The WhosOnLocation Blog

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Inclusive Technology: WhosOnLocation accessibility kiosk

3 minutes read time

In the past two decades, rapidly changing digital technology has become an integral part of our life. The tools, systems, and devices allow us to manage our day-to-day life efficiently. Workplaces rely on technology to make communication quicker, drive productivity, and improve on-site safety. Therefore, it is critical for employers to ensure that digital tools are accessible and straightforward to use for their employees, contractors, and visitors rather than becoming a barrier for those with disabilities.

Accessibility, in relation to technology, refers to digital content that can be successfully used by as many people as possible, including those with disabilities. More companies are committing to developing digital products that consider everyone’s needs. In practice, accessible technology offers built-in customizable features, for example, screen contrast and text size choice or screen reader capabilities.

Modern: a new theme for the sign-in kiosk

We are pleased to introduce modern, a new default theme for our kiosk that is accessible and easier to navigate for all users, including those with disabilities.

Why are we making the improvements?

WhosOnLocation believes that technology should be inclusive and consider everyone’s needs. We are committed to improving our product to ensure it’s easy to navigate for all users and meets global accessibility standards. Our new modern theme is an important step in our journey to have our kiosk fully compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) over the coming months.

What is the kiosk’s modern theme?

A kiosk using our modern theme offers simplified design, increased font size, and enhanced color contrast. Also, the interactive elements are designed in a more prominent and visible way. These improvements allow easier and more straightforward navigation through the sign-in process also for people who are visually impaired, color blind, or contrast impaired.

What are the next steps?

The modern theme is an essential step in our kiosk becoming fully compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). The next phase will include further design enhancements, ensuring that all interactive elements across the kiosk are configured to be navigated by a keyboard or screen reader alone. We will also improve the relationship between labels and the elements they describe to ensure the attributes for screen readers are present and helpful.

Ready to get started? 

Visit our Help Center for step-by-step instructions on getting started.

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Read more.

3 minutes read time

Behind the scenes: Building the dark kiosk theme for Clemenger Group

We love getting feature requests at WhosOnLocation; they help us get a better understanding of how our customers are using WhosOnLocation for their everyday use, and how we can improve their experience.

We especially love it when a feature request comes with a new challenge (*ahem* an opportunity to show off our creative flair).

So when Clemenger Group requested the option to switch to a ‘dark’ theme for their kiosks, the dev team got pretty excited.

Being able to have ‘dark’ themed kiosks was important to Clemenger Group because a number of their agency logos contained color schemes that require black backgrounds.

Early trials of the kiosks revealed that using the standard white background kiosk just didn’t look right, and affected the sign-in experience.

Clemenger Group was set on using WhosOnLocation, so they decided to place a request for the feature, rather than switching to another visitor management solution.

“Aside from the initial recommendation, we found WhosOnLocation delivered a number of key requirements that other competitors couldn’t match (and believe us, we looked). For example, a powerful Active Directory user sync was an absolute must for us.”

We got in touch with Clemenger Group to discuss the feature more, and spent some time working out the specific requirements and further development details. Then, working to Clemenger Group’s launch deadline, we custom-built the new kiosk theme.

We talked to Clemenger Group after they had installed the theme to see if they were happy with the result.

How did you find it working with WhosOnLocation?

“It was fantastic – the team at WhosOnLocation certainly saw the value our suggestion brought. Patrick regularly updated us during the development phase (including a pre-release session) and the release was all delivered on time. This was especially important to us as a number of our locations depended on the dark theme for launch.”

Does the final theme look good with your branding?

“We think it looks amazing! The other accompanying colours of the buttons etc. complement the overall look really well.”

Clemenger Group use WhosOnLocation across four sites (three in Auckland and one in Wellington, New Zealand). Each site has its own specific requirements on health and safety, user experience and branding.

WhosOnLocation allows Clemenger Group to set a foundation ‘feel’ across all of their kiosks, while giving them the ability to tweak settings as required for each individual location. This makes it very flexible for their current focus on visitor and employee management.

