Updated: Nov 18
What are the benefits of the visitor management system?
Why is visitor management important?
Managing visitors is important as it improves the customer journey and workplace efficiency. The key visitor management system benefits are:
Enhance workplace safety
Reduced check-in times.
Automates the entire visitor management process to assist visitors.
Creates a great first impression.
Enables a frustration-free visitor journey.
Enhance workplace efficiency.
Most visitor management starts with one simple task: to improve the all-important first impression. However, in this era you can be more ambitious with other visitor management system benefits:
A safe workplace strategy that readily communicates that you take employee and visitor safety seriously.
Pre-registration for expected visitors is now the minimum standard, self-certified to ensure they understand, safety is key.
Motion sensors and voice recognition are simple safety features.
Drastically reduced transition times through the reception area with express check-in features minimise congestion, even at busy periods.
Remote receptionists upgrade the staff and team safety whilst maintaining a ‘service-first’ culture.
Integrations with key partners who specialise in their respective areas enhance the service delivery dramatically.
Money-saving fast returns on investment being a key requirement with fast rates of return.
Flexibility designed into the solution, so that customised visitor journeys cater for every enterprise-grade need and can be accommodated with ease.
Upgrade to a visitor management system benefits: safe workplace, de-congested receptions, less cost
1) Enhance workplace safety
A Safety first workplace is now a minimum standard. A safe workplace first strategy that readily communicates that you take safety seriously is a statement in itself, but what does that mean?
With employees involved in the sign off process for return to work, the duty of care now placed on facilities teams is immense. If that care is not evident, teams will stay at home:
The current remote meeting culture is now entering its 8th month and the need for a physical workplace is being questioned by some.
Those that “pushed” clear communication benefits of video or virtual meetings for years are not surprised that this meeting style has been readily adapted.
We are probably more surprised that it took so long to get “here”, where the Teams/Zoom meeting and their visual nature combined with body language means that we “got meeting message(s) quickly”.
Thankfully Teams and Zoom are cloud-based as it would have been interesting to see the virtual meeting scale if the servers were all in proprietary data centres.
The home and near home office are now ingrained in our work culture globally, however, meeting customers and colleagues in the office will still happen.
The need to “wow” employees, customers or contractors is now acute; if there are tape, screens and temporary signs in your buildings then the opportunity to upgrade the workplace HQ, is lost.
In a recent webinar “Back to the workplace with connected technology solutions” Simone Fenton Jarvis and Anni Hood underline the need to communicate the safety of the workplace to get people returning.
Microsoft’s return to the workplace survey shows the extent of the shift; the workplace being safe may be the first consideration, however, the second thought goes its future relevance.
Two mindsets are needed when approaching workplace safety; now (safety) and how the experience will need to be so much better or employees need to be given the choice will “opt out” of physical meetings.
How can I review Visitor Management safety?
The techniques are:
Decongest the reception area using technology to pre-register visitors, contractors and even employees.
Evaluate the reception team role and whether remote reception teams can be deployed with technology to deliver a contactless, fast transition experience, that retains the human touch.
Decide whether you move to concierge-type technology to give a white-glove service and a safe arrival at the office.
Decide what your decision drivers are, are they: Cost reduction, Safety, Workplace experience, Workplace efficiency
What is the balance placed on each element?
Are you solving Return to the Office or its long-term relevance?
Can you upgrade the experience, make it safe and save money in one solution?
Can you upgrade the experience with a return in under a year?
Can the technology you choose be in place in time?
Can you future proof technology? i.e not end up with it in the basement like our other options such as screens, tape and hazard signs?
That budget you were going to use for reception “return to work” temporary measures, is that something you can re-assign to technology?
Can you deliver a solution that makes it obvious to employees, contractors and visitors that your building is a safe place to enter and visit, delivering that psychological safety?
Can you create a visible, dramatic increase in safety that can be communicated to employees to convince them that office is safe and upgrades the workplace experience, at the same time?
2) Reduced check-in times
Pre-registration and QR codes are a great way to help decongest receptions. Ricoh Denmark sees the benefits of increased employee and visitor safety.
This challenge is even more relevant now than ever. Ricoh introduced workplace safety technology in their Denmark office. Michael Nielsen, a leader at Ricoh in Denmark introduced a workplace scheduling system that managed safe distancing, workplace booking, cleaning vendor management in a simple APP (Desk, Mobile and Web-enabled). The impact of this introduction was welcomed by employees.
