Finding the right digital visitor management solution
To keep pace with today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, leading organisations are implementing digital strategies, processes and solutions to remain relevant and deliver the best solutions for the workplace.
Organisations today need to look beyond the implementation of digital solutions to achieve greater productivity and utilise digital solutions as a means to manage practices, such as Workplace Health and Safety (WHS), to ensure proper compliance processes are being met.
Managing who is on your premises is more than just taking attendance
WHS legislation in Australia has serious penalties for non-compliance but in the event of an emergency, those penalties are nothing compared to the risk you can carry if you aren’t sure who is in your building or where they are.
Ensuring the safety of your staff, contractors and visitors should be a top priority for any workplace.
The days of a lobby sign-in sheet for all visitors are gone. It’s no longer enough to simply have a guest write down their name to gain access. In the event of an emergency, you need to know you have captured enough meaningful visitor information to find and protect your staff, contractors and visitors.
Effective workplace safety plans should include a high-quality photographic record to go with a contractor’s or visitor’s name, purpose of visit and contact details. Today, the advanced technology that underpins digital visitor management systems allows photos and data to be captured more seamlessly than ever before.
Finding the best solution for your office needs
There are basic components of digital lobby visitor management solutions that should become the first layer of defence for any business trying to make critical improvements in WHS procedures and policies. Digital visitor management systems ensure contractors and visitor information can be presented to organisations to determine when visitors are on premises, while simultaneously providing visitors with necessary information, such as safety plans and emergency procedures.
Advanced digital visitor management systems also print visitor badges, generate real-time reports and capture emergency contact details to ensure all employees and visitors can be located as quickly as possible should they face critical safety situations.
Finding the best solution for your office footprint
There is a large range of technology solutions available to satisfy WHS, security and visitor management needs. However, organisations looking for new digital visitor management systems need to be aware of the fine line that exists between systems fitting seamlessly into current workflow and office procedure, and them becoming intrusive. Organisations should be looking for systems that streamline the welcoming process, rather than those that make it more cumbersome.
While many systems can run from smaller office equipment such as tablets, many of the smaller systems do not provide adequate solutions to improve the security of a workplace. Facility managers need to search for systems that offer advanced solutions to meet their individual requirements and cannot easily be removed or misplaced from the lobby or office.
Many substantial solutions still have small footprints that enable them to blend in to lobby space, offering intuitive touch screens that simplify check-in procedures, but also offer a level of onscreen and printed badge customisation. Additionally, the data entered can be retrieved from off-premise locations in case of emergency.
Answering challenges in unique lobby and communication situations
Organisations today face a range of lobby and reception area challenges. Front lobby staff are often expected to be more agile and handle more business functions than the perceived routine tasks of greeting guests and directing incoming calls. Workplaces need to find specific solutions that meet their individual office needs, whether that is through a staffed front lobby or a staffless greeting area.
Whether or not by lobby greet staff contractors or visitors, a digital lobby visitor management solution can be a great asset to communicate critical information to visitors. Many solutions provide organisations with the opportunity to share a short orientation for visitors and contractors, alerting them to emergency procedures and exits.
These options are extremely effective in customising individual office requirements and creating a central process that can easily be rolled out across the entire organisation to keep up with the evolving number of staff, contractors and visitors on-site. This process can go a long way to helping you satisfy some of your WHS requirements.
Customise visitor badges for added branding and security
Top of the line systems offer organisations many options to create customised welcome screens and visitor badge formats. They ideally allow organisations and their security staff to create badges with features such as company logos, visitor photos and contact details for the employee sponsoring the contractor or visitor. This also allows other employees to assist in office security, as they will easily be able to stay alert to visitors who may be unescorted.
Securing your data and connecting to the cloud
Any smart visitor management system should allow a level of interconnectedness and confidentiality that paper logs simply cannot match.
With both secure databases and cloud-based technology, visitor details should only be retrievable by authorised employees in-house or, in case of an emergency, from off-premise locations using cloud-based technology.
Optimally, these solutions should also stay connected to the workplace through real-time personal alerts to employees when their contractors or visitors arrive and complete the check-in process.
There are a number of additional things organisations should consider when searching for the best system to suit their office needs:
- Can you incorporate unique brand graphics and messaging to the system’s welcome screen?
- Do you have the ability to create customised visitor badges to add another layer of security for your premises?
- Can you customise the sign-in process so visitors acknowledge compulsory information?
- Does the system include a notification feature that alerts employees via email or SMS when their visitor arrives, reducing the time visitors spend unattended?
- In case of emergency, can you generate real-time reports and emergency contact details for occupants?
- Can you safeguard confidential visitor information with secure storage features?
WHS for visitors and contractors is a major concern for organisations today and finding non-disruptive solutions that enhance operations can be difficult. The winning combination for any visitor management system should feature critical components that combine to create the best solution to maximise safety, security and the latest technology to protect the office, staff, contractors and visitors.
The digital management solution adopted by Pitney Bowes offers cloud-based data storage technology that makes data accessible from anywhere in the event of an emergency.
Stephen Darracott is the country manager for Pitney Bowes, Australia/New Zealand, a global technology company that has found success with its pbLobbyTrac visitor digital management solution.