Wondering what happens once you submit a feature request with WhosOnLocation? Here’s how it works…

  1. A customer sends in a request for a feature or improvement
  2. We gather more specific information on what they require
  3. This feedback is passed on to the development team for discussion on if and how it can be implemented
  4. If request is accepted, we let the customer know and add it to our prioritized feature development list
  5. If more customers request the same feature it is moved up in prioritization
  6. When it is added to the development schedule, we create specific requirements for the feature based on the customer’s needs and how our system works
  7. It is then developed, reviewed, adjusted, tested, fixed, documented, and released

Do you have an idea for a feature? If you’re a customer, or thinking about using WhosOnLocation but need something extra before you commit, request a feature here.

4 minutes read time

Security: Reduce the threat of insider attacks

In a study by PwC this year, it was found that 34% of security incidents are attributed to insiders attacks on information security, including trusted third parties and employees.

This is an alarming rate, and serves to remind us that physical security is just as important as cyber security. In fact, they are often closely linked.

Without a comprehensive and effective physical security plan empowered with visitor and employee management, organizations are at a constant risk from their visitors, contractors and employees accessing and stealing their IP and other sensitive types of data.

It’s important to remember that an internal security breach may not necessarily be by a malicious attacker, but can also be by an uninformed or careless insider. To ensure employees are security-conscious, build up a strong security culture in your organization.

Inadvertent breaches: Foster a strong security culture

Have a set of guidelines for ‘red flag’ activity and a clear protocol for what to do in the event of a security breach.

For example, every employee should know how to spot a phishing email. Phishing attacks are one of the most common methods of targeting business, and are sometimes difficult to identify to the untrained eye. Phishing attacks attempt to steal passwords, credit card details or other sensitive information.

Employees should be hardware-savvy too. Have you ever found a USB flash drive and plugged it into your computer? If so, you potentially opened yourself up to a cyber attack.

Hardware security is just as important as online security; attackers have been known to post malware-infected USB flash drives to targeted businesses, and may even drop them in victims’ buildings or parking lots.

Malicious breaches: Keep track of everyone on-site

Your physical security system should be designed to reduce the threat of both outsider and insider attacks.

Of the two types of attacks, the threat posed by insiders is much more difficult to evaluate and combat. Malicious insider attackers could be passive or active, violent or non-violent. The attack could be spontaneous or it could be premeditated and calculated.

Malicious insiders are likely to be in positions of power or trust, with access to sensitive information, or who are able to abuse their authority or physical access rights – for example, emergency response personnel.

There is no reason for anyone to be able to enter or leave a company and wander the premises without being recorded and tracked, including employees and other insiders.

It’s important to know exactly who’s on-site at all times – particularly if you store sensitive data or operating information at your workplace or facility. If your organization is victim to an insider attack, accurate people presence reports will be invaluable.

Use people presence and visitor management software, like WhosOnLocation, for all visitor, contractor and employee sign-ins. This will enable you to run people presence reports for any given time – i.e. for a window around the time of a security breach, if you know when it occurred.

For more comprehensive people presence management, don’t just track who is on-site but track any key movements around the site too.

Restrict access to all zones and entry/exit points, and integrate these control mechanisms with digital security systems for advanced, real-time tracking and reporting. For extra security, use photo ID cards linked to visitor records so that these can be checked against surveillance footage.

Security and management personnel can keep track of everyone who enters and leaves the facility, control access rights for different areas, as well as standardize access and security procedures across different locations. WhosOnLocation enables staff to view visitor details, assign badges and modify any visitor’s permissions.

Close the gap with WhosOnLocation

It’s no longer enough to have haphazard or incomplete people presence tracking at your site. Visitor management and employee time and attendance software is a staple for security-conscious organizations.

WhosOnLocation is a secure, cloud-based people presence management software that enables organizations to keep a record of all people on-site. Security features include ‘red flag’ alerts that fire when someone on a watchlist enters the site, visitor and employee access card printing, photo identification and real-time reporting.

Try WhosOnLocation for your business free for 30 days.

4 minutes read time

7 Reasons Front Desk Staff Need Visitor Management Sign-In Software

Sign-in books are on the out and visitor management software is taking over! And a lot of the time, front desk staff are the first to embrace it.

Some organizations have very busy reception areas, with dozens of visitors a day (or more). Visitor management software means front desk staff can continue with their job, while being available to assist anyone where necessary.

