Building security and safety isn’t just for the everyday employees and staff. A good security system should also account for visitors and short-term guests. Think about all the visitors that come to your building. Clients come in for on-site meetings, candidates interview at the office, even delivery and maintenance staff. Does your current visitor management system keep track of them all?

Many businesses still rely on outdated tactics to track and welcome visitors. Visitor sign-in sheets and communal guest badges burden your administrative teams. Keeping those assets organized, and looking up previous visitors is a hassle. Did you know they’re also putting your building at risk? Technology tools make visitor management security safer and more efficient. Digital visitor management solutions keep you organized, secure your building, and make a better first impression.

What is a visitor management system? 

In short, a visitor management system keeps track of short-term guests at your building. There are plenty of ways to incorporate visitor management into your physical security measures, but not all are created equal. While the sign-in sheet is a valid form of visitor management, it’s not recommended. The best visitor management systems (VMS) are easy to use, easy to manage, and keep a detailed log of your visitors. For these reasons, using a digital system is preferred for advanced visitor management.

Knowing who is at your property and when is vital to your building security. Access control systems are an essential tool for tracking and monitoring who’s coming and going at your building. Most businesses already use access control for staff and employees. But you should be using smart access control for your visitor security, too. Create a system of record when you connect your access control and visitor management systems. 

Benefits of visitor management software

Skip the visitor sign-in sheets. Digital visitor management software and apps can streamline your operations. Apps are a great way to modernize your system, and provide a great visitor experience. Visitors can check-in, add information, sign waivers, and even access the building, right from the app on their phone. It’s important to make a good first impression for anyone visiting your property. When you pair a great visitor management solution with access control, you get the added benefits of:

  • Touchless digital check-in. Visitor management apps allow you to pre-register your guests for a smoother check-in. With an app, visitor sign-in and convenient digital forms are already built in. Visitors can fill out their personal information, add a photo, and give their reason for visiting before even setting foot on the property. No communal kiosks, sign-in sheets, or shared pens required. Make sure your visitor management system has strong encryption, so their personal data stays protected. 

  • Better visitor experience. Some visitor management platforms enable you to send communications from the app. This is helpful for sending directions, arrival instructions, or information the visitor needs. Your visitor management system is one of the first things they’ll interact with, so you want a platform that’s convenient and easy to use.

  • Improved operations. Cloud-based visitor management software collects all the data, and makes it available in one interface. Search for email addresses, see check-out times, and track visitor activity. With more data available, you can also streamline visitor operations. Property owners can check which tenants have the most visitors, and optimize operations to accommodate them. For tenants, organized data means less time tracking down guests, and more time spent on tasks that move the dial. 

  • Centralized administration. Organization helps any business run more smoothly. For enterprise organizations with multiple locations, excellent organization is essential. Having all your visitor information centralized eases administrative burden. Everything they need for visitors is available in one place, for every building. This is also helpful for anyone visiting different building sites. All their information is already in the system, so they don’t have to fill it out again. 

How access control strengthens visitor management security

Pairing your access control and your visitor security systems is a smart way to secure your building. The right access control system is key to providing a best-in-class visitor experience, without sacrificing security. 

The best access control for visitors is a system that’s simple, safe and reliable. Many businesses use a shared guest credential, such as a keycard or badge, for their visitors. But keycards are not always the most secure, and it’s difficult to customize permissions for each visitor. Guests often forget to return keycards before leaving, which also leaves your building open to security risks. An access control system that uses mobile credentials provides more security, and a better user experience. 

Welcoming visitors to your building is seamless with Openpath access control. Admins can send secure digital guest passes via SMS or email. The mobile credentials are also customizable for better security. Only need visitor access for two hours? Set the visitor credentials to expire at the necessary time. You can also add permissions for specific entries, so that visitors only have access to the spaces you choose. Enterprise businesses often have to issue different visitor keycards for each floor or building. But managing a bunch of different keycards is a confusing and cumbersome experience for visitors. With Openpath mobile access control, visitors just need their smartphone.

