Read more about why we think an iPad is not efficient and sacrifices visitor experience

 

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3. Modern Visitor Management System

Not just digitalising visitor information and records, modern visitor management systems feature an open API for integration with other workplace management systems. For example, they integrate with access control systems, meeting room and desk booking, and wayfinding solutions, and they are designed to be fully customised.​

Some iconic features include branded meeting invites, host notification, visitor registration, video call receptionists, catering, handle deliveries, and more.

How can I create a memorable visitor experience?

 A good experience starts before visitors’ arrival at your building and continues after they checked in. We believe in the concept of a “Connected Workplace” to deliver the best visitor experience – where different systems exchange data to enhance the experience or make processes more efficient. It is a simple but significant concept: On-grid when systems are linked and connected or Off-grid, where some systems exist, however processes, are largely manual and costly.

siloed-elements-of-visitor-management-system

Is your visitor management system Off-Grid?

 

Many Facilities Managers and building operators are plagued by unconnected visitor management software, here is an example:
Microsoft Outlook – every meeting in Office 365 has a meeting host and guests.

  • In an unconnected workplace that data sits there serving no real purpose, except the meeting attendees, who may not know how to get to the building or how to access the meeting room.
  • Visitors have no idea if the building is COVID-19 safe, how long it’s going to take to access the building, or what processes they should follow when they arrive.
  • It takes more manual processes to ensure the reception is aware of some of the visitors they are expecting.
  • The reception team are largely reactive to visitors and have manual processes passing information from one system to another.

On-Grid visitor management user experience

 

In a connected workplace, visitor management systems connect to Microsoft Outlook, wayfinding, Room and Desk booking and each system inform the other, making the workplace intuitive, informed and intelligent.

Read 5 Tips To The Best Visitor Experience

The benefits of a modern visitor management

The benefits of a visitor management system are huge from:

1. Reducing your manual processes by 80%

 

Removing the unnecessary manual tasks means you can

  • Reduce cost in the front of house
  • Repurpose staff members
  • or upgrade to a full meet and greet service

2. Enhancing your visitor experience with touchless 3-second express check-in

 

  • Maps to the building
  • Wayfinding around the building​
  • Pre-registration to remove any risk of a congested reception
  • Different visitor workflows depend on the visitor type, be that employee, contractor or an external visitor

3. Increasing employee safety so they can see the benefits of having a visitor management system

 

  • No queues in reception i.e less contamination risk ​
  • Fewer meetings start late because visitors are delayed in reception

4. Increased compliance

 

  • Health and safety practices and workflows
  • Safety video auditable viewing trail
  • Self Health surveys
  • All reinforced by “no compliance no active bar code for check-in”​

These are all powerful reasons to initiate change.​

What is the digital efficiency of your visitor management?

digital-efficiency-of-visitor-management

The efficiency of visitor management can be measured by the involvement of manual processes and parts of workflows that require multiple touches. We introduce the concept of Digital Efficiency in the workplace and publish a free digital efficiency calculator tool for you to know how digitally efficient your visitor management is.

Digital efficiency does not only mean getting the latest technology but embracing a solution that can help the organisation constantly adapt and evolve with an ever-changing marketplace. We encourage you to challenge your workflow step, process and data source.

How Visitor Management System can improve Workplace Safety

Building security level

 

Visitor Management Systems play an important role in access control and help you identify different types of visitors and design workflows to treat them differently enhancing your building’s safety and visitor experience.

We discussed why visitor management systems should integrate with access control systems, the 5 key benefits are

  1. Customise your visitor’s access level
  2. Digitally track your visitors
  3. 24/7 Building Security
  4. Efficient background operation with Microsoft access visitor management system
  5. Integrate with market-leading access control systems

Read more about the Visitor Management System’s access control feature

Implement a touchless visitor check-in process

 

COVID-19 has driven faster adoption of automation for business, Visitor Management Systems reduce visitor’s check-in time with visitor pre-registration process and automate the visitor management process to reduce the reception traffic in the building.

infographic-of-visitor-management-systems

What’s the visitor management system’s price?

Vgreet visitor management system can see a return-on-investment £80k in year 1 and £175k in year 2, the price offers a great ROI compared to the cost of FOH and reception staff. You can calculate the price and how much money you can save with Vgreet here with our free ROI calculator.

Vgreet visitor management system saves money for different types of receptions, but the questions are not just about the price of it.

Take your digital efficiency, savings from repurposing the staff, and saved budgets to upgrade your service into consideration. 

How to choose the best visitor management system?

1. Think about your visitors

 

Start walking the customer journey and think of your visitors. Spend one day with an employee, a contractor and a visitor and watch how they use your building, what things do and don’t work, question them about what needs to change.

2. Evaluate your front desk service: Break the traffic paradigm

 

Different types of reception face different challenges, calculate your workplace’s digital efficiency to understand how many staff you actually need at busy times and how your visitor management solution can enhance front desk service.

3. Start talking about “return on investment” not cost

 

Budgets as a term are replaced by returns on investment and returns on the experience you delivered.

4. The seamless experience

 

With visitor management techniques and best practices in mind, question if your visitor sign-in system has touchless procedures, ensure employee safety in reception, and impress your visitors nobody else can.

5. Read reviews

 

Capterra or Google Reviews are helpful websites to compare which visitor management solution suits you the most.

How to convince internal stakeholders to invest in visitor management?

There are three key points to remember when trying to gain buy into an idea or project

1. Bring your stakeholders in the loop early

 

One of the most helpful things you can do to encourage stakeholder buy-in is to involve them early on in the project. By doing this, you allow your stakeholders to familiarise themselves with your project aims and the solution you are exploring.

2. Listen to concerns

 

A short stakeholder workshop is an effective way to hear out any concerns or worries that they may have before the project gains traction. During the session, you can answer questions and concerns, or take notes and get back to them after the session. Your stakeholders will appreciate the chance to make comments before you go ahead with the project.

3. Communicate

 

Keep your stakeholders up to date throughout your project. Depending on how influential they are to your project will define how often you do this; whether it’s a daily update in Scrum, a weekly phone call, or an email update, be sure to communicate at an appropriate level.