Here are the top 7 reasons why receptionists and front desk staff need visitor management sign-in software:

1. Receptionists can see a visitor’s details as soon as they have completed sign-in

Front desk staff can see who’s signed in and all their essential details. If there’s something unusual about their sign-in, front desk staff will be able to see (discreetly) that a ‘red flag’ alert has been triggered.

If any visitors have been pre-registered, they can see who they are, who they’re meeting, and when they are expected to arrive.

“I like the fact that once they have signed in I can look on my screen and know their name, company and who they are visiting”
– Anthony, Director of First Impressions

2. It eliminates illegible responses

How many times do receptionists have to decode form responses and sign-in details that look like this?

Scribbled writing

The answer is: a lot.

With front desk sign-in software, front desk staff no longer need to waste time trying to decipher illegible handwriting. What’s more, you can save visitors’ responses for next time to make the process even faster for visitors when they come back for another visit.

3. Required fields have to be filled out before completing sign-in

Have you ever had a situation where a visitor hands back a pile of forms, and you realise later that some of the ‘required’ fields haven’t been completed? With front desk sign-in software, your visitors can’t complete sign-in until all the required fields have been filled in. You’ll get all the info you need every time, and your visitor reporting will be much more accurate too.

4. An SMS or email is sent to the host notifying them of the visitor’s arrival

With front desk sign-in software, you can set up notifications for hosts. So when a visitor is meant to be meeting someone, the host will get an SMS or email alerting them that the visitor has signed in.

“I love that a text is sent, enabling me to get on with my job rather than trying to ring the person they are visiting”
April, Customer Service Assistant

5. No more mucking around with spreadsheet visitor tracking and reporting

Reporting on visitor, contractor and employee sign ins should not be a matter of having to trawl through multiple spreadsheets. With front desk sign-in software, you can pull reports with the click of a button – including being able to tell who is on-site at any given time.

6. Queues are a breeze

Do your visitors have to go through quite a lengthy sign-in process at reception? Do you sometimes have multiple people waiting in line to sign-in?

With front desk sign-in software, you can have one or more kiosks set up for people to sign-in. Visitors can easily go through the sign-in questions and receive instructions for their next steps, making the sign-in process much faster. Front desk staff can be available to greet, assist or answer any questions while visitors sign-in.

Related Article: Are your visitors’ first impressions the kind you want to last?

7. It’s got a built-in panic alarm

If for any reason a front desk staff member feels unsafe, visitor management software such as WhosOnLocation has an easily-accessible panic button. This can be activated either from their computer or the sign-in kiosk. The panic button triggers a request for immediate help, and can be sent to security staff or other nominated response people.

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 G2 or Capterra, and see if we’re the right fit for you by taking a free 30-day trial.

7 minutes read time

The #1 Addition To Every Facility Manager’s Toolkit

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.

Reporting
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.

Watchlist
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.

4 minutes read time

How the Internet of Things is disrupting visitor management

With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), you can now visit a site, be welcomed at reception and sign-in all without interacting with a human.

Now imagine you’re waiting in the lobby for your host to arrive and the visitor management system asks if you’d like a coffee or tea while you wait. You input your order, and it’s sent to a coffee-making machine.

 The Internet of Things has given rise to major developments in both health and safety and the visitor management space.

The building management system (BMS) has sensed your arrival in the lobby and has adjusted the ambient light and temperature in the adjacent meeting room where you will soon join your host.

Sound like the future? It’s already possible. And these are the kind of innovations in visitor experience that our team at WhosOnLocation has on the drawing board.

A web of devices and machines

The IoT is the concept of connecting any internet-capable device to other devices or application services.

This could be everything from cellphones, headphones, lights, fridges, wearable devices, and micro-sensors inside vehicles, machinery, and building management systems (BMS).

In 2016, an analyst from Gartner predicted that by 2020, more than half of major new business processes and systems will incorporate some element of the IoT.

The dark side of the IoT

Cybersecurity has become increasingly complex for the average person to monitor and keep on top of.

Not only do we need to be worried about cyber attacks on our personal computers, we have to think about all our other internet-accessible devices too.

You might think, okay well if someone hacks my coffee-machine, that’s not exactly a big deal. But there are other less obvious devices with more sinister implications.

