3 minutes read time
PropTech category founder bolsters its workplace management capabilities with addition of integrated set of employee, visitor and contractor management applications
Solon, Ohio – March 4, 2021 – MRI Software, a global leader in real estate software, announces that it has acquired New Zealand-based WhosOnLocation, which provides an integrated solution that empowers organizations to address workplace safety and security needs. An enterprise-class, cloud-based platform with employee, visitor, contractor and emergency management applications, WhosOnLocation extends MRI’s workplace management offering to cover anyone who might have a physical presence on a commercial property, including industries such as manufacturing, services, and education.
“We are excited to welcome WhosOnLocation to the MRI family at a time when ensuring wellbeing and safety in the workplace is more critical than ever,” says Patrick Ghilani, Chief Executive Officer of MRI Software. “The acquisition enhances the comprehensive capabilities of our integrated workplace management solutions to enable the increased business agility organizations need to reimagine their workplaces. WhosOnLocation boosts our ability to support health and security measures, covering both landlords and tenants, as well as the wider community that engages with a property – reducing risk for everyone.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic leading to an increased need for agile workplaces, WhosOnLocation enables organizations to manage presence by tracking who is onsite at a property – or across multiple locations – at any time. The solution brings additional automation and efficiency to workplace safety and security management with arrival notifications, access permissions, emergency and evacuation management, and more. WhosOnLocation’s global client base will benefit from the added resources and innovation that come with being part of a well-established industry leader.
Darren Whittaker-Barnett, WhosOnLocation’s Chief Executive Officer, notes: “MRI offers the scale and global reach we need to accelerate the growth of our business in both our existing markets and new territories. Becoming part of MRI also offers our customers the opportunity to tap into its broad range of innovative workplace management solutions, which enable organizations of all types to more effectively manage their real estate portfolios and meet today’s unique business challenges.”
Used by facilities management teams, property managers and others involved in building operations to manage visitor, employee and service provider presence, WhosOnLocation manages nearly 5,000 facilities for 1,600 customers across 46 countries. Headquartered in Wellington, New Zealand, the company also operates in Australia, the UK, Europe, Canada and the US. MRI will continue to support WhosOnLocation users without interruption.
GrowthPoint Technology Partners, a Silicon Valley-based investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to WhosOnLocation.
About MRI Software
MRI Software is a leading provider of real estate software solutions that transform the way communities live, work and play. MRI’s comprehensive, flexible, open and connected platform empowers owners, operators and occupiers in commercial and residential property organisations to innovate in rapidly changing markets. MRI has been a trailblazer in the PropTech industry for over five decades, serving more than two million users worldwide. Through leading solutions and a rich partner ecosystem, MRI gives real estate companies the freedom to elevate their business and gain a competitive edge. For more information, please visit mrisoftware.com.
Platform Communications for MRI
Hugh Filman (+44 7905 044850)
or Zoe Mumba (+44 7725 832393)
(US for MRI)
Rachel Antman firstname.lastname@example.org
4 minutes read time
Just before the Christmas break, our sales executive James attended Facilities Integrate in Auckland, New Zealand. With most trade shows across the world canceled or postponed in 2020, we felt incredibly lucky to have an opportunity to attend a non-virtual event.
It was fantastic to meet with customers (both existing and prospective) in person, and catch up on the impact such a turbulent year has had on your businesses.
We noticed a few common themes in the conversations we were having with attendees. In the midst of a pandemic, processes have had to change. We caught up with James to hear what his key takeaways from the event were.
Facilities Integrate is a trade event specifically for facilities managers. It’s a great opportunity to network with peers in the same industry, try out the latest equipment and technologies, source the best suppliers and generally keep on top of what’s happening in the facilities space. I feel very lucky to have been able to talk to our customers in person again!
Contact tracing came up a lot. More specifically, facilities managers were looking for flexible solutions to make signing in as easy as possible for everyone.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of our customers understood the importance of signing in visitors. However, it was generally the high security or hazardous sites that were concerned with signing in employees and contractors, too. With the COVID-19 pandemic, that’s all changed.
Now, every workplace has a responsibility to protect the health of those working in its duty of care. One of the most crucial ways to do this is through contact tracing. This means signing everyone in each day is more important than ever. Lots of the facilities managers were looking for easy ways to turn signing in and out into a habit for employees.
WhosOnLocation offers an incredibly flexible platform with 12 different ways to sign in – so there’s something for every workplace, and every employee. We often find our customers will use a few different methods at one site, to make it as easy as possible for employees to remember to sign in.