“The impact of this introduction has been adopted well by employees because they are re-assured, plus we are keeping their elder relatives safe by ensuring their safety when they are in the office”. - Michael Niesen, Ricoh Denmark
It’s become commonplace for us to Google a restaurant or pub and reviews their safety measures, check one-way processes and safe distancing, as well as food reviews, before booking a table. Safety is taken very seriously before we consider going there. This procedure has become no different for employees who are planning on going into an office to work. They need to know how to sign in, book desks, which floor they should work on, how to sign in and more.
Therefore, the most important benefit of the visitor management system is: Upgrade your workplace so it’s safer and convinces employees to return to a far better experience that costs less. People want to get to the office, return to normal for job security however the office must protect our health and that of older relatives.
Starts pre-registration with an informative invite to a fast and simple check-in.
Pre-registration is a crucial benefit of the visitor management systems and is now the minimum standard because it delivers so many benefits.
Gamify the registration of visitors by upgrading from a sign-in book or electronic roster to a WOW experience.
Communicate with visitors before they have entered your lobby using automatic emails with directions to the office and a QR code that will check in your visitor in seven seconds; express check-in.
Numerous options can be used in order to pre-register your visitors, particularly for those who use Microsoft.
Pre-Registration can start at the invite.
Microsoft Meeting Visitor Data can populate Visitor Management Systems
3) Automates the entire visitor management process to assist visitors
In order to achieve this, you need a tool to fulfil those requirements and a vendor who has thought about how to solve your problem.
Microsoft delivers through a partner ecosystem; Condeco Software. Condeco’s two-way Microsoft sync product enhances workplace scheduling by keeping Condeco data and Microsoft data “In Sync”, which means key visitor data sits in Condeco Software. One of its modules for visitor management delivers visitor and host data via an APi to integrated partners.
The benefits to a Facilities team are huge; workplaces and services you need can be booked inside Outlook using the Condeco Outlook add-in, which then syncs with Condeco’s software ensuring the meeting or desk and its services are available and complement each other.
Thousands of meetings change in size, date and time yet tasks can sometimes be overlooked; changing details with caterers or cleaners, for instance. Condeco can see changes to host and attendee details for meetings, sent from Microsoft Outlook, through Condeco Software and sent straight into the Vgreet's system, allowing the invite below to go straight to the attendee, without any secretaries or reception staff, touching a single keyboard key.
Apart from saving money and re-allocating staff duties, the attendee receives an invite which is fully customisable. You can also add self-certification questions to the invite, saving further time upon arrival.
4) Creates a great first impression
A QR code to scan on arrival in an invite
A branded invite that tells your visitor where to go
Showcase your logo and branding for a professional look
Adds the details to their calendar with a click
Shares detailed directions to your building
Provides contact details and allows them to be added to your visitors mobile with a click.
Pre-registering your visitors allows for faster check-in
Sent straight to your visitor's email for ease
Gives your visitor peace of mind
Contactless for safety
When your visitor arrives at reception, they can now receive a raft of enhanced safety measures that speed up reception transit times and guarantee both visitor staff and employee safety.
The unique QR code recognises the guest and the kiosk prints the visitor pass. Simultaneously, the visitor check-in triggers the host notification using SMS and email.
Options tailor or accommodate any company security policy, from the pass being upgraded to also allow security barrier access, through any global or national barrier system. The Facilities Manager now knows who has checked-in, they are processed in 7 seconds and the host notified is immediate. All fast and touchless or contactless.
If your policy extends to employee check-ins, they can be given way-finding details to the meeting room and floor level and have hosts meet them at the lift exit. This sounds relaxed; however, today’s lifts can tailor your journey to only allow you off at your designated floor.
Kiosks with motion sensors respond to movement
Motion Sensors, Voice recognition and QR code make the process touchless and fast.
They prompt you with simple visual cues to check-in and respond to voice commands. Scan the QR code and you are offered any range of check-in process options, from printing your pass to checking your ID.
In the entire process, your visitor hasn’t touched anything, has been checked into the building and the host has been notified within 7 seconds.
Efficient. Safe. Effective.
5) Enables a frustration-free visitor journey.
