Visitor Management System Guidelines

Internet technology has evolved within the 21st century, COVID-19 has even driven faster adoption of automation for business. In particular, Visitor Management Solution's adoption has increased during the pandemic.

This guide will introduce visitor management from both macro and micro perspectives, including some of our thought-provoking key terms within visitor management to help readers understand our unique approach to improving workplace safety, productivity, efficiency, and visitor experience while cutting costs.

What is visitor management? A Definition

 

Visitor Management is a task in facility management that tracks the usage of a public building or site, managing visitors' arrival and ensuring they have a great experience when they are on your site. Visitor Management usually involves a multitude of processes that keep visitors and employees safe, secure and in the correct place.

 
 

What types of visitors go to offices?

 

Depending on the type of organisation you have will determine what types of visitors you have. Examples of office visitors fall into three broad camps with different subgroups amongst them:

including sub-contractors, visiting employees from other offices, prospective new hires, delivery drivers, customers, VIP customers, business partners and cleaners. 

 

An effective Visitor Management Tool enhances the building's security and the visitor experience by having a high level overview of all types of visitors and giving them different level of access permissions.

 
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Why is visitor management important?

Visitor management is vital to ensure the workplace is safe and compliant while delivering an outstanding experience for every person on site. However, due to the traditional process of managing and tracking visitors that relies on manually collecting and storing visitors' data, usually with a paper-based visitor sign-in book, could put corporations at potential risks while losing the efficiency and productivity.

 

Is visitor management relevant to my industry?

 

Visitor Management is relevant in many industries, including commercial, campus, retail, hospitality, tourism, finance, manufacturing, and education. The benefits of using a visitor management solution can be seen in any type of building in any industry.

 

Companies across different industries that are using Vpod visitor management systems include Vodafone, NM Money, LAX AirportCBREMitieRicohGE, Sodexo, and many more.

 

Collecting visitor details with GDPR

 

Drafted in the European Union, GDPR relates to any organisation that stores and processes the data of any countries that are in the EU. Even if the country you operate in is not part of the EU. GDPR is a regulation that strengthens individuals' rights while ensuring the free flow of data in the digital market. The regulation amps up the role of several concepts such as visitor consent, deletion period, and more.

Why does it matter?

Any personal data of people in the EU such as names, addresses, date of birth, purchases, and bank details must now be stored in a specific way and for a specific time frame. In any organisation, visitor data is commonly collected to deliver a better visitor experience or ensure the building's safety. Organisations collect the personal data of people who enter and exit your offices. Whatever the purpose is, the manual process of collecting, managing, and erasing the data requires techniques and experience which might lead to a single point of failure.

Read more about how Visitor Management Systems can help you stay GDPR compliant

 

Problems and challenges of Visitor Management

 

Traditional electronic visitor management systems use a web-based network to monitor and record visitor information. However, whether you were impacted by the pandemic, corporations are challenged to decrease the contamination risk in the building with reduced cost and improved visitor experience and implement a flexible and safe workplace to bring the employees back.

 

Here are the challenges of traditional visitor management that most businesses are not aware of.

  1. The manual processes at the reception desk 

  2. The compliance risks 

  3. Employing more receptionists at peak times leads to inefficient use of the resources

  4. The visitor management system is isolated from other building systems which leads to more manual work for the team

  5. The visitor experience is not consistent across different sites, relying on human presence.

  6. High administrative cost

We listed a facilities management checklist that includes types of potential risks within Visitor Management at your front of house, including compliance, technical, employee, and reputation.

How do we solve these problems with effective Visitor Management?

  • Use technology to automate manual repetitive tasks using a visitor management system.

  • Use technology to deliver a contactless express check-in that can efficiently handle more visitors a day.

  • Upgrade the reception staff to meet and greet service and implement the human-touch element of service.

 

What is a visitor management system (vms)?

 

A visitor management system (VMS) is a solution that allows organisations to streamline and automate their visitor management process, using technology to monitor, track, and record visitor information. 

