How safe is your visitor management policy?

by Bernard Evans
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visitor management policy

While cyber threats are taking out the headlines, protecting physical assets and the people on your premises is still as important as ever. HID’s Bernard Evans helps you review your visitor management policy.

With all the unpredictable events like pandemics, disasters and social disruptions we have experienced of late, it’s crucial for organisations to prioritise planning and ensure the safety and security of every person visiting their premises. It’s also important to reduce a company’s risk profile by allowing only those with a valid reason to be there.

To achieve this, organisations really need to have full visibility of the activities of contractors, vendors and visitors across all sites. This helps to track and notify people quickly in case of any developing situations. Additionally, gathering data-driven information about visitor interactions over time can provide valuable insights for predicting, planning and improving future operations.

Visitor management policy – optimising security and processes   

With the recent, highly publicised data breaches in our region, we are frequently reminded of the significance of security.  

Alongside recognising the need for protecting virtual data assets, smart organisations also realise that physical spaces contain sensitive and strategic physical data. These physical spaces and items could include white boards, papers on desks, screens showing restricted information or innovative demo products. It’s no surprise organisations are now reconsidering who they feel comfortable letting through their doors. 

The recent pandemic has also taught us the importance of reducing contact where necessary. Introducing contact-tracing tracking capabilities help contain outbreaks.

 “It’s essential to choose a capable visitor management solution that aligns with the specific needs and requirements of your organisation to maximise its benefits.”

An integrated visitor management suite of solutions can indeed play a crucial role in enhancing security and safety, plus ensure regulatory compliance within an organisation. Such a suite typically includes various tools and features that help manage and track visitors, streamline check-in processes and protect sensitive information within physical spaces.

Return on Investment

To ensure cost-effectiveness, it is crucial for the system to pay for itself over time. One way to achieve this is by making sure your chosen solution supports self-service processes that reduce the number of man-hours required to manage various tasks. 

By introducing more self-service options, you can streamline processes, decrease the time it takes for visitors to validate themselves, minimise the time spent by staff on visitor management, and reduce frustration and reception time. By automating manual processes and reducing staff involvement, you can potentially lower labour costs over time. The initial investment in implementing self-service solutions can be offset by long-term savings through improved use of staff.

Enhanced data accuracy 

Self-service systems capture data directly from your visitors, reducing the chances of manual errors or misinterpretations. This improves data accuracy, streamlines data management and supports informed decision-making processes.

By prioritising self-service processes, you can achieve significant time and cost savings while enhancing the overall efficiency and experience for both visitors and staff members.

Implementing self-service processes will save valuable time and, as the saying goes, time is money.

Choosing a visitor management solution

Here are some key benefits and functionalities that a visitor management suite can provide:

  • Enhanced security
    A visitor management system can strengthen security measures by verifying the identity of visitors, checking their credentials and issuing visitor badges or access cards. This helps to prevent unauthorised access to sensitive areas and reduces the risk of data breaches.
  • Streamlined check-in processes
    Traditional inflexible visitor systems can be inefficient and time-consuming. A visitor management suite should enable streamlined check-in processes by automating registration and approvals, capturing visitor details digitally and expediting the check-in procedure. This saves time for both visitors and staff, enhancing overall efficiency and experience.
  • Compliance with regulations
    Many industries have specific compliance requirements concerning visitor access and data privacy. A visitor management suite can assist in meeting these regulatory obligations by providing features like data encryption, visitor consent management, and audit trails for visitor activities.
  • Visitor tracking and reporting
    With a visitor management system, organisations can maintain a comprehensive record of visitor activities, including entry and exit times, purpose of visits, and destinations within the premises. This data can be crucial for investigations, compliance audits, or resolving disputes.
  • Emergency management
    In case of emergencies or evacuations, a visitor management suite can facilitate quick and accurate headcounts, helping to ensure the safety of all individuals within the premises. It can also provide real-time notifications to appropriate personnel during critical situations.
  • Integration with other systems
    A robust visitor management suite can integrate with existing security systems, such as access control or surveillance systems, to provide a unified security infrastructure. This integration enables better control, monitoring and response to security incidents.
  • Visitor experience improvement
    While prioritising security, a visitor management suite can also enhance visitor experiences. It can provide self-service check-in options, personalised visitor greetings and visitor pre-registration capabilities, which create a positive and professional impression for guests. Self-service options empower hosts to manage their own needs, whether it’s checking in visitors, scheduling appointments or accessing information. This autonomy not only saves time but also enhances the visitor experience and satisfaction.

By adopting an integrated, holistic approach to visitor management, organisations can address the security challenges associated with physical spaces and protect sensitive information effectively. However, it’s essential to choose a capable visitor management solution that aligns with the specific needs and requirements of your organisation to maximise its benefits.

“It’s important to have clear guidelines that employees can easily understand and implement.”

That said, if the organisation seeks to advance its current policies and systems to become safer, more user-efficient and also stay current, then there are several questions they need to address in order to make sure the business evolves with the ever-changing demands.  

What is your current visitor management process?   

Now, let’s address some key questions to evaluate your current visitor management policy:

  • What’s your current visitor management process like? 
  • Do you require pre-registration or sign-in from vendors, suppliers and contractors? 
  • Is the check-in process done digitally or on paper? 
  • How do you manage access? 
  • Are you meeting the requirements of your stakeholders? 
  • Can your processes comply with industry regulations?
  • How are your visitor guidelines communicated? 

It’s important to have clear guidelines that employees can easily understand and implement. These guidelines play a crucial role in ensuring workplace safety and transforming visitor management into a positive and productive experience.

How do you validate visitors? Who authorises their visits? Are there restricted areas for specific visitors? Validating visitors’ identities and personal documents while considering privacy regulations is vital. It’s also important to align visitor validation with IT security guidelines to protect data.

How HID’s visitor management solutions can help   

HID’s Visitor Management Solutions offer several features that can help improve your visitor management policies:

Flexible self-service options like touchless kiosk onboarding reduce physical contact and friction during visits and minimise wait times at the front desk.

Integration and automation capabilities ensure seamless access, automated check-in/check-out processes, biometric and business systems integrations, physical access systems integrations, device agnostic functionality, centralised watchlists, and screening. These features help create efficient workflows and enhance organisational wide operational excellence.

By choosing a modern visitor management suite like HID’s, you can meet all your different stakeholders’ requirements, adapt to evolving business and regulatory environments, reduce operational cost and provide smooth interactions and positive experiences for visitors and employees.

Ultimately, a well-implemented visitor management policy enhances overall security, productivity, success and satisfaction for everyone involved, allowing organisations to focus on their core initiatives in an organised environment.

Bernard Evans is the sales director, APAC, Identity and Access Management System for HID

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