One of the visitor management system benefits is that it drastically reduced transition times through the reception area with express check-in features minimises congestion, even during busy periods. Fast transit times and touchless processes are very much welcomed by HR, Legal, Facilities teams and the employee, visitor and customer. There are several benefits with the options that are deliverable:
Visitors can get detail information about the meeting detail, host's details, meeting room's wayfinding. A virtual reception team is always on the site to offer instant help.
Contamination of visitors and employees are drastically reduced with the removal of queuing, touching surfaces and the addition of safe distancing.
Reception areas with huge peaks and troughs in traffic can be managed easily - see Vodafone video
Reception staff exposure can be minimised or even eliminated, with remote reception staff.
6) Enhance workplace efficiency
The efficiency of “The Connected Workplace” can be delivered with the data from Microsoft flowing through Condeco Software into Visitor Management systems like Vpod and Proxyclick.
The integration, which sounds like a dream solution, was launched at ISE Amsterdam in February 2020 and demonstrated to just under 150 customers and partners. These customers were able to experience a simple customer journey that enhanced the visitor experience, that removed the cost and gave wide coverage of visitors, without any manual intervention. From the Microsoft invite, through Condeco and Vpod visitor management straight out to the visitor; it’s a slick visitor management process.
Finance teams will be delighted to know that Vpod’s Vgreet solution achieves ROI in under a year, depending on the installation type and needs. Our case study for Vodafone shows how this can be achieved.
Condeco and the Vpod integration Remove manual visitor management processes, upgrade the experience and save money.
Simon Cohen at Condeco Software demonstrates the touchless check-in process
7) Cost reduction
Another visitor management system benefit includes the remote receptionists that upgrade the staff and team safety dramatically in the visitor management process, whilst maintaining a service-first culture. Reception no longer needs much staff to handle deliveries and visitors, it can finally focus on other more complicated tasks.
Every business is different in the balance they want to achieve between the better experience, more efficient visitor management and cost reduction. However, as with many things, the pandemic is switching the focus, accelerating the demand for virtual reception services.
Early pandemic research showed that taxi drivers, shop assistants and bus drivers were disproportionately impacted by Covid-19, with reception staff not far behind and with the increased duty of care, a lot of companies are reviewing reception staffing.
There is a blend of options from moving the team to a safe office and then using them as a centralised resource locally.
Whether its cost, safety or the fact that most of the tasks can be automated, the savings are substantial with a typical return on the investment can be achieved in under a 1 year.
This catches the eye of most financial directors as they swiftly see the advantages of taking £45k per Full-Time Employee (FTE), fully costed, with holiday, sick cover, to the bottom line. Or as is increasingly popular, move to a single concierge that compliments the automation, still achieving the return on investment.
Integrations with key partners who specialise in their respective areas, enhances the service delivery dramatically.
The Connected Workplace has arrived
Watch the ISE Amsterdam video’s showing the live integrations.
How do Connected Systems work?
Early this year, Condeco hosted on their stand at ISE, the first integrations targeted at delivering and showcasing the connected workplace. Click here to see Sam Farrant, Vpod Managing Director, demonstrating the Vgreet integration to Condeco. This event showcased the Vpod Vgreet and the strategic direction of travel and where we see integrations helping customers deliver the connected workplace.
Customers today increasingly expect the business world to be like their consumer experience, where permitted services interact to complement each other and deliver relevant information and connected experiences, in a timely manner.
The Workplace needs to maintain its relevance as a place to work, especially after 8 months of a pandemic. It needs to be recognised as a safe place to collaborate with colleagues and meet customers, so the old approach of siloed systems that do not talk to each other, has to change.
Technology, APi’s, computers and systems talking to each other are now in their third decade. Alexa and Siri are prime examples of software systems talking through API’s to thousands of databases, to get answers, or trigger processes.
Enterprise businesses now have to catch up fast - 25 years ago, the average term of a company in the Fortune 500 was 81 years, 5 years ago 16 years, today we can see retail giants, shopping malls learning the lessons of not adapting fast, to change.
Customer or Workplace Experience will be king, if it is not the employees and customers will not visit the workplace, and enterprises now have to exert pressure on their once siloed suppliers to connect, share data and enhance the customer experience.
Data sharing, one system passing relevant timely data to another, to make a process more efficient will be central to a workplace and control of that data equally key, the outcome, cost and delay will be stripped out of workflows, making the workplace intuitive.