For example, there’s the case of researcher Marie Moe, who woke up from an emergency heart operation to find out that she had a wirelessly accessible pacemaker installed inside her without her knowledge.

And though, in her instance, the functionality was not switched on, it’s entirely possible that it may have been. And Marie potentially would have been susceptible to a fatal cyber attack.

With a predicted 50 billion connected devices by 2020, the IoT is unavoidable. But with more awareness and better processes, we will be better prepared for cyber events and threats.

But… the IoT will also make us safer

While cyber threats will increase along with the expansion of the IoT, the IoT will actually make us safer in many other ways.

This will be particularly apparent in the visitor, employee and contractor management space.

Wearables will give businesses the ability to track employee and contractor movements, heart rate, location etc. and a notification will be sent to the relevant people if something seems wrong. For example, if a contractor is working alone and has overstayed their time in a particular zone, an alert will be triggered.

How WhosOnLocation is innovating

With endless possibilities, the challenge for our team here is to identify which devices and data endpoints from third-party sensors we should integrate with.

We’ve already entered the IoT world with our integration with fire alarm monitoring equipment, which monitors and receive data from fire, smoke, and heat sensors. This integration enabled us to deliver automated messaging and alerts to visitors, contractors, and employees when a sensor triggers an alarm inside a customer site.

Coupled with our evacuation roll-call mobile app, WolEvac, the IoT gives us an opportunity through innovation to increase the ROI traditional visitor, contractor, and employee time and attendance management systems have not done to date.

wol integrations

The most common adoption of the IoT is when people presence management systems share data with access control systems.

Access control systems, like Brivo, have been designed to connect to the Internet. Brivo is opening up new possibilities, such as using facial recognition and video analytics from cloud-based video surveillance services like Eagle Eye, for increased security.

This is only the beginning. What else is around the corner? Where can the IoT in the people presence space drive the value chain to another level?

To learn more about how WhosOnLocation is innovating, sign-up to our newsletter below. You’ll receive the latest news about WhosOnLocation’s features, integrations and updates.

4 minutes read time

7 ways manufacturers can reduce risk of a cyber attack

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.

Try WhosOnLocation free

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.

4 minutes read time

7 Steps To Gain Internal Buy-In For Visitor Management Software

You have done some research and decided that implementing visitor management software would vastly improve your company’s on-site sign-in process. But now, you’re faced with the hurdles of getting the appropriate people on-board with the software.

Unfortunately, many businesses are resistant to change, particularly when it comes to technology.

If you’re determined to bring your contractor and visitor management process into the digital age, follow our step-by-step plan for getting internal buy-in.

Step 1. Determine which people are crucial to get on-side

Decide who is responsible for getting internal buy-in and driving employee and contractor engagement. This often varies from business to business. You need to discern who are the most influential people with your business and the most capable of getting everyone else on board with the software – it could be the COO, the CEO, or even the IT department. Will you need to go through a manager to escalate the discussion? Knowing who you’ll be pitching the software to will help you plan and build your case.

Step 2. Know the benefits inside and out!

Make sure you can articulate each of the benefits in a specific yet jargon-free way. Be sure to provide details about the challenges from your current system and how the visitor management software provides a solution for each.

For example, you might say:

“Our current system doesn’t allow us to quickly check in and see if anyone has been working alone and hasn’t returned. WhosOnLocation provides accurate live reporting to show who is on-site and where at any given time. This will reduce the risk of injury at our manufacturing facility as we will now be able to see when someone is working alone and we will be notified if they haven’t returned by the expected time.”

Step 3. Engage with internal stakeholders

Who will be responsible for integration, user assistance, maintenance and training? Be sure to include all internal stakeholders in this process; by including them, you counteract the fear of change and objection. When engaging with internal stakeholders, it’s important that you speak their language: How does the change affect their department? Will it make their job easier, save them time, increase their productivity or help them achieve their targets? Listen to all the stakeholder concerns and feedback, and keep them updated throughout the process with how you are working through these.

Download our full guide to getting buy-in from each department.

Step 4. Identify risks

Address any potential risks or concerns that may arise from implementing visitor management software and how these would be managed and/or allayed. For example, if you are concerned about low employee adoption, develop a thorough on-boarding process and have delegated people available to provide assistance for the first few weeks of implementation. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your vendor too – they’ve probably heard your concern before.

