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Maintain professionalism with better visitor management



Visitor management

Schools aim to provide two important goals: to educate, but also protect. As far as student safety is concerned, security systems and precautions have improved over the decades to ensure the prevention of a variety of threats, from incidents of bullying all the way to active shooter situations. As a result, many visitor management methods now include rigorous identity verification that screen potentially unwelcome individuals against specific databases, such as sex offender registries. In such cases, students are kept relatively safe, but many administrators will agree that, in the event of a particularly malicious threat (such as an armed gunman), these systems are merely an additional security layer, acting as a barrier that will slow down, but not completely prevent, the attacker’s mission. For other industries, such as moderate to large enterprises, agencies, or healthcare facilities, the same is mostly true. The real value of visitor management solutions stems from its benefits to an organization’s privacy, compliance, and ROI.

Walk into any urgent clinic, dentist’s office, or small business, and you’ll likely sign in at the reception desk with a paper-based attendance sheet. For these instances, it’s more of a matter of policy rather than security; 99% of the time, the receptionist or attendant will automatically assume you are who you say you are, and there are rarely any safety issues. Now imagine signing in at a major hospital, corporate office building, or government institution with a paper log; chances are, these organizations have intellectual property, private data, or high-value assets, and if an unauthorized visitor is able to slip through the cracks and gain access to such things, the organization would have a major liability on their hands thanks to the absence of accurate visitor records.

Due to a variety of acts and regulations, all organizations are obligated to ensure the safety of its occupants, and for health/safety/security management teams, an integrated visitor management system is practically a requirement. Sometimes a facility can have multiple fragmented processes for managing visitors, contractors, employees, and evacuation reporting, such as Access databases, Excel spreadsheets, paper records, and adhesive badges; a central management solution can store all this data on the network through a unified, cost-effective platform across all departments and campuses, addressing various issues that could arise in the event of a disaster or other emergency:

  • Which visitors/contractors/staff are on site or not
  • The specific location of all occupants
  • The amount of people to count after an evacuation
  • Access to the evacuation report post-emergency

Some visitor management solutions are able to provide innovative features thanks to advances in technology, such as an integrated alert system that can email or text employees when their visitor arrives on site. Coupled with a kiosk that supports visitors with self-check in, this solution is able to save time by circumventing the need for a receptionist to page or track down the employee or having security personnel escort the visitor throughout the building. For short-term or contracted employees, these kiosks have the ability to provide a temporary access ID card.

Despite what sort of key problem an organization is looking to solve regarding visitor management and general access control for non-permanent employees, there are many solutions available that will provide specific features to meet the needs of the business. Additionally, if the majority of visitors are customers, a sophisticated visitor management system promotes a sense of professionalism that can create a positive impression through a fast, reliable, and smooth process.