What You Should Look For in Visitor Management Systems
Things Integrators Should Look For in Visitor Management Systems
Multi-tenant commercial properties, and corporate enterprises continue to seek reliable, stable, and cost-effect ways for visitor management. Gone are the days with handwritten check-in logs, sticky notes with individuals to watch for, and OCR scanners. Today, the new generation of visitor management systems streamline visitor check-ins, checkouts, and much more. With the abundance of systems available, it can be difficult to select the best fit for your building’s needs. Below are the top things building owners and managers should look for in a VMS.
Quick and Easy Deployment: Implementation of state-of-the-art visitor management systems does not have to be complicated, or time consuming. Select systems can be deployed within days. SaaS visitor management software do not require onsite servers, hardware, or software resident on computers; any device with an internet connection can access the VMS for scheduling, check-in, checkout, and for all other components of the system. As a result, this type of VMS does not require the purchase of expensive hardware or software, nor does it require an onsite IT staff, as that is managed offsite.
Scalability: Visitor management systems must be scalable to fit the needs of corporate enterprises, to ensure that as business and demand grows, the system can grow as well. With a SaaS VMS, customers can quickly update the daily number of visitors, add additional administrators, and other features as necessary. As more locations are added within the enterprise, this type of visitor management system can be quickly deployed and seamlessly integrated through the online portal.
Customizable Badges: Different corporate entities have different requirements for visitor badges, and it is vital that the chosen VMS be able to meet those needs. In some organizations, vendors and subcontractors may need a different type of badge, with specific access points allowed, and a photograph. Other visitors may not require a badge with a photograph, but may need additional information printed on the badge such as “Requires Escort”, or other qualifications. The important thing is that the customer can quickly customize badges as necessary to meet evolving internal security protocols.
Data Privacy: As laws continue to roll out across the country to protect personal data, it is imperative that the VMS chosen meets the minimum standards of the law. For many states, this means that the personal data of visitors scanned must be protected from third-parties (including security personnel, cleaning crews, etc.). Appropriate data should be encrypted and housed offsite, as a SaaS visitor management system provides.
Evacuation Lists: In the event an evacuation of the property is necessary, it can be difficult to determine the number of individual’s onsite, let alone their location. With a SaaS visitor management system, security personnel or designated administrators can print a real-time list of individual’s onsite, to start the evacuation process. Because information collected during the registration process includes the office/person being visited, the host’s email address and phone number for texts, the length of time necessary for safe evacuation of the property can be dramatically decreased.
Historical Data Downloads: Through the online portal for some visitor management systems, administrators and users can download visitor information. This data can provide insights into the number of visits per department, tenant, or host, and much more. In addition, other visitors including sub-contractors and vendors information can be analyzed based on time spent onsite, etc.
Real-Time Do Not Admit or Watch Lists: In the past, commercial buildings have relied on handwritten DNA and watch lists; this is not the most efficient solution. Today, it is vital to find a visitor management system that offers administrators the ability to update the DNA and watch lists in real time, to flag security personnel in advance of a potential unwanted visitor’s arrival. When an administrator puts an individual on the list, and another individual in the building schedules that individual for a visit, security and the host are notified of a potential problem. In addition, if the individual tries to enter the building based on a past relationship, the system will notify security at check-in of a problem. This is useful for disgruntled ex-employees, unhappy customers, and others that may provide a security threat to individuals in the building. Some VMS even offer an integration with HR systems, which allows for the blocking of employees terminated, also in real time.
Reliability: Visitor management systems, regardless of type, are only effective when they are up and running. When selecting a VMS, it is important to evaluate the “uptime” as described, and understand the responsibilities of both the enterprise (or multi-tenant building) staff, and the staff of the VMS.
User-Friendly: The VMS must be intuitive and user-friendly for hosts, administrators, and security personnel.
Backed-up by Years of Industry Experience: Any business offering a VMS must have dedicated experience in the security industry, particularly as it relates to visitor management. While there are many software companies jumping into the mix, few have actual experience and expertise in managing visitors in large-scale multi-tenant properties, or in global enterprise solutions.