Visitor Management Challenges in Multi-Location Enterprises
Security directors for multi-location enterprises face a variety of challenges when it comes to deploying a standardized visitor management system that meets each of their location’s needs. Whether your company’s facilities are scattered locally, regionally, nationally or internationally, establishing a uniform visitor management system that meets all compliance regulations is certainly a possibility.
Listed below are tips on what to look for in a multi-location, enterprise visitor management solution:
1. Find a single solution for all your locations:
The optimal solution is a single visitor management system that is able to meet the demands of every location you’re monitoring. Having multiple systems is only going to increase your deploying and training costs, and will require expensive middleware to organize data for centralized reporting. Your priority should be to find a single visitor management solution that will work uniformly enterprise-wide, and ensure it is able to meet the diverse needs of each location.
2. Deploy a visitor management solution to multiple locations:
When you’re deploying a visitor management solution to multiple locations, challenges are compounded. When visitor management is installed on-site, you need to update each site efficiently and uniformly, understand how the licensing works, and set up and configure location specific hardware – kiosks, barcode scanners, RFID scanners, web cameras, label printers, and other peripherals. It is important to know if hardware vendors can support your locations in remote areas, and whether you can deploy different hardware options at each. For instance, one location may need an in-lobby visitor management system only, another may need a 21-inch, freestanding touch screen kiosk, and another may operate well with an iPad. If your needs are this varied, make sure your visitor management solution supports these options.
3. Maintain visitor management across time zones:
Enterprises with multiple locations often deal with maintaining visitor management solutions across multiple time zones. Your corporate headquarters may be in New York; however, you might have offices or facilities in Orlando, London, Singapore, San Francisco, Madrid, Sydney or Toronto. Some of your locations may be in the same city or state, while others are widely scattered. Before implementing a visitor management solution, check to see if it supports daylight savings changes. For instance, if a visitor signs into your New York office at three p.m. on Monday, March 28, check to see if your Tokyo office report will show the visitor entry in New York time or Tokyo time.
3. Have a multi-location, employee database:
Enterprises with multiple locations have an added challenge trying to maintain their employee database. Ensure the visitor management solution you choose accommodates location-specific administrators to maintain the employee database. Also, ensure the solution supports a centralized control method across multiple locations, either through active directory or single sign-on.
4. Establish your multi-location, visitor policy protocols:
Each individual enterprise location may require their own visitor management protocol. For instance, some locations may decide to capture and save visitors email addresses; others may want the ability to validate and store visitor credentials; some may deploy kiosks, while others may not. Some locations will want to capture visitor photos when issuing ID badges, while others may not feel photos are necessary for their visitor ID badges. The information your enterprise requires of visitors at the company’s R&D Center will be different from what is required of visitors at a regional sales office. Make sure your single visitor management solution supports personalized policies at the individual location level.
5. Consider multi-location, real-time monitoring:
When considering a single visitor management solution for multiple locations, you may have a mix of offices, operational centers, distribution and logistics warehouses and manufacturing plants. Check to see if the solution you’re considering allows you to access real-time data on what is happening at each site. Also, consider whether you have to run reports or have to setup a dashboard that displays current activity at one or more sites.
6. Check out real-time updates across multiple locations:
When choosing an enterprise visitor management solution, keep in mind that you need to have the ability to access real-time updates from every location, regardless if you are present at that location or not. The system you choose should be capable of supporting real-time updates and changes and deploying them instantly, without hassling with downloads or requiring IT resources. The cost of not being able to quickly set and enable a policy change at anytime, from anywhere in the world, can be significant.
7. Run reports from a single system versus various systems:
From an auditing perspective, the need to create reports in an efficient and timely manner is critical. Being forced to extract data from multiple systems that do not communicate with each other – or other using data structures that are inconsistent across the enterprise – prohibits productivity and drives up costs. Your single visitor management solution should be able to generate reports for any location, any group of locations, or all locations across any time period. It should be able to quickly determine how many people are on-site across one, a few, or all locations in real-time, and easily determine how many hours a visitor or employee spent on-site at any and all locations.
Your single visitor management solution should be designed with every enterprise multi-location challenge in mind. Whether you have one or one hundred locations, the solution you choose should support streamlined administration and visitor workflows in a single account while providing the flexibility to scale and personalize your visitor management system to meet your requirements. Make sure it allows administrators to deploy, manage, and control all user access, visitor management policies, ID badging and personalization needs, and feature availability for any location, anywhere in the world, in real-time, from their own, centralized dashboard.