Mobile visitor credentials also ease administrative burden. You no longer need to keep a stack of visitor badges at the ready, or chase down a visitor who forgot to return their keycard. Openpath operates on cloud-based software, which also enables remote system management. This means you can unlock a door for a visitor without even having to be on-site. Plus, real-time access alerts keep you abreast of any doors left open or unauthorized entries so you can take swift action.

Visitor management technology for COVID-19

With COVID-19 changing the way we go to work and do business, it’s no surprise that the way we welcome visitors into the workplace is changing too. Concerns over building capacity. Anxiety about putting staff at risk. There’s a lot of extra stress for building managers during the pandemic when it comes to inviting guests onsite. Businesses can leverage technology to ease the burden when returning to the workplace during COVID-19

The latest technology enables businesses to create touchless visitor experiences, and manage them all remotely. With a robust access control and visitor security system, you can manage risk and create a safer building. 

To protect visitors and staff during the coronavirus pandemic, include new safety measures at check-in. For example, add a health questionnaire to your digital guest registration. Before visitors arrive at your building, they can use the visitor app to fill out health waivers and screening questions. If integrated with your access control system, the visitor credentials will only activate after they’ve completed the screening and are approved to come onsite based on your set criteria. This touchless visitor management system ensures guests are symptom free. Plus it gives your guests peace of mind that everyone else is healthy, too. 

Once visitors arrive, touchless access control gives them a safe, hands-free entry experience. With their digital guest pass, they can easily enter the building with their smartphone. No communal keycard to sanitize. No face-to-face interaction required. Cloud-based access control is flexible for COVID-19 operations, too. For example, your admins can use remote unlock to let visitors in. A touchless access experience helps your visitors feel more confident in the safety and security of your building.

Knowing what’s happening at your building is more important than ever during COVID-19. Many businesses have switched to remote operations. This means fewer people are in the office, leaving buildings at higher risk. Real-time information and remote access help prevent possible breaches. Using access control and a visitor security system, you’ll get reliable reporting of visitor activity in your building. Access alerts notify you of potential security threats, so you can issue a quick response.

With capacity management features, you can monitor occupancy and optimize your space for social distancing. If you require visitors to request access in advance, it’s easier to keep your building below the necessary capacity for safety. Your visitor management system can track daily invites and visitor sign-ins. Rely on an invite-only visitor policy to ensure you’re adhering to the latest local safety measures for social distancing in the office.

In the event you need to temporarily close your building to reduce office capacity, your visitor management system can help. Easily send out communications to upcoming visitors to reschedule or cancel their appointments. They’ll appreciate the direct communication, and you’ll avoid the awkward “I’m here, where are you” call. When integrated with access control, you’ll be sure that your building is secure, even when the office is empty.

A detailed log of who’s been at your property can also help with contact tracing efforts in case of an outbreak. 

Choosing the best integrated visitor management systems

Now is the time to be proactive about your building safety—and technology can help. Access control and visitor management tools offer better protection for your business. An integrated security system gives you more flexibility, and offers a better experience in your building. 

As the leading provider of touchless access control, Openpath has a full range of hardware and software for any size business. Openpath features an open API and mobile SDKs for seamless integration with other apps and security systems. To optimize your visitor experience, integrate Openpath with Envoy’s visitor management solutions

Create easy digital check-in processes, which you can then connect to Openpath visitor credentials. Visitors enjoy a touchless sign-in experience at your building with Envoy. And Openpath’s wave-to-unlock readers are 100% hands-free. Plus, Openpath mobile credentials are safer and more secure, with built-in multi-factor authentication. A paperless process promotes sustainability in your building, too. 

The integration reduces admin burden and saves time with remote access to the entire platform. Your team can approve requests, unlock doors, and send communications from anywhere. Instead of managing stacks of visitor sign-in sheets, everything is available in the cloud. Need to know who visited the property last Wednesday? A simple search gives you results within seconds. Better data retention, plus end-to-end encryption, helps you meet compliance standards.  

When it comes to visitor security, having technology that works seamlessly lets you focus on running your business. Touchless visitor management solutions paired with reliable access control, modernizes your building security. While first impressions are important, so is making sure people feel safe in your facility. Having the best technology ensures peace of mind and protection for everyone who visits.

Contact us today to learn more about Openpath’s next-generation touchless access control and visitor management features.