Some employees prefer to download the WolMobile app on their smartphone and use the auto sign in/out feature. This is the most foolproof way of ensuring everyone on-site is accounted for. It uses geofencing technology to update on-site status. Employees and contractors don’t even need to lift a finger.
Others might prefer to sign in using a touch screen kiosk in reception. Or scan a card to sign in with one simple step. Or even just provide their name to the front of house staff.
Offering a variety of methods makes it easier to sign everyone in. So you can be safe in the knowledge your contact tracing processes are as robust as possible.
The kiosk (using an iPad or tablet) is the most common way to sign in. This is especially the case now we have released our touchless kiosk feature. By setting your kiosk to touchless mode, you can now present a QR code on the screen. Guests scan the code to sign in from their own smartphone.
Employees, contractors and visitors simply scan the code to see the entire kiosk experience replicated in their browser. It’s been a game-changer during COVID, as customers looked for a more hygienic, hands-free alternative to the sign-in kiosk.
Great question – it was really exciting to demo QR code posters for the first time at the event. These posters are an easy, low-cost way to deploy WhosOnLocation, as no expensive kiosk hardware is required.
They’re also a great way to make your sign-in process more robust. If you have multiple doors, you can use posters at each access point. This helps to capture any employees or contractors who use side entrances to enter or leave.
All features mentioned are available in a single subscription cost. Start your free trial today – no credit card required.
1 minute read time
We are very pleased to announce that our CEO and founder Darren Whitaker-Barnett, has been recognized in the CEO Today magazine’s global CEO awards for 2021.
The awards recognize the achievements of CEOs honoring the most respected executives leading the global stage. A key component of the awards is to identify the most successful, innovative, and forward-thinking CEOs in business today.
No matter where the winners are located in the world, all were challenged during 2020 to bring their most innovative and forward-thinking leadership to guide their organizations through the global pandemic.
Under the leadership of Darren, WhosOnLocation has successfully continued to grow and deliver a set of features to our customers to navigate the global pandemic and keep those in their duty of care safe and secure.
We’d like to congratulate Darren and all the other global leaders. To read the full list of winners and Darren’s article click here.
3 minutes read time
We are very proud to announce the launch of our redesigned WhosOnLocation website.
Considering the lifespan of a website is 2 years 7 months on average – it was certainly time to rethink, and refresh.
We started with taking an inward look and asked ourselves if:
It was a resounding yes from the whole team to redesign the site!
We followed a simple 7 step process (design might challenge me on the use of the word “simple”).
As with any project, it’s great to look back and see what we have learned to take to our next website refresh. Learnings are gold.
We hope you love the new site as much as we do. As always we welcome your feedback, if you have feedback to share good or bad please click here.
4 minutes read time
COVID-19 has thrown the entire world a curveball. As everything from travel plans to major global events have been cancelled or put on hold, individuals and businesses all over the world have received a masterclass in flexibility.
Like the majority of businesses, at WhosOnLocation we’ve had to pivot our thinking, re-work our plans and become more reactive to the changing needs of our customers. That’s where our touchless solution comes in.
We’ve been asked this question a lot in recent months. As experts in people presence software, it’s our mission to help customers mitigate risks to their visitors, employees and service providers through constant innovation.
Before COVID-19 hit the news, WhosOnLocation already had a robust feature set that could help customers reduce the risk of spreading a virus within their facilities, including:
However, more was required. A global pandemic like COVID-19 puts every single customer at risk, and ensuring we had ways to mitigate these risks became our top priority.
When the world went into lockdown earlier this year, we started reaching out to our customers from all sectors to ask about their business needs, and how WhosOnLocation could help.
From picking up the phone and having a good old chat, we identified a few key areas that needed addressing. These included:
First off, we got straight into a working remotely solution in response to businesses closing their physical facilities throughout the world.
Released back in April, working remotely allows employees and service providers to sign in for work from their homes (or anywhere!). In doing so, our customers have a clear record of everyone who is working in their duty of care at any one time, regardless of where they are.
This feature really comes into its own when used in the WolMobile application. Those who are signed in for work remotely will be able to view important safety notices in-app, receive instant messages from their employer and send their location to a nominated safety operator in the event of an emergency.
Before we’d even heard the word COVID-19, WhosOnLocation already accommodated a number of ways to sign in hands free, including:
However, from our conversations with customers, we realised a more seamless solution is required during a pandemic, and beyond.
