Visitor Management is an important part of security and access management within any company or facility.
Visitor Management Solutions vary in terms of complexity and convenience.
Some may appear to be cost-effective and easy to implement on the surface but end up being more expensive and less secure.
Benefits of Visitor Management
Organisations have a legal responsibility to ensure the health and safety of persons on its premises.
Visitor management systems can help with this by ensuring compliance.
There are several key areas to consider when implementing a visitor management system:
- Signing Visitors In and Out
- Managing Access Permissions for Visitors
- Escorting of Visitors whilst on company premises
- Visible Identification of visitors whilst on site
- Return and destruction of visitor identifier
Signing Visitors In and Out
There are a variety of methods to achieve this, ranging from paper sign-in books to fully automated electronic options supplied as part of an access control system.
Paper Visitors Book
On the surface, a paper visitors book, or pad with tear-off slips may appear to be cost-effective, however, the costs quickly add up.
A typical visitor book costs anything from £30 to £100 depending on style.
With a visitor book, it’s not very easy to get a definitive list of who is in the building when an incident occurs and requires staff to flick between pages and check each line individually.
It’s possible that a visitor may forget to sign out, especially if no reception staff are around to remind them.
This could mean that emergency services are searching a building for someone that has already left.
Visitor Books are also less secure in that some systems show who has visited previously and will identify the names of other company employees which may be less desirable from a security perspective.
Handwriting and legibility are also an issue if the person’s handwriting is difficult to read, it may be harder to work out who the person is.
A Visitors Book may also double-up on administration if the receptionist also needs to issue a visitor pass from the access control system to allow the visitor to move around the building.
Walk-up Electronic Visitor Enrollment
Electronic systems eliminate paper sign-in books, instead visitors electronically enter their details.
This may be through a kiosk device, or a tablet mounted to the reception desk.
Digital presence lists can be printed or viewed on a tablet or smartphone at a muster point.
Whilst providing more flexibility and being more secure as the data is not visible, a visitor could still leave without signing out.
Pre-Announced Electronic Visitor Management
This is a more secure version of the Walk-Up Enrollment solution.
Organisations that require visitors to be registered in advance of the site visit usually use pre-announcement systems.
Security sensitive sites may require background checks to be completed in advance of the visit.
Passport or Identity Card Scanners
If the organisation has many international visitors which may have difficult names, Passport or ID Card Scanners can be used.
The visitor’s passport or ID card is read by the scanner which then finds the visitor record automatically, eliminating manual data entry.