We often emphasize how important it is to consider a visitor management system (VMS) that satisfies site-specific needs while simultaneously accounting for broader enterprise priorities. We sometimes call this: standardizing the approach, customizing the site. Branding, communications, and security practices enabled by VMS may need to be set from the organization’s top so that they’re uniform across all sites. However, certain needs and nuances may be facility-specific and too varied for a one-size-fits-all approach to cover, and some security aspects may require agility that only a local administrator can provide. These should be controlled at the site level.
A key VMS feature in this conversation about enterprise and site-level management is the permission bundle. Permission bundles allow VMS administrators to customize which users can access specific system data and features, and the degree of that access — that is, the ability to modify, make selections, or simply view. Generally speaking, global administrators — those operating at the enterprise level — often have access to all features and data at all sites. Local users at one facility or region — both administrators and security or reception personnel — typically only have access to features and data related to places they oversee, and not to those of other sites or regions.
Some thought needs to be given to what level of access is appropriate for local users. Which VMS features should local administrators be able to modify? What data should front-line security personnel be able to view?
We’ll provide some best practices in this piece, starting with a caveat: every enterprise is unique and so are its needs. This is why our award-winning customer success team works hard to learn the finest details of each organization’s and site’s guest management needs. With that noted, let’s look at a list of VMS features and data that require parsing global administrator, local administrator, and frontline security and reception personnel responsibilities.
GuestbookThe guestbook receives and stores all guest information provided prior to, during, and post visitor sign-in. This includes the guest’s identification data, signature, and visit time and date, among other information. Global and local administrators often share certain guestbook permissions, including the ability to perform manual sign-ins and sign-outs, export sign-in data, and send mass notifications. Typically, security personnel only have the ability to create manual sign-ins. This arrangement maximizes agility and compliance at the site-level.
ThemesThemes are stylized templates for the VMS interface. Usually, global administrators have authority over creating and deleting themes, while local administrators can view them and select those that are most appropriate for their respective locations. Leaving most control at the global level is logical: the enterprise should avoid a patchwork of VMS themes of varying quality, which could arise if each local administrator has creative control. To maintain consistent quality and marketing communications, themes need to be managed from the top.
DocumentsEnabling guests to view and sign documents is a key VMS function. Documents typically include waivers, safety instructions, confidentiality agreements, and permissions to record and use personal data. Permission to add, delete, or modify documents should lay at the global level, where executive-level decisions related to legal, compliance, and safety priorities are made. That said, there may be some site-specific safety documents that local administrators are given the ability to add at their site. This should be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Permission bundlesDiscussing permission about permission bundles may seem meta, but it’s important. The approach is simple: the ability to edit permissions en masse should only be held by global administrators. Local administrators should only have the ability to edit permissions relating to their own sites.
Guest historyAll levels, including security and reception, should have the ability to add and see notes about a guest’s history. Widespread access and the ability to make quick contributions to guest information is crucial to minimizing risks presented by guests.
WatchlistsVMS users can reduce risk to the facility by screening guests against internal watchlists created by the enterprise and official third-party watchlists created by agencies. This is one of the most important security-related functions VMS has to offer. Every user type should have permission to add individuals to watchlists, so that there is no administrative delay when a new restricted individual is identified and information about the individual needs to be distributed. Removing people from the list is another story. Only global and local administrators should be able to perform this task.
Sign In Enterprise offers incredible flexibility when it comes to feature use. Getting the best functionality from those features involves working through the permissions for each so that the enterprise receives maximum benefit when it comes to security, compliance, branding, and safety. With our award-winning customer service, we’ll walk through the nuances of your facilities to ensure the exact right configuration is provided to you.