In the past businesses could make do with a simple log for visitors who arrived at their building, but modern businesses face a new range of challenges that requires advanced solutions to ensure the health, safety and security of employees, contractors and visitors.
The days when visitor management systems (VMS) only acted as visitor logging systems, recording arrivals and departures, are over.
Today there’s an emerging shift from basic visitor management to more integrated visitor management platforms. These platforms help integrate multiple functions into a single ecosystem and provide a greater value for businesses.
Let’s take a look at how modern, integrated visitor management solutions address the complex challenges of today’s organizations.
The limitations of traditional visitor management solutions.
When we talk about traditional visitor management solutions it’s important to note that we are actually talking about different types of solutions that each present different problems.
For some organizations a simple visitor logging system such as a physical guest book is the traditional solution while for others the standard is a manual VMS operated by a receptionist.
In truth, a lot of different solutions can work for basic visitor registration. But in the end, registering and recording visitors is all they do. And this simple functionality is not sufficient for modern organizations. Which is why there’s a rise in more comprehensive visitor management solutions that integrate a number of features into one platform.
Comparing different visitor management solutions.
|Solution||Solution cost||Operation workload||Customizable visitor experiences||Built-in governance and record-keeping||Automation of manual tasks||Integrates with third-party systems|
|Physical visitor registration||Low||Medium||×||×||×||×|
|Standalone registration kiosks||High||Low||✓||×||×||×|
|Integrated visitor management platform||Varies||Low||✓||✓||✓||✓|
Each solution to manage visitors has its own limitations, and while they are all more than capable of handling access control and guest registration, integrated visitor management platforms are designed to also provide real-time incident management, emergency response, communication and location-based services.
And combining these functionalities in one system lets you reduce your software spend as well as the overall cost of operations.
The benefits of upgrading from a simple visitor logging system to an integrated visitor management platform.
Upgrading from an isolated but expensive solution to an integrated platform can have a very positive impact on your organization, but when it comes to upgrading from a simpler and often cheaper visitor logging system the question may not be as straightforward.
After all, the benefit of an integrated platform to manage both visitors, room booking, meeting catering and security compliance has to outweigh the increase in price. And for smaller organizations or organizations with less complex visitor management needs, upgrading may not be the right choice.
To help you figure out which solution would be best for your organization, we have highlighted three of the biggest benefits related to upgrading to an integrated visitor management platform:
- Integrated security compliance
- Increased employee efficiency
Personalized visitor experience
Every visitor coming to your building is different, which means they each need to be handled in a different way. Contractors may need to sign waivers or NDA’s before showing up and meeting hosts need to be informed when external meeting participants arrive.
Contrary to traditional visitor logging systems an integrated platform will allow you to build different visitor flows for different types of visitors. Maybe you need some visitors to undergo complex security procedures like signing specific documents or watching informational videos before they are registered with the front desk, and an integrated visitor management platform will allow you to do that.
And because the visitor management system is integrated with other functions like room scheduling and resource management, the employees who are inviting people to come to the office won’t need to send requests and notifications in multiple systems. They just send out the invitation and book the resources needed, and the front desk, security and even the kitchen is notified in advance.
This means that everyone who comes to your office will get an experience that is tailored to their visit, and you will get a record of
Integrated security compliance
38% of companies see compliance as the top reason to look for a visitor management system. And with an integrated solution you’ll have access to a range of compliance tools within the platform that manages everyone coming to your premises. This will help make your compliance work a lot easier, and ensure that you pass your audits without any problems.
Increased employee efficiency
The manual processes related to inviting visitors takes up a lot of time across an organization. So, it should come as no surprise that 94% of enterprises using a visitor management system say it has increased their operational efficiency.
A visitor management platform that integrates with meeting scheduling helps remove most, if not all, of the manual processes involved both for meeting hosts and for the front desk.
Key features of an integrated visitor management platform.
Due to evolving needs, there’s an emerging shift from basic visitor management to integrated visitor management platforms. These platforms help integrate multiple functions into a single ecosystem and provide a greater value for businesses.
While different solutions may offer different functionalities, integrated visitor management platforms can include:
- Visitor tracking and registration
- Automatic pre-registration of meeting participants
- Customizable visitor experience flows
- Alerts for pre-specified visitors
- Automated pre-approval of visitors
- Visitor and host notifications
- Integrations with access control systems
- Built-in meeting room management
- Built-in catering- and resource management
- Emergency roll-calls
- Evacuation management
- Integrations with third-party solutions.
These features all help to make the job of your visitor management teams a lot more manageable, but the integration can go a lot further than just assisting your receptionists.
By integrating with meeting scheduling and security compliance systems an integrated visitor management platform can help reduce the workload of general employees and facility services, and it will help ensure compliance by structuring visitor documentation.