Insight engineering, something that most people would stop and go, “what is that?” will be a talent that drives change, people who live in the data to gain insight, re-engineer systems and processes to complement each other, for a more effective efficient experience.
Experience expectation will be as Amazon is to retail. Those that get it right will flourish, open click and collect locations, get logistics right, adapt quickly and companies will survive, keep employees, keep customers and stay successful. Workplaces that do not evolve will become unsafe and irrelevant.
Efficiency demands will be a mantra for a decade. Facilities teams that cling to sign-in books and manual processes will find themselves having harsh conversations with new wave COO’s who demand efficient visitor management processes, are tech-savvy and expect fast rates of.
Every finance team on the planet will be measured by the proportion of costs that are variable, versus those that are fixed, supplier models will change to remove Capex costs; insert consumption-based models so that enterprise margins are maintained.
Evaluate suppliers on whether they deliver a product that works but doesn’t connect to other systems making your task of delivering the connected workplace impossible. Read more information about Connected Workplace here.
How can Facilities teams make an impact?
Look for suppliers that connect to each other, who can demonstrate experience engineering talent, who have thought of your challenges and worked out for you, how to overcome them.
Be wary of suppliers that say they can do everything. Specialists that talk to each other, eco-systems of suppliers that complement each other, that are best in class in their areas, are the key to your success.
Manage the COO’s expectations that you “want to experience engineer” to drive up the experience and drive down the costs, delivering processes that are efficient and intuitive.
Question every supplier, challenge them to help you engineer the experience, challenge them to deliver data that provides insight, to help engineer the right cost base, experience and efficiencies.
Start talking “return on investment” not cost. Budgets as a term are replaced by returns on investment and returns on the experience you delivered.
Measure the impact of experience engineering on your customers - be they employees, contractors or visitors, and then share the data with people like HR, COO, to help secure more resource to re-engineer processes, you haven’t got to yet.
Look for logical services that combine, touchdown desks that come with day lockers, visitor systems that know the meeting room you're in and alert the host, start walking the customer journey and think of your customer.
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, even get an “experience engineering panel” set up to receive input and measure success.
Measure the impact on your building customers and be able to demonstrate the improvement in the employee and visitor feedback and experience scores.
Helpful videos of existing integrations
How can the Facilities Manager win budget and stakeholder buy in for a project like this?
Remember these processes:
Discovery call or meeting - suppliers should always help you to understand the battle that you have to get sign off. Suppliers have been through this process before and you need to explain your landscape, your current suppliers and stakeholders.
Customer Workshop - suppliers will invest time in showing you how you can achieve the results you want, talk through how others have achieved the same or bigger goals and demonstrate them to stakeholders.
Stakeholder engagement is key as they can affect your project both negatively and positively. Be sure to involve stakeholders actively in the customer workshop, it is then easy to form a team and far easier to drive the change together.
Sensibly break the changes into simple steps with highly visible changes at the forefront of your delivery plan.
Visible changes that people can see will fuel the next stages and suck in more support and enthusiasm for later stages, so get suppliers who help you invest in “hyper care”, investing heavily in the implementation to guarantee success.
Build in, measurement of success into your plan. There will be people you can’t win over with every change programme, so be ready for them with data and case studies.
Feedback - design in feedback from end users and stakeholders to “tune the project” and validate progress or the need to tune.
Learn - design learning sessions into the process and your stakeholders and customers will stay engaged.
Active Listening - overtly demonstrate you are listening, those that bludgeon change management rarely succeed with successive strides forward.
ROI - have your suppliers work with you to demonstrate “cast iron” ROI figures that mean “sign off” is a formality.
Check flexibility is built into your solution; being able to adapt is the key to long term success.
Flexibility designed into the solution so that customised visitor journeys, that cater for every enterprise-grade consideration, can be accommodated with ease.
The right systems have flexibility built-in, from their own solution and their ecosystem, exploring this in the workshops, is key.
The right suppliers almost offer too much flexibility, do not let this confuse you, just take comfort in the fact, these features will future proof your solution.
Check your visitor management system can integrate to all the services you want; be it access control barriers, room and desk booking systems.
The key visitor management system benefits are:
Enhance workplace safety
Reduced check-in times.
Automates the entire visitor management process to assist visitors.
Creates a great first impression.
Enables a frustration-free visitor journey.
Enhance workplace efficiency.