To get a deeper understanding of your needs, we carried out an in-depth survey.
So when it comes to a touchless solution, what was the verdict?
We drilled deep asking a number of questions to help guide our solution. Here are the headlines:
77% of those surveyed* said they’d rather use a touchless, self service kiosk than sign visitors in with their front of house team.
76% would rather keep things digital, using a touchless kiosk to display a QR code, rather than a printable poster.
64% would rather tailor the sign in questions they ask for visitors, than for employees or service providers.
69% didn’t require a touchless solution for deliveries.
*Of a survey of 240 customers with varying role types.
Our brand new, touchless solution will be released in the coming weeks, offering you a way to sign in all visitor types, and integrate with all the best parts of WhosOnLocation.
Our touchless solution will allow visitors, employees and service providers to register themselves as on-site using their own devices, for a simple, safer, sign-in experience.
More information to come very soon, watch this space!
New to WhosOnLocation?
Take a free 30 day trial today.
3 minutes read time
Since January 26, 2020, the world has watched closely as the outbreak of coronavirus has moved swiftly across the globe.
The World Health Organization has developed educational material on what to do should you be affected by coronavirus. This program details what it is, how to protect yourself, myth busters, travel advice, and technical guidance. The guidelines include; washing hands, staying educated and remaining diligent. You are most likely armed with a business continuity plan which will help you make decisions based on predetermined guidelines, should your organization become affected.
As a WhosOnLocation customer, you can go one step further to ensure you are taking all the necessary steps to protect your organization.
Every organization has its own way to manage guests on site but by making a few edits to your processes you can further reduce your organizations’ exposure to coronavirus by alerting the relevant members of your team to a possible risk.
By taking a few simple steps you can add an extra layer of security to your organization by adding a question and triggers to your sign in process. These steps could be especially helpful for customers in manufacturing, construction or those with large amounts of external guests.
Below is an example of a sign in question along with the options you could take to notify relevant parties within your organization. You may not need all of the options depending on your guest policies and procedures.
Example sign in question: “In the last 14 days have you suffered from the flu or traveled to China?” Answer “Yes” or ”No”.
If your guest answers Yes you could implement all or some of the following steps:
Not a WhosOnLocation customer but interested in protecting your organization? Click here to take a free 30-day trial.
3 minutes read time
If you’ve received one of these messages you’ll know how effective an instant message can be to communicate in a fast and efficient way.
“I’m running 5 mins late”
“Northbound lane closed due to incident”
“Gale force warnings due, stay inside”
“Your support request was received – thanks”
“Panic alarm activated. Stay in current location”
Instant messages are not new, in fact, they date back to well before the internet and smartphones. In the early 1970s, the earliest version of an online chat facility was launched, it was called Talkomatic and allowed five people to chat simultaneously.
Fast forward to 2010 and the world of instant messaging has exploded with the launch of Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and WeChat (to name a few), intertwining instant messaging in our everyday lives. We have all become quite familiar and reliant on this technology, even our dentist is using an instant message to remind us of our next appointment.
With instant messaging intertwined in our day-to-day lives, it’s a natural extension to use it in our work lives to communicate with employees, contractors, and guests while they are on site.
Have you had to communicate any of these scenarios to any of your team recently?
How did you share these messages with your employees, contractors and/or guests? The response we generally get is email. Email just doesn’t cut it, it is often missed causing incidents that the email intended to avoid. However, most people carry their smartphone making it hard to ignore an instant message. An instant message allows you to communicate in an easy, efficient and timely manner.
With WhosOnLocation’s Instant Message feature you can communicate company-wide, to just a single location, to particular employees or just to contractors. Who you send an instant message to depends on the message but the options are endless for both sending and the message you communicate.
WhosOnLocation provides people presence management software that monitors the safe and secure movement of people through buildings and work sites. Our powerful, cloud-based solution unites visitor, contractor, employee, and emergency management, enabling organizations to secure their facilities and ensure the safety of every person on-site.
Armed with a rich, unified source of people presence information, our users are empowered to make more strategic, data-driven decisions that mitigate risk, reduce overhead costs, and streamline operations.
WhosOnLocation serves organizations in 35 countries around the world, protecting billions of dollars in assets and IP, and managing over 20 million secure movements through over 2500 facilities each year.
4 minutes read time
In an emergency, having access to critical data of who and where people are within your organization can mean the difference between life and death. This is why it is extremely important to have an up to date evacuation plan to make sure you know who is on and off-site at all times. At WhosOnLocation, we want everyone to know that there is a safer way to manage emergency evacuations.