Step 5. Develop your “elevator pitch”

In the context of your business goals and success metrics, what is the overall benefit of implementing the software? This is the “elevator pitch” of getting internal buy-in. It should be a clear, concise rationale for implementing the visitor management software. For example, this may be related to improving the Health & Safety procedures on-site and reducing the risk of injury to contractors, visitors and employees.

Step 6. Start discussions

By now, you’ve done extensive research, you’ve talked to all the internal stakeholders, and you’ve addressed concerns and risks. It’s time to start discussions with all the people you identified in Step 1. Be prepared and be persistent. If you simply drop a report or proposal on a desk and don’t follow up, you won’t get very far.

Step 7. It doesn’t end after buy-in

You’ve now (hopefully) had approval from all the right people and you’ve started implementing the visitor management software. But it doesn’t end here. Make sure you regularly report on results and get feedback on how the software is working across the business. Updating internal users on the software and validating its benefits will ensure everyone can see the visitor management software is working. Make sure internal users know how to navigate the helpdesk, and where to go if they have any concerns or questions.

If you’re looking at implementing visitor management software in your business, sign up for the WhosOnLocation free 30-day trial. Our support team is happy to answer any questions you have along the way so you can experience the scope of the software and get an idea of how it would work for you.

3 minutes read time

Customise your sign-in process with visitor management software

Which questions you ask depends on the purpose of implementing visitor management software in your business.

Ask yourself: What is the key problem you are trying to solve?

  1. Are you looking to solve a reception management issue?
  2. Are you solving a wider compliance management issue?
  3. Are you solving a reporting issue?
  4. Is it a security issue?
  5. Are you falling short on verifying the safety of people in the event of an evacuation?
  6. Are you overwhelmed with managing contractor and/or staff inductions?
  7. Are you trying to protect your staff and assets?

Answering these will help you determine which questions you need to ask visitors on-site. Do you only need to ask the basic questions such as First Name, Last Name, Name of Host, Email, Mobile? Or do you need more than that?

We find that every business has a different sign-in process. Not only might they have a set of site or industry-specific questions, but they might need a series of site rules that particular visitors need to read and accept.

With WhosOnLocation visitor management software, you can ask your site visitors any question you like, and you can create a selection of custom answers for visitors to choose from for each custom question, too.

WhosOnLocation custom questions are incredibly flexible, so you can customize them to work in almost any way you like.

Here are some of the ways you can use WhosOnLocation custom questions to individualize your sign-in process:

Health & Safety Training
Use custom questions to create Health & Safety training for visitors when they come on-site. Your questions might include running visitors through the hazards, accepting on-site risks or giving an expected duration on-site. You can also set rules so that visitors only have to complete this set of questions once every month, 6 months, year etc. Or, you might need them to complete them every visit.

Evacuation Instructions
You can create a set of evacuation instructions with custom questions. You can ask visitors which zone they will be working in (if relevant) and show them the nearest exit points. Visitors can read and agree to each question, and you can set questions as ‘compulsory’, so users must accept and agree to the instructions before progressing.

Site Specific Rules
If you have different rules depending on the site, you can specify these using custom questions. For example, you might have one site where visitors must stay within 5 metres of their vehicle, but this might not apply to other sites. Visitors will choose which site they are signing into, and if this site is chosen, the visitor will need to acknowledge and agree that they must not go further than 5 meters from their vehicle.

Custom Journeys
You can also create a different set of questions depending on who is signing in. If the person signing in is an employee, they may receive different questions from a one-off visitor who is signing in to deliver a package.

To learn more about WhosOnLocation and how custom questions could work for your business, sign up for a free 30-day trial.

4 minutes read time

Site induction series – 3. When should you run your inductions on-site?

Are you running any general or Health and Safety inductions on-site when people arrive?

Last time we discussed the pros of having people do inductions online, away from your site, so they’re up to speed before they get to your gate.

Today we look at when it’s best to run your inductions on-site, in person.

Running inductions

Inductions are a tool used for Health and Safety compliance and to meet legal obligations. 

Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) laws dictate that ‘A Person Conducting a Business Undertaking’ (PCBU) or employer has to deliver a robust WHS induction training program for new employees (which includes everyone working on-site such as contractors and service providers).