 

The combination of visitor management software, hardware, and databases enables preregistering visitors, effective communication, express check-in, interactive mapping, and efficient visitor management workflows.

 
 

The evolution of visitor management systems

 

Managing visitors is not a new task for business but it took a long time to go from the paper visitor log book to digital. The obstacles were the overlap of operations, facility management and IT, and difficulties in introducing a unified system to multiple company locations with different processes and requirements. and the legacy on-site visitor management software is expensive and requires maintenance (Source: Forbes).

These obstacles lead to cloud-based visitor management systems that are cost and time-efficient, becoming known as software as a service, or SaaS, a software licensing model that makes it available to users all over the internet. Users can manage visitors from a web browser or an app.

 

Many cloud-based visitor management systems provide comprehensive customer support along with monthly or annual subscriptions that can be updated constantly, removing the need for manual patches and updates. There are several visitor management tools available in the market, let's take a look and help you understand how to choose the best solutions.

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1. Electronic visitor management system

Visitors or receptionists key visitor details into the system upon visitors' arrival, followed by printing them visitor badges for granted access.

 

An electronic visitor management system might be gdpr-friendly, but the manual processes are not removed.

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2. Visitor management software

A wide range of visitor management software is available on the internet for users to download. We pointed out the important software features are visitor pre-registration, effective communication, easy and express visitor check-in, wayfinding feature, and customisable workflows.

 

You can read more about the 5 visitor management software features that you need

However, visitor management software or apps need to be downloaded on iPad, kiosks, or mobile apps. Visitor management hardware including QR code scanners, badge printers, and thermal imaging cameras is the key to delivering the best user experience.

If we look at the current market offerings, they are

  • software only

  • iPad/app variants

  • Software vendors that started in something else and strayed into the visitor management

  • Kiosks that were not integrated

Read more about why we think an iPad is not efficient and sacrifices visitor experience

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3. Integrated Visitor Management System

 

Not just digitalising visitor information and record, integrated visitor management systems feature an open API for integration with other workplace management systems, such as access control, meeting room and desk booking, and wayfinding solutions, and they are designed to be customised.

Features of an integrated visitor management system

  • Impress your visitors with a branded meeting invitation that carries everything they need

    • Maps to the building for their smart devices 

    • Host details to aid host recognition and contact if required 

    • The address for the taxi driver or Uber if required 

    • A Bar code for express check-in once pre-registration is complete

    • Pre-registration elements, self-health checks, NDA's, visitor HSE videos or notices 

  • Touchless and express sign-in

  • Functionalities such as wayfinding, host notification, facial recognition, visitor pre-registration, thermal imagining, voice activator, and motion sensors.

  • A virtual receptionist is available with a simple voice command "help".

  • Visitor management software integration into room and desk booking systems, and ultimately Outlook.

  • Emergency digital roll calls via SMS to instant identify missing employees or visitors who present concerns. 

What is a visitor experience?

 

As opposed to the traditional visitor experience which starts at the reception door, today's visitor experience refers to the process that a visitor follows from being invited to your office, to leave the building.

 

Good visitor experience infers that the visitor had a positive interaction with your company, meanwhile, a poor experience is likely due to broken processes, queues, frustration or negative interaction with your company.

 

The difference between these two experiences could lead to making or losing a sale, an employee, a business partner, or simply damaging your company's brand.  

 

A good visitor experience

A good experience starts before visitors' arrival at your building and continues after they checked in. Businesses should support visitors with

 

  • All the meeting details they need

  • Clear directions to your office and the meeting room

  • A  smooth check-in so they are not late for the meetings

  • Intuitive Covid-19 safety 

  • A warm welcome from the reception, who are aware of their arrival and offer immediate help if the visitor needs it 

We believe in the concept of a "Connected Workplace" to deliver the best visitor experience. What do we mean by that? Different systems pass only key data to each other to enhance the experience or make processes more efficient. The simple but significant concept: On-grid when systems are linked and connected or Off-grid, where some systems exist, however processes, are largely manual and costly. 

