The Need for a Visitor Management System
Does your Business Need a Visitor Management System?
Regardless of the size, location, or number of employees, your business needs to have a visitor management plan in place – one that records every visitor entering the facility, stores their information in a database, and can quickly produce audit trails and reports in case of an incident or emergency.
Incorporating visitor ID badges that are worn by everyone entering the facility into visitor management protocol is a key security feature for identifying all unwanted individuals on the premises at any given time.
Custom Designed Visitor ID Badges
Visitor ID badges can be custom-designed to suit your company’s needs, and instantly printed through the visitor management portal upon entry.
Still, many enterprises dismiss the need for implementing a visitor management system in their lobbies, and their justifications for dismissing this valuable security solution do not sufficiently resolve the problems of protecting employees, property and other visitors.
Listed below are four common justifications for dismissing the need for a visitor management system.
- “With a receptionist stationed in the lobby, or even employees working near the entrance, I don’t need a visitor management system to check for visitors.”
The position of a dedicated receptionist in an enterprise lobby is vanishing in entities across the United States. Organizations that still place a dedicated receptionist near the front door to greet and record visitors in a manual log are more vulnerable to security risks that occur because of human error. Depending on the nature of the receptionist’s duties, distractions can lead to security breaches, and most likely a lone receptionist will not be able to stop a committed intruder.
Employees whose work spaces are located near the front door are often expected to stop working and attend to visitors. These kinds of distractions not only lower productivity, they make it easier for an unauthorized visitor to gain entry. Whenever employees are subjected to multiple distractions daily, you’re going to experience costly diminished productivity and unsatisfactory front door management.
Whether there is a dedicated receptionist or “near the door” employees watching the entrance, unless visitors are documented upon arrival, investigators will have nothing more than a staff member’s memory of visitor activity in the event where something is stolen or someone is injured on the premises. Busy employees may have a hard time remembering key visitors, events, or details that could help when an incident occurs. Bottom line: these situations can raise liability issues with an employer.
- “I know all the visitors that come to my facility.”
Some smaller businesses, schools, and healthcare facilities claim to know every visitor who enters their building on any given day. Do you know all your visitors well enough that you would be willing to claim responsibility for any of their actions while on your property?
Any one of the visitors you know could be capable of stealing money from unattended purses, or helping themselves to company equipment while no one is paying attention.
It’s important to document everyone entering your building every day, so that if and when an unfortunate event occurs, you have an audit trail to account for everyone who was in the building; you can present this audit trail to the authorities when they start an investigation.
Without an audit trail of visitor activity, there is little hope determining who is responsible for an incident. Visitor management is an important safeguard, even when you believe you know all your visitors very well. No facility is safe if it doesn’t document and monitor who is in their building at any given time.
- “I believe that my visitors will feel inconvenienced by the visitor management registration process.”
This is a particularly common concern. In some facilities, certain visitors may feel annoyed with the visitor management registration process, especially those who have visited many times in the past. Some may even feel that the label “visitor” shouldn’t apply to them; however, in today’s uncertain environment, anyone who visits a facility should understand the risks facing employers and employees in workplaces, and arrive with the expectation that they need to be registered as a visitor before being granted access. It is for the safety of everyone within the facility and no one can be singled out for exemption. This is part of a company-wide security process – nothing personal – and certainly has nothing to do with anyone being under suspicion.
- “I have other security measures in place – locked doors, surveillance cameras, and security guards.”
Visitor management is not designed to replace other security measures; rather, it adds a layer of security that your other measures cannot perform. A visitor management system is to be used in conjunction with other security strategies. Visitor management takes care of the check-in and visitor registration process, while all the other components of your security system have their own specific roles, and when implemented together, all form a complete, comprehensive security system. A robust visitor management system is also a critical tool for meeting compliance regulations.