Health and Safety inductions usually cover:

  • Risks and hazards in your workplace
  • Special equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), and first aid
  • Safe work procedures
  • The law
  • Emergency systems
  • First aid team and other emergency contacts.

New employee inductions welcome employees and prepare them for their new role, while new contractor inductions prepare them for their time and work on-site.

For obvious reasons, new employees have the greatest risk of injuring themselves or others, therefore will likely need a more extensive induction to start with.

Employees returning from a long break might also need a refresher induction to familiarize themselves with site hazards and any new processes.

High risk/hazard businesses like manufacturers and construction companies often choose to induct visitors as well as people actually working on a site, usually focused on Emergency Evacuation Plans and Non-Disclosure Agreements.

Why on-site?

There are definitely times when it’s best to run your inductions on-site.

Being able to physically show people aspects of their inductions (e.g. the emergency meeting point) can be invaluable for the safety and security of your organization.

If your induction modules involve:

  • A complicated work site layout
  • Lots of site specific content
  • Complex reporting structures or Health and Safety processes
  • Set-up steps that may need guidance (for example downloading a lone worker app)
  • Task-specific training (that may need demonstrating),

Then it might be the best option to run your induction on-site, giving the inductee the chance to learn under the guidance of your team and physically relate any points they need to.

Other factors to take into account when deciding if you can, or should run your inductions on-site are:

  • How long is each induction? Will there be enough time to go through it all pre-work or visit?
  • Is the induction for a new employee, a contractor, or a visitor? Will they need specific instructions in person or is the tone more general?
  • Do you have staff resource available to run/supervise the induction?
  • Is there space for the inductee to sit and learn? What if there is a group of contractors or visitors needing to be inducted together? Will there be enough resources to manage it?
  • Can you split the induction so some of it is done off-site and some is on-site? Will this make the process smoother or harder to manage?
  • If you are asking people to do inductions off-site, are you offering an alternative for people do them at your site if they can’t access the internet?

It’s also worth considering how and when to confirm what your process and reasons are for induction when people they arrive.  It’s a nice courtesy.

About WhosOnLocation

WhosOnLocation is a web-based visitor, contractor and employee presence management system.

With WhosOnLocation’s Induction Management feature you can set-up inductions for different visitor types and run an induction kiosk or through a web browser on any device.

Sign-up to WhosOnLocation today to see how our Induction Management feature makes it easy to design inductions, maintain induction records, and control access to any location if inductions haven’t been done, or have expired.

6 minutes read time

How to successfully introduce visitor management software to your staff

Updated: March 2020

What’s the best way to go about getting staff buy-in when you implement a new visitor management software? 

Whether you start with no visitor management, a paper-based visitor management book, or switch your visitor management software from one product to another, you’re going to need everyone on board to make it worthwhile to see a return on investment.

Implementing a visitor management system can be quite a significant change for an organization, particularly for staff who have to change some aspect of their routine (by having to sign-in, or change the way they currently do tasks like inviting someone to a meeting).

Visitor management software like WhosOnLocation replaces a business’s paper sign-in book and does any number of other processes which improve the general safety and security. When you deploy a visitor management solution, there will be many different roles and uses for the product within the organization, and the people visiting. From helping to run safe and effective evacuations to managing the insurance validity of contractors and service providers coming on-site, through to sending out health and safety hazard alerts in real-time. The point is that when you deploy a new system, there is a lot involved.

As with the success of any new company tool, it relies on trust and enthusiasm to make it work. New tools don’t get taken up when people see them as another hassle to add to their working day, so it’s key to introduce the system in the right way and get the internal buy-in early on. 

Here are some ideas to use when you are setting up a new visitor management system:

Keep the trust 

Relationship management is essential when introducing your new system. Make sure everyone who needs to know about the changes does and explain the reasons as to why you chose the system you did. If you don’t have any in place already, now is a good time to create some policies for your staff around visitor management. This can seem a little over the top, but there’s no harm in having documentation to support a new system and give a level of clarity to everyone who will be using it, from as early on as possible. 

Bring it back to your company’s vision

If you want to be the best in your industry, have the safest workplace, and have the best customer service, visitor management software is going to get you there.

