Are your facility management tools up to date?

The #1 Addition To Every Facility Manager’s Toolkit


7 minutes read time

August 07, 2017

As a facility manager, safety and security are at the forefront of your mind. With rapid advances in technology, there is always more you can be doing to reduce risk of injury or a security incident.

But you’re also wary of the site experience for visitors, and want to make a good first impression on potential clients or vendors. So any new implementation also needs to be as smooth, simple and accessible as possible.

Visitor management software fits the bill. In this article, we discuss the ever-evolving landscapes of safety and security, and why it’s essential to a have a robust visitor management system.

Safety: It’s all about the people

Attitudes towards workplace safety have changed dramatically over the past century.

In the early 1990s, health and safety initiatives were sparse. Generally, incidents could be covered by common-law negligence: if a worker had identified or assumed a risk, but continued working, that was considered negligent and therefore the worker wouldn’t be entitled to any compensation.

From 1908, Roosevelt argued for the workers’ compensation, saying that “the burden of an accident fell upon the helpless man, his wife and children” and that this was “an outrage.” But it took until 1948 for new standards to be adopted by all states.

In 1970, the rate of workplace fatalities was 18.0 per 100,000. By 1975, this had dropped to 15.0 after the Occupational Safety and Health Act came into effect in 1971. Since 2013, the workplace fatality rate has sat at around 3.3-3.5.

Health and safety is more and more a cultural focus in the workplace too. But there is definitely room for improvement. As a facility manager, there’s always something more you can do to help ensure the safety of staff, contractors and visitors.

If your organization hasn’t already bought into the idea of visitor management software, now is the time to start thinking about it. Safety should be considered from t = 0; it’s about starting how you mean to continue.

3 ways visitor management software can improve safety in your organization:

Hazard Awareness
Notify visitors of any hazards on-site and have them read and accept any information about the hazards and how to decrease risk of injury.

Streamline Evacuations
Ensure visitors know what to do in the case of an emergency, and have read and understood your site evacuation instructions. In the case of an emergency, see who’s on-site at any given time with the touch of a button, rather than wasting precious time trawling through sign-in books or spreadsheets.

Run Inductions
A good visitor management system will allow you to customise your sign-in kiosk to induct employees or contractors. You can choose to have inductees confirm that they have acknowledged and understood each section before continuing to the next. Inductions can be site-specific, or general across all sites. Make sure you have the option to set up time triggers for inductions if a contractor or employee needs to complete inductions more than once.

Related Article: Does Your Manufacturing Facility’s Visitor Management System Stack Up?

Security: It could be something so simple…

With the advancement of technology over the past decade and with cyber attacks becoming more prevalent (and destructive), it’s no longer good enough to be complacent to the risk of an attack at your organisation.

The IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2017 found that 91% of cyber incidents in Manufacturing (the 4th most attacked sector in the study) were conducted by an outsider.  These attacks were primarily trying to source cash, personally identifiable information, intellectual property, or internal operational information.

Taking physical security measures is also important. Sometimes, cyber attacks can be caused or enabled by poor physical security. It could be something so simple and avoidable, like one of the administrative staff members picking up a malware-infected USB flash drive in a carpark and plugging it into their computer. Be stringent with your hardware and data, and have strict guidelines for staff members about physical security.

Have access zones restricted to people with particular privileges to reduce the risk of information theft. Employees and contractors should only have access to zones that are necessary to their role, and this should be reviewed regularly.

You could also be at risk of a security breach if you’re using a physical sign-in/sign-out register. While your clients’ sensitive data might be safely encrypted on your server, any stranger could come into your reception and see your visitors’ contact details sitting right there in your sign-in book.

4 ways visitor management software can hugely improve your protection against a security breach:

Print ID Cards and/or Request ID
For extra security, reduce risk of identity fraud by matching visitor identification with the details they have provided. Some visitor management systems will allow you to print photo ID and QR codes or barcodes.

You’ll easily be able to pull up reports of visitors for any time period, or a list of who is currently on-site. In the case of a security breach, pinpoint who was on-site or in a particular zone on the day or time of the incident. Good visitor management software can also alert you via email or SMS if someone has overstayed their expected visit duration.

Look for visitor management software that allows you to upload a watchlist and set triggers (e.g. email alerts to notify staff members, access denial etc). These triggers could be defined by anything from name to part of an email address.

Non-Disclosure Agreements
Have your visitors sign non-disclosure agreements as part of the sign-in process as an added security measure.

Related Article: 7 Ways Manufacturers Can Reduce Risk of A Cyber Attack

Other benefits

Safety and security are the primary benefits of using visitor management software, but there are many other advantages too.

It looks great
It’s important that your sign-in experience is a good one. Your reception area is the first point of contact for most visitors, and tells visitors what they can expect from your brand. Make a better first impression with sleek kiosks and simple, user-friendly software.

It increases productivity
Reduce the amount of time your concierge or receptionist spends on signing people in or reporting on visitors with clunky spreadsheets or physical sign-in books.

Choosing a visitor management system

What else do you need to consider when choosing a visitor management solution?

Cloud-based vs installed software
Cloud-based visitor management software is easy to set up and implement site-wide. With nothing to install or download and no license to renew, you simply pay an annual fee to access the software online in almost any browser, on any device. Unlike installed software, you don’t need your IT team to maintain and monitor the system or attend to cyber security updates. There’s no extra load on your server, storage or networking hardware, avoiding extra cost.

Getting internal buy-in
What problems are you looking to solve? What problems will this solve for other departments? When looking for a visitor management solution, include stakeholders in the conversation so that internal buy-in is easier down the track.

Make sure it gives you everything you need!
Look for a solution that won’t leave you realizing your needs are only partially met. A visitor management solution like WhosOnLocation offers employee attendance reporting, evacuation management and a comprehensive contractor/vendor portal to keep third party records organized and up-to-date.

Try WhosOnLocation out for 30 days, free

WhosOnLocation is your number one choice for a visitor management solution. Well, clearly we’re biased… But check out our reviews on Capterra or Serchen, and see if we’re the right fit for you by taking a free 30-day trial.