If an evacuation or natural disaster were to happen at this very moment would you and your company be prepared to get out safely? If the answer is no, you need to do something about it before an evacuation event becomes a reality. The problem with evacuations is that no one knows when they are going to happen, therefore we always have to be prepared to the best of our ability.
To prepare for an emergency you must have a plan in place that can vary if needed due to the unknown nature of the event that can occur. Here are four steps that will help you create a well-constructed plan for an emergency evacuation:
Prevention is the most important step of all. If this step is done well, the less damage control that will need to take place in the future. Ask yourself – what can I do to reduce or eliminate the risk of injury/damage to people and property?
Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Plan for the absolute worst-case scenario so you are ready for anything. Appoint emergency roles such as floor wardens, and have regular drills and trainings.
Follow the emergency plan (evacuation steps, communication, and leadership roles) but allow for flexibility when necessary.
Provide a supportive environment post-emergency, deal with any post-emergency communications, and discuss learnings. This will loop back into Mitigation & Prevention and inform the plan for future crises.
Our emergency management tool WolEvac helps you account for everyone on-site in the case of an emergency. You can track cleared zones, allow people to self-verify their safety via SMS, view requests for help and monitor real-time evacuation progress all within the WolEvac mobile application.
WolEvac syncs a snapshot from your WhosOnLocation account of who is on-site at the time the evacuation event is created so first responders, wardens and safety marshals have accurate information about who is on-site in an emergency. These users will be able to share critical messages, view real-time verification progress and manually verify the safety of anyone on-site. This makes evacuations effective and easily managed in what can be a high-stress situation.
WhosOnLocation actively encourages businesses to use evacuation management technology to run evacuations. An effectively exercised and accessible emergency response plan can minimize the impacts of an emergency on employees, the environment, and infrastructure. It can make all the difference not only around emergency services response time but the general organization of evacuation events.
The benefits of emergency management technology:
WolEvac is included in all WhosOnLocation subscription so you don’t have to worry about any additional costs.
When an emergency takes place, as soon as you create a “WolEvac Event” it takes a snapshot of who is on/offsite at the time. This critical information will account for everyone, making it easier to ensure their safety.
It is simply more efficient. Businesses are constantly changing, therefore, there is a need to maintain up-to-date response plans so you are always prepared. This technology will remove the time-consuming administration and eliminate repeat updates.
Use this chance to ensure your emergency processes and procedures are as effective as they can be before an emergency event happens. The risk from natural disasters, not to mention building fires and other events, is real, and there is a good chance your office building will have to be evacuated at some stage. Don’t leave the safety of those you are responsible for to chance.
Implement visitor/evacuation management technology today and make sure everyone is accounted for in an emergency.
3 minutes read time
On April 28, the International Labour Organisation will look back over 100 years of progress for the World Day for Safety and Health at Work. This year, there’ll be a clear focus on the future of occupational safety. How can you use new technology to make your workplace safer than ever before?
Here at WhosOnLocation, we dedicate our working lives to answering this question. So if you’re looking to update your safety procedures, you’ve come to the right place.
The first step you can take to secure your facility is to use people-tracking software. Applications like WhosOnLocation can not only help you understand who’s on-site in real time, but they can track which zones they’re in, too.
So when you need to account for your employees and visitors, you know the information is all in one place.
Whichever way you define a lone worker, the chances are you’ll need special processes to keep them safe.
A variety of apps offer an easy solution for keeping tabs on lone workers. For example, WhosOnLocation includes features like mobile sign-in, GPS geolocation and lone worker reporting. If you’re interested in finding the right app for your workers, take a look at our guide here.
Keeping track of when a contractor’s insurances, qualifications or induction processes need updating can be difficult in any organization. With WhosOnLocation, you can grant your contractors access to the Service Provider Portal, so they can fill in their own details. You’ll also receive notifications when their documentation needs renewing, so you know you’ll always be on top of contractor safety. Even better – these automated updates will save you some time, too.
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”9190″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]In high security organizations, just signing a visitor in using their name might not be enough. With WolScan, you can add an extra layer of security to the sign-in process by capturing the information from your visitor, contractor or employee’s ID card.
Not only does this allow the host to better verify the identity of those coming into the facility, it also makes sign-in a lot faster!
The OSHA rules and regulations can be a stiff read, so it’s important to make your safety inductions as interesting as possible. We recommend using engaging formats – whether that’s induction videos, tasks or even interactive training modules.