Policies

Create a Privacy Policy: Visitor management software will likely be storing staff details and, at the very least, will likely involve capturing data such as staff sign-in times and time spent on-site after hours. It’s a good idea to create a Privacy Policy around how to gather personal data, what will happen to this information, who will have access to it with an emphasis on how your organization will protect and maintain user privacy. 

Use a Lone Worker Procedure or Policy – with a new level of tracking possible for employees. There will likely be an emphasis on the health and safety of lone workers and employees or contractors in your duty of care. Create a policy specifically around how their data will be managed and responsibilities that will need to be met using the tool (for example, being responsible for sending a hazard alert, or signing in every 2 hrs if working off-site).

Other policies can come in handy such as a new or updated HR policy that includes aspects related to your visitor management system (e.g. updating your Health and Safety policy to include new evacuation procedures).

Keeping the conversation open

  • Have lots of conversations with staff around your new system. Keep these positive and offer ways for people to join in, give feedback, and ask any questions they have. 
  • Give examples – Show your team how other organizations are using visitor management to make their lives easier and their workplaces safer and more secure. Physically show everyone how your organization will use it as well, for example, take everyone down to your kiosk or reception desk and run through a sign-in scenario, or do a fire drill.
  • People losing interest or showing hesitation? Bring the conversation back to the risks. People deserve to work in an environment that’s as safe and secure as it can be. Let them know how much sense it makes to mitigate as many risks as possible.
  • Lead by example – This goes without saying, if you and other managers are leading by example (using the system well and enthusiastically), it will make the whole transition smoother.
  • Offer training – If your staff know how to use your visitor management system to make their jobs more efficient, then they are guaranteed to use it more. Give everyone introductory training of the product as a whole. Then, you train staff on role-specific usage, drilling deeper into the features each person will need to use in their jobs – for example, brief your executives on how to pre-register and send automated emails to their guests. 

Bring it back to the benefits

  • Show everyone how the new system will make their life easier. With WhosOnLocation, employees can send an automated invite to anyone they are meeting. This registers their details in the system and will make it quicker for their guest to sign-in. They can also get an email or SMS when their guest has arrived, so they don’t waste any time waiting around for them in the lobby.
  • Your employees will be safer in many ways when you are using an electronic visitor management system, so bring the conversation back to that when you can. WhosOnLocation comes with a Panic Alarm feature, for example. This feature allows anyone who might find themselves in a position where their safety is compromised (e.g., a disgruntled customer is demanding to go through to the factory) discreetly raise an alarm by clicking a button.
  • Visitor management software is good for the bottom line, and your organization will be saving not only money but time, especially those responsible for those time-consuming jobs like filling of visitor records (usually reception or admin staff).

Let it happen

It doesn’t take long for people to get used to new systems and making small changes in their individual routine. After everyone is using the parts of visitor management that will help them in their roles, the only problem you should have is too many requests for extra training (and on-boarding your new employees).

5 minutes read time

Site induction series – 2. Why you should run your inductions off-site

When you induct new or returning employees, contractors and visitors do you always run the induction on-site, or do you give the inductee the option to do their learning off-site?

The way you deliver your inductions will depend on various factors like the number of people being inducted, the size of your workplace and the complexity of the health and safety matters to be discussed.

How you deliver your workplace inductions will be decided by the person in charge as they depend on the size and nature of the project.

Induction training can be delivered through on the job training; toolbox talks, pre-start meetings, step by step checklists, induction videos or booklet, emails or a phone conversation.

The inductions we refer to below are run as an ‘online interactive program’ built within a software like WhosOnLocation.

In this blog series, we look at whether it’s best to run your different induction modules (general, site, and task-specific) on-site (at an induction kiosk) or off-site (online through an induction portal).

Off-site inductions

It’s relatively simple and inexpensive to set-up induction modules online so that your contractors, employees, and visitors can complete them before they access your site. 

Running your inductions online and off-site makes it easier to track and maintain entry rights too. For example, if a returning contractor’s induction certificate has expired, you can automatically resend a course for them to complete before they are due on-site.

Welcome induction topics covered

General inductions

General inductions will provide basic information relating to your industry and cover important; organisational Health, and Safety, security, and environmental aspects.

For employees:

Giving new employees the chance to do general inductions off-site is a good way for them to get to know general company culture and procedures before they commence employment. These courses can be based on your companies brand story, ethos, and culture.

For contractors:

If contractors have the chance to do their inductions off-site they can complete them at a time that suits them personally. Also, contractor inductions that are run off-site put the onus on the individual or the company they are contracting for to have completed the required courses before they come on-site. Also, resources like staff time and providing a space to learn are not required if a contractor is fully inducted prior to arrival on-site.

For visitors:

Running general inductions off-site can facilitate a great visitor experience. Briefing visitors on your site can make them feel welcome and help speed up the sign-in process. You could look to provide casual visitors with a non-compulsory, shortened version of your employee induction.

Site inductions

Site-specific inductions are designed around information to do with the site itself, particularly risks and hazards.

Site inductions are often not compulsory and aren’t generally required to be done by visitors.

For employees:

You can include a site-specific induction module with your employee’s general induction if that is made available off-site. Notify a new employee of critical information such as hazards to be aware of in a fire (LPG tank in sector 5), or where your muster point is.

For contractors:

Let contractors do site specific induction off-site when they are likely to be working at more than one site. That way they can look the site specific induction up before they start work there. The contractor can also prioritize the order they will do each module in (i.e. they are working at site 24 first so will complete site 24 induction first).

For visitors:

Whether to give visitors site inductions online depends greatly on the type and purpose of visit. It might be an idea to share some site-specific information (for example emergency exits) with visitors at the same time as they receive their general induction if they are doing one.

Task-specific inductions

Task specific training gives information like hazards, risks, and control measures to people carrying out a certain task at your site.

If it’s relevant, show workers how to do a task analysis as well as the standard operating procedure (SOP) or work procedures.

You can use this induction to highlight any relevant legal responsibilities, codes of practice or technical standards that must be followed while they’re carrying out the task as well.

For employees:

These are usually best done on-site and close to the place where the task will be undertaken. If the task-specific inductions are long or detailed it might be an option to have employees do their initial induction off-site at a time that’s convenient for them, and then offer further training when they are on-site.

For contractors:

It is a good idea to run these task-specific inductions online if contractors are visiting more than one site and particularly if they’re doing the same task at more than one site. Contractors can access their online learning to reference any task-specific inductions as needed.

For visitors:

It’s unlikely a visitor will need a task-specific induction. If they do it’s best to have them complete it when they are on-site and under supervision.

Induction slide 3 Traffic Management

There are many advantages to offering online induction modules for employees, contractors, and visitors to do off-site at a pace and time that suits them best.

Whether you choose to induct online off-site or on-site, or offline on-site or on-site, the reasons for inducting stay the same.

Inductions ensure people at your site are safe and secure, that they know about your organization, what to do on-site, and who to talk to if they have any questions or concerns.

Having a competent induction program means having compliance with Health and Safety and employment legislation.

Take a free, 30 day trial of  WhosOnLocation today to see how our Induction Management feature makes it easy to design inductions, maintain induction records, and how you can control access to any site should these courses not be completed or they have expired.

5 minutes read time

Site induction series – 1. Save time and money on your Health and Safety inductions

Health and Safety inductions can be a real drain on time and resources for those doing the inductions and those organizing them.

Are you a Health and Safety Manager or someone involved with the coordination of site inductions?

Do you want to save time and money on your Health and Safety inductions.

If so, you should move them online.

Inducting people coming on-site with hardcopy information, at the time they show up to your location, is no longer industry best practice.

By moving inductions online and implementing eLearning you can save unnecessary hassle, hours of admin time and money

You can also save your contractors, service providers, suppliers and anyone visiting your sites unnecessary hassle and time too.

How eLearning can help you:

Way less paperwork

Minimal paperwork means maximum office space – you won’t have to store all of your induction records in the bug inductions folders. When you move your inductions online (after the initial set-up where you upload your old induction documents) the induction section will pretty much be paper-free.

Way more free time

When inductions are online you can send them to your inductees ahead of time instead of having to set contractors up in the office to run through general Health and Safety inductions. You could email specific inductions and make sure people have already completed them before they reach your sign-in area. If you have parts of your Health and Safety inductions or policy you need to demonstrate or refer to in person you can always have a follow-up induction set-up online waiