Last week, we talked about what a company can expect from implementing a Visitor Management System, including the investment and the return. However, it’s important for companies to understand the benefits they can see with a visitor management solution.
Cost of non-compliance
Reduction of major risk incidents
Reduction of human capital loss
Access to centralized visitor data
Flexible platform development
Corporate and departmental branding
The primary function of a Visitor Management System is to take the manual processes associated with visitor sign-in tasks and automate them. In a manual process, an employee is responsible for pre-registration, data entry, issuing visitor badges, notifying hosts, etc. When these processes are automated, the employee executing these tasks is no longer needed to perform those functions.
Human executed tasks are subject to errors, causing further inefficiencies within a system but with a VMS, users experience increased efficiency when signing visitors in, and companies see an increase in operational efficiency.
Corporations have a legal, moral, and financial duty to adhere to all regulatory compliances regarding visitor management. The cost of non-compliance can cause irreparable harm to a business. Infractions can lead to fines, legal action, seizures, and damage to brand reputation, not to mention the legal and compliance resources required to address these issues.
A robust workforce security implementation leveraging next-generation VMS capabilities can address these various compliance touch-points.
Visitor identification is enabled within the VMS when a guest’s information is checked against a provided watchlist. When integrated with an access control system, this means anyone without access provided by the VMS won’t be able to enter the building. In the rare case of a physical emergency or active threat, real-time notifications and alerts can be sent to occupants informing them of the security breach.
The real-time notification and alerting functions extend to all guests, including non-employees such as visitors. This eliminates the cost associated with employing any exclusive notification tools. In an active fire situation, the modern VMS will send a PDF map of the campus to everyone, outlining the nearest emergency exit.
Addressing the personal comfort and safety expectations of emboldened employees shows an organization’s willingness to invest in its staff. Providing a workplace where all occupants feel safe is critical. One of the most notable benefits of a VMS is the enhanced sense of physical safety it provides to your most critical resource; the workforce. Recent focus on high-profile security concerns has created pressure on organizations and security leaders to deliver actionable plans, as to how they plan to keep visitors and employees safe.
A VMS is a great opportunity to extend an organization’s Duty of Care to all guests, not just employees. Your VMS deployment needs to extend the safety to include contingent workers, contractors, etc. This is key, especially when it comes to addressing stakeholder concerns and enacting safety protocols.
With a VMS, and a true workforce security platform, you will know more about your visitors and facility usage than ever before. The who, where, when, why, and how of visitor activity can be accessible at your fingertips.
Not only are you learning more about your existing visitors, but you’re also gaining valuable insights about your facilities. Track visitor traffic, spot trends in wait times, and address the source of operational inefficiencies with accurate, real-time data. The volume of available data can be overwhelming, but a robust workforce security tool helps you make sense of it all, preparing for executive reporting, or compliance audits, as required.
With more advanced platforms, protocols are hosted as replicable journeys on a centralized tool. This means that the VMS can be scaled up or down per location, per device, since everything is managed remotely. If you decide that one site requires SMS text notifications, roll that feature out to that specific location within hours, not weeks. Modern Visitor Management Systems can provide flexibility, scalability, and standardization that modern enterprises need.
Compare this with the rollout and upkeep required of an existing, legacy security system. Legacy systems require constant hardware updates and frequent IT support visits. This costs you time and money. The SaaS model of a VMS eliminates these costs. All updates are handled remotely, reducing potential downtime and empowering your office to run on your schedule.
If there is anything you take away from this blog, let it be that the value of a comprehensive workforce security solution is the sum that is greater than its parts. You are using a single platform and using it to standardize various processes across an entire organization. This is something not previously possible with point VMS solutions
For you, the user, this means lower IT, operational, contracting, implementational, and onboarding costs. You, not an IT or a security professional, have a high-level overview of the ongoings of your company. This is not something a single-point system can provide on its own. That’s not to say workforce security is a swiss army knife and can do it all. The value add is its ability to integrate with other security tools.
Separate from the tactical and administrative automation previously discussed, modern solutions workflows can be developed to produce greater efficiencies for security operators, administrators, functional leaders, and other stakeholders. One example would be a contractor entering a facility who is based in a country of concern that could violate export control regulations. When this country is chosen during the registration process, a watchlist flag occurs, which initiates the proper workflows, triggers and notifications. This could include an additional vetting process, to the host and compliance team, which presents the contractor with an additional NDA that gets automatically stored and issues a badge that provides the restricted level of access required. Each month, this information will be tabulated into a report that is available for future auditing, if needed.
Imagine this process without the automation. The organization places the burden of flagging the country of concern on the receptionist or security officer processing the contractor. They must then make notification to the proper personnel and provide the right version of the NDA paperwork to the individual. Additionally, the issuing badge must be confirmed in the system to have the right restrictions. Finally, the documents must be collected, filed and maintained.
Brand identity and reputation are the cornerstones of any company. A consistent, methodical, efficient, secure entry process says a great deal about the organization's commitment to security.
VMS offers organizations multiple opportunities to reinforce and execute their brand messaging, tangibly. Companies can benefit from leveraging branded invitations with maps, directions, host information, and legal documents. A check-in can be expedited with ID scanners and the information transferred to required parties, before a visitor enters the lobby. Check-in experiences can be personalized to the visitor type with a video introduction and statement of values, on a branded login screen design. Brand perception extends to having good privacy policies and being transparent in how personal information is collected and managed. The process of being presented with waivers and confidential information user agreements at time of sign-in, is evidence of awareness of its wider repercussions. Additionally, being viewed as non-compliant to privacy regulations could cause irreparable reputational damage. Establishing trust is key to customer relationship management.
As you may have discovered, the benefits (and costs) associated with a robust workforce security program are many, but vary greatly by organization. While initial administrative efficiencies may be easy to calculate, the more intangible benefits and risk factors may represent a larger, but hidden, value to security.
We encourage you to think broadly about your workforce security deployment and the value you expect from the visitor management component. By integrating additional tools into your VMS solution including waivers and confidential information user agreements is evidence of awareness of its wider repercussions. Additionally, being viewed as non-compliant to privacy regulations could cause irreparable reputational damage.
We hope the above indicators provide a baseline for business justification and program investment. Challenge your vendors, and challenge yourselves to reimagine your approach to safety and security with the modern tools available to compliment your workforce security tech stack.
Learn more about the value and benefits of next generation Visitor Management solutions.