The leap from a Visitor Management System (VMS) to a Workforce Security Platform is happening as a result of businesses requiring a platform solution to solve their complex security problems. With different guests coming into a facility including employees, contractors and contingent workers and visitors, each with unique compliance requirements, organizations need to find value in their workforce security.
Visitor management is no longer simple log-in journals, but should support broader security goals with deep integration to access control systems, watchlist providers, space booking solutions, and more. Security professionals need the ability to build visitor experiences for each unique stakeholder, at each location - leveraging best-in-class capabilities to protect the modern, hybrid workforce.
Calculating the ROI - ensuring value in workforce security
Before undertaking a new technological or organizational change, it is essential to consider the return on investment (ROI) associated with the initiative. When researching the value of a workforce security solution, executive decision-makers need to know exactly where the money is being spent and what cost benefits can be expected. This exercise can be broken down into two basic components: the investment and the return.
Historically, organizations have focused on point solution VMS offerings that addressed administrative efficiencies. These often resulted in more direct, but lower value returns.
We will focus more broadly on systems that address workforce security, the evolving category that encompasses next generation Visitor Management Systems, as well as, Health/Safety Controls, Critical Outreach/Alerts, and Auditing/Analytics capabilities. As this is a new approach, many of the benefits are still being explored by leading organizations and require blue-sky thinking. As such, while we will reference the broader workforce security benefits, our calculations will anchor itself, where possible, in industry-established, historical VMS deployment data.
Quantifying the resources and investment needed to implement a new solution can seem daunting. After all, some costs may be unforeseen and are intangible. However, it is crucial to understand the total investment and value of a Workforce Security Platform before getting started.
An easy way to begin is by listing the organization’s needs and cross-checking this list against the investment. Consider the specific license level that incorporates your organization’s “must-haves”, which can range from SMS text message alerts to region-specific data ownership. Be clear when discussing your organization’s needs with your solution provider, so you fully understand all of the associated costs.
Next, you will want to consider implementation costs, including the time, money and staffing required to roll out a Visitor Management System. Your provider should be able to provide you with a project plan and estimated timeline, so you can allocate these resources accordingly. Take note of any training or onboarding services provided by the vendor, either included or as an add-on.
Lastly, don’t forget the cost of hardware that will need to be included in your VMS rollout that adds value to your workforce security platform. Required Items can include tablets, printers, stands, electrical cabling, etc. A healthy estimate for entry-level hardware is approximately $700 per station, but this will vary by the complexity of the station, number of stations/kiosk per location, and the use of mobile/flexible stations.
It’s important to note, this ROI calculation focuses solely on Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). That is to say, software infrastructure items such as management, backups, upgrades, and the requisite system hardware are covered by the VMS service provider. These tangible costs, while significant, are not the buyer’s responsibility in a SaaS model, and therefore not included in investment calculations, as with standard legacy systems.
Like the investment costs, returns can vary widely based on an organization’s size, industry, and aforementioned “must-haves”. Not only are there quantifiable savings, but most organizations find value-added benefits from intangibles including reduced opportunity-costs and risk of inaction, etc. These often prove more significant when evaluating potential ROI and value of a workforce security program.
Upon completion of a VMS implementation, organizations should expect some early savings. These can be broken down into two general categories: Administrative and Strategic benefits. The administrative benefits are tactical in nature, and will often be clear and quantifiable. For example, consider reduction in administrative costs, headcount reduction, and saved labor hours.
Strategic benefits can be more abstract, however, as they have the most potential for broad application. Many of these are represented as the ‘hidden costs’ below the waterline on the iceberg. For example, standardization across all locations reduces training costs, and the need to manage multiple processes/systems simultaneously. Additionally, a flexible ‘low-code’ system requires minimal outside support to make changes to support adjustments in guest management protocols, therefore mitigating additional costs.
Download The complete guide to calculating the ROI of a visitor management system to learn more.