One option is to use WhosOnLocation to create an eLearning Induction Course. You can even set restrictions using triggers, so anyone who’s failed to complete the course is unable to enter the organization.
OSHA warns that workplace emergencies are often more common than people think, so it’s important to have a robust evacuation plan in place.
Employers need to be able to account for everyone on site quickly and easily during an evacuation to minimise risk. This can be tricky, especially if your employees and visitors are working across a multi-zoned or multi-level site.
By using a cloud-based evacuation app, you’ll be able to work collaboratively with other floor wardens or safety marshals to verify the safety of everyone on-site.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
4 minutes read time
|With the manufacturing industry one of the most vulnerable to cyber attacks, here are 7 ways you can improve your organization’s security measures.|
According to an IBM Security study, the Manufacturing sector had 40% more “security incidents” than the average across all industries. Manufacturing was the third most attacked sector in 2016.
Why? What are attackers looking to gain from manufacturers? Cash, personally identifiable information, intellectual property, or internal operational information. These are highly valuable to criminals and traders of company secrets.
With the rise of ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS), such attacks are gaining momentum and manufacturers are increasingly vulnerable.
Ransomware is the latest buzzword in cybersecurity. Using this kind of malware, attackers pierce your company’s system or database and encrypt the data, effectively holding it ransom, asking for money in exchange for ‘release’.
Just last month, ransomware wreaked havoc on the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), FedEx and Telefónica (among many others).
An accidental hero emerged – a 22-year-old cybersecurity researcher stumbled upon a clumsy ‘kill switch’ within the ransomware. The kill switch was simply an unregistered domain name, which the researcher bought making it live, shutting down the malicious software.
The domain name cost MalwareTech just $10.69, yet the researcher potentially saved companies and governmental organizations billions of dollars.
But that’s one of the rare ‘success’ stories.
Back in 2015, an employee at a small US-based concrete manufacturing company unknowingly clicked an email attachment triggering a ransomware called Cryptowall.
Over the day, the ransomware silently crept through the company’s network and encrypted accounting data. The attack wasn’t evident until the next day and it halted production for 2 days.
At a loss, the company paid the ransom, but the data was never fully recovered. Sadly, the company didn’t have up-to-date backups so much of that data was lost forever.
The company had suffered a major production blow (over a week of downtime) and couldn’t meet contract delivery deadlines, which resulted in a massive financial loss.
How To Protect Your Data
Here are some measures you can take to protect your data and reduce the risk a cyber attack:
1. Raise awareness around cybersecurity with staff
This may be a comprehensive course with a cybersecurity expert, or perhaps a list of “red flags” and “no-gos”. For example, you could provide examples of what a suspicious email might look like.
2. Have a process for quickly reporting any irregular activity
If staff spot a suspicious email, who do they report it to? There is no point in creating awareness around cybersecurity if staff don’t know the next steps.
3. Cybersecurity and physical security are not mutually exclusive
When raising awareness, don’t forget to talk about physical security. Cyber attacks can be as simple as plugging in an innocent-looking (but malware-ridden) USB memory stick found in the company carpark.
4. Have restricted access for each user role
Employees should only be able to view and access data or functionality that is necessary to their job. If an employee falls victim to an attack, this will help prevent the spread and scope of the attack minimising the damage. Review user roles and privileges on a regular basis.
5. Implement a company password policy
Whether you choose to regularly change passwords or employ a 2-step verification system, it’s important to have some measure of password security. Ensure each password is strong and unique. A strong password will comprise at least six characters and have a combination of letters, cases, numbers and symbols.
6. Encrypt data
If your company stores sensitive information on servers or databases, it should be encrypted. Review how your employees use sensitive data regularly. For example, does your Marketing team export personally identifiable information for upload into third party advertising systems? If your employees can easily export sensitive data as unencrypted CSV or XLS files, that data is not secure.
7. If all else fails, have a Cyber Insurance policy!
In the event of a serious cybersecurity incident, you may not be able to retrieve your data or reverse the effects. However, if you have a comprehensive cyber insurance policy you should at least be able to cover your losses.
If you’re looking for an employee, contractor and visitor management solution to make your process easier and more secure, consider using WhosOnLocation.
Manage visitors, contractors, employees and evacuations all within one easy to use application: WhosOnLocation works across businesses of all sizes including manufacturing, corporate, utilities, construction and ICT. Start your free 30-day trial here.