 
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Is your visitor management system Off-Grid?

 

Many Facilities Managers and building operators are plagued by unconnected visitor management software, here is an example:

  • Microsoft Outlook - every meeting in Office 365 has a meeting host and guests.

  • In an unconnected workplace that data sits there serving no real purpose, except the meeting attendees, who may not know how to get to the building or how to access the meeting room.

  • Visitors have no idea if the building is COVID-19 safe, how long it's going to take to access the building, or what processes they should follow when they arrive.

  • It takes more manual processes to ensure the reception is aware of some of the visitors they are expecting.

  • The reception team are largely reactive to visitors and have manual processes passing information from one system to another.

On-Grid visitor management user experience 

 

In a connected workplace, visitor management systems connect to Microsoft Outlook, wayfinding, Room and Desk booking and each system inform the other, making the workplace intuitive, informed and intelligent.

An example of this is how our Visitor Management Systems can remove 40% of the reception team's manual processes but captures up to 100% of expected visitors.

 

Read 5 Tips To The Best Visitor Experience

 

The benefits of a modern visitor management 

 

The benefits of a visitor management system are huge from:

1. Reducing your manual processes by 80% 

Removing the unnecessary manual tasks means you can

  • Reduce cost in the front of house 

  • Repurpose staff members 

  • or upgrade to a full meet and greet service

2. Increasing your visitor experience with touchless 3 second express check-in and

  • Maps to the building

  • Wayfinding around the building​

  • Pre-registration to remove any risk of a congested reception 

  • Different visitor workflows depend on the visitor type, be that employee, contractor or an external visitor

3. Increasing employee safety so they can see the benefits of having a visitor management system

  • No queues in reception i.e less contamination risk ​

  • Fewer meetings starting late because visitors are delayed in reception 

4. Increased compliance 

  • Health and safety practices and workflows ​

  • Safety video auditable viewing trail

  • Self Health surveys 

  • All reinforced by "no compliance no active bar code for check-in"​

These are all powerful reasons to initiate change.​

Read more about how we deliver each benefit.

 

What is the digital efficiency of your visitor management?

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1. The Concept of Digital Efficiency

 

The efficiency of visitor management can be measured by the involvement of manual processes and parts of workflows that require multiple touches. We introduce the concept of Digital Efficiency in the workplace and publish a free digital efficiency calculator tool for you to know how digitally efficient your visitor management is

Digital efficiency does not only mean getting the latest technology but embracing a solution that can help the organisation constantly adapt and evolve with an ever-changing marketplace. We encourage you to challenge your workflow step, process and data source.

 

Read more about how we calculate digital efficiency and how you can improve it.

 

Improve digital efficiency of Visitor Management can benefit businesses in one of three ways:

  • to introduce cost-saving achieving an ROI for their technology investment

  • to create a budget to upgrade their staff to meet and greet staff or floor walkers

  • to repurpose staff for other areas of the business 

2. The integration of Outlook, Meeting room booking, and Visitor Management Software

 

Introducing a visitor management solution that does not operate on its own, removing the manual processes between different systems to improve visitor management efficiency.

Vgreet visitor management system is the key to an intuitive workplace. Its integration with Outlook, meeting room and desk booking software improves the efficiency of visitor management by:

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  • The visitor details keyed into Office 365 for meeting scheduling automatically populate the visitor management system.

  • Once schedule a meeting, a branded invite with meeting details and a QR code for express check-in is sent to your visitor.

  • Meanwhile has the capability for complex bookings, requiring cleaning, catering, video services and car parking for visitors.

  • Your reception and facility managers are fully aware of the up-to-date visitor list and any meeting changes.

 

Read more about how office 365 visitor management work

 

How Visitor Management System can improve Workplace Safety

 

Building security level

 

Visitor Management Systems play an important role in access control and help you identify different types of visitor and design workflows to treat them differently enhancing your building's safety and visitor experience.

 

We discussed why visitor management systems should integrate with access control systems, the 5 key benefits are

  1. Customise your visitor's access level

  2. Digitally track your visitors 

  3. 24/7 Building Security 

  4. Efficient background operation with Microsoft access visitor management system

  5. Integrate with market-leading access control systems

Read more about the Visitor Management System's access control feature

 

Implement a touchless visitor check-in process

 

COVID-19 has driven faster adoption of automation for business, Visitor Management Systems reduce visitor's check-in time with visitor pre-registration process and automating the visitor management process to reduce the reception traffic in the building.

1. Visitor Pre-registration

 

Vgreet visitor management system sync with Outlook to send a unique pre-registration invite.

  • That has a barcode that's activated once you complete registration.

  • This means your visitor management process will allow visitors to check-in in 3 seconds , touchlessly.

 

2. QR code express check-in with an extra safety check

 

QR code scanning kick start the visitor check-in process.

 
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What's the visitor management system's price?

Vgreet visitor management system can see a return-on-investment £80k in year 1 and £175k in year 2, the price offers a great ROI compared to the cost of FOH and reception staff. You can calculate the price and how much money you can save with Vgreet here with our free ROI calculator.

Calculate how much money you can save with Visitor Management System

Vgreet visitor management system saves money for different types of receptions, but the questions are not just about the price of it. We calculated the actual cost of a visitor management system, and the price that businesses are paying is beyond the amount of money.

 

Take your digital efficiency, savings from repurposing the staff, and saved budgets to upgrade your service into consideration. Calculate each of them here

 
 

How to choose the best visitor management system?

 

1. Think about your visitors

 

Start walking the customer journey and think of your visitors. 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.

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2. Evaluate your front desk service: Break the traffic paradigm! 

Different types of reception face different challenges, calculate your workplace's digital efficiency to understand how many staff you actually need at busy times and how your visitor management solution can enhance front desk service.​​​

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Click the image to watch the video of how to break the traffic paradigm!​

3. Start talking “return on investment” not cost

 

Budgets as a term are replaced by returns on investment and returns on the experience you delivered.

4. The seamless experience

 

With visitor management techniques and best practices in mind, question if your visitor sign-in system has touchless procedures, ensure employee safety in reception, and impress your visitors nobody else can.

 

5. Read reviews

Capterra or Google Reviews are helpful websites to compare which visitor management solution suits you the most.

Read more about how to choose the best visitor management system supplier.

How to convince internal stakeholders to invest in visitor management?

 

There are three key points to remember when trying to gain buy into an idea or project:

 

1. Bring your stakeholders in the loop early

 

One of the most helpful things you can do to encourage stakeholder buy-in is to involve them early on in the project. By doing this, you allow your stakeholders to familiarise themselves with your project aims and the solution you are exploring. Use the Visitor Management Business Case Toolkit here as it contains:

  • A traditional v.s. digital guide so you can compare the two approaches

  • A calculator tool to access which areas you want to move from manual to digital and what impact they will have

  • A breakdown of the quantifiable areas you'll impact, compliance, safety, productivity, experience or efficiency

  • Whose efficiency and productivity will be impacted positively by digital changes staff or visitors

  • Finally, some simple calculators to assess your return on the digital upgrade, whichever direction you prefer:

  • Savings

  • Upgrading to white glove host meet and greet service 

  • Repurposing staff to other areas 

 

2. Listen to concerns

 

A short stakeholder workshop is an effective way to hear out any concerns or worries that they may have before the project gains traction. During the session, you can answer questions and concerns, or take note and get back to them after the session. Your stakeholders will appreciate the chance to make comments before you go ahead with the project.

 

3. Communicate

 

Keep your stakeholders up to date throughout your project. Depending on how influential they are to your project will define how often you do this; whether it's a daily update in Scrum, a weekly phone call, or an email update, be sure to communicate at an appropriate level.

 
Read more topics on Visitor Management System in our blogs