What is Visitor Management?
Visitor management is the practice of welcoming, tracking and directing the movement of guests throughout a company’s property. This could start in a building lobby or parking gate and end in a fifth-floor office suite. Visitor management systems are an important part of an organization’s overall physical security plan.
Nowadays, IT and security teams, property managers and others are making the visitor management process more convenient and secure than ever before. How? Let’s find out.
This article will cover:
- What’s a visitor management system?
- The best visitor management software features
- Why use a visitor management system?
- How important is visitor management?
- Different visitor types
- How to choose the right system
What’s a Visitor Management System?
A visitor management system (VMS) is a comprehensive software and hardware-based solution that helps manage physical security. It’s used by organizations, ranging from commercial real estate to enterprises to securely manage the entry and exit of visitors.
Some of the more robust systems available include features that make organizations more efficient. Below is a checklist of visitor management features that many of the best systems have.
Visitor Management Software Features
- Visitor Registration
- ID verification
- Notification integrations
- Access Control integrations
- Badge Printing
- Blocklist and Watchlist
- Scannable QR codes
- Elevator integrations
- Visitor Home Floor
- Custom Questionnaires
- Time-based Access Control Groups
Additionally, visitor management systems often offer advanced reporting and analytics capabilities. These features enable businesses to analyze visitor trends, enhance operational efficiency and ensure a positive and safe experience for all visitors.
Why Use Visitor Management Software?
The advantages of implementing a robust visitor management system are twofold.
Benefits for Guests and Hosts
Property managers and IT teams can ensure their visitors have a fast and fluid experience when they arrive. Visitor management helps:
- Make a good first impression on guests
- Guests avoid getting lost
- Companies collect essential information (NDAs, guest driver’s license, etc.)
The visitor management experience reduces the stress visitors might feel when being somewhere new.
Benefits for Property Managers and Security Teams
Secondly, property teams can boost security with visitor management. If integrated with an access control system, visitor management can provide automated alerts. When a visitor scans their access credential, it will register within the access control system. In turn, the host will know exactly when a visitor arrives at the building.
Additionally, visitor management software helps:
- Provide customized QR and barcode credentials
- Add bad actors to a blocklist or watchlist
- Create temporary credentials that automatically activate and deactivate
How Important is it?
If you are interested in making a good first impression on potential customers or stakeholders, visitor management is critical. Here are five main reasons why having a proper visitor management system in place is important:
Increased security and safety
Today’s visitor management software allows you to effortlessly register visitors and track their movements. Additionally, you can regulate which parts of the building guests can enter using their smartphones, iPads or ID badges.
With the appropriate software in place, everybody will be accounted for at your facility. System administrators have instant access to detailed logs and can feel more confident about the safety of their employees, visitors, and operations.
Collect pre-meeting paperwork
With visitor management systems, you can capture and store signatures for non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), waivers and other legal documents when people arrive at your facility.
Improved visitor experience
Have you ever visited a new building, only to get lost in the parking structure or wind up on the wrong floor? Keeping tabs on how guests interact with your facility is not only better for security, but it is also better for guests.
They might enjoy the professional kiosk check-in system with mobile access control or the touchless sign-in with access to guest Wifi. With a robust visitor management system in place, your business can keep operations running smoothly.
Organized audit trails and record-keeping
Guest management systems give you several courses of action for security audits. By keeping detailed visitor logs, visitor management software provides actionable data in the event of an emergency.
Safe workplace post COVID-19
In the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s especially important to allow entry to your building without direct human contact. Further, you might even add a pre-screening questionnaire on guests’ symptoms, the purpose of visiting, duration of the visit, and more.
Different Visitor Types
Visitor management systems allow you to create different levels of access for different types of visitors. With advanced programs, you can allow delivery people routine entry to your building while simultaneously restricting access for others.
You can even regulate entry to your building through visitor badges or QR codes on people’s phones. Below are some examples of the main visitor types you might encounter:
Empower your staff members with access credentials directly on their mobile devices. Managers can also ensure employees only enter the building during their scheduled work hours. This visitor type includes, but is not limited to:
- Part-time employees or interns
- Custodians, maintenance workers and other facilities workers
- Employees or managers from other branches/locations
Routine delivery and services
Provide temporary credentials to delivery people with an effective visitor management system. Get notified of their upcoming arrival and track all of their deliveries. Make sure things move smoothly in your lobby with advanced features like built-in verification. Visitor types include, but are not limited to:
- Cleaning services
- Deliveries with vendors
Special appointments and meetings
Visitor management systems also allow you to give people one-time access to your building for appointments and meetings. Issue QR codes to your guests via email so they are ready to enter the premises. This visitor type includes, but is not limited to:
- One-time visitors and guests
- Conference or meeting attendees
- Third-party intermediaries
- Stakeholders, business partners and associates
Visitor Management Software Features
With today’s advanced technology, visitor management systems are now available with near-endless capabilities, integrations, and customizations. You can develop a visitor management system perfect for the size and scope of your operation.
Managed entry and access control
Visitor management protocols can be easily integrated into your established access control system. With key features such as mobile access control, you can seamlessly dictate who can access different parts of your building. You can keep people from entering restricted areas of your operation with automated locks and access readers. Additionally, you can create watchlists and blocklists to further secure your building and maintain access control.
Directions and wayfinding
A wayfinding component is a surefire way to impress visitors to your building. Once they have gained access, provide an online floor plan of your operation. If your budget allows it, you can even provide dynamic positioning so guests can get real-time directions to specific locations within your building.
Visitor Home Floor
A compelling wayfinding feature is Genea’s Visitor Home Floor. With this feature, accessing a host’s home floor has never been easier. Visitors can effortlessly enter the premises and swipe their assigned mobile access credentials at a turnstile or card reader. The OTIS Destination Dispatch system calls the appropriate elevator car, ensuring a smooth journey to their designated home floor. No more confusion or manual intervention—Genea’s feature streamlines the process of getting to the right floor, saving time and effort for both visitors and hosts.
Nondisclosure agreements (NDA)
Protect your operation and safeguard your IP with NDA signatures at the time of check-in. Even better, get an electronic signature on your NDA before someone even arrives at your building.
How to Choose the Right Visitor Management System
Choosing the right visitor management control system will be dictated by the nature of your operation, as well as your overall security goals.
A great starting point in choosing the right visitor management and access control system is thinking about the typical guests that come to your facility. types of guests. If you are running a large enterprise with a variety of regular visitors, you will likely want a feature-rich, customizable system. Property teams managing CRE buildings may want software with various integrations like elevator, notification and others.
To learn more about the best visitor management system for you, contact one of Genea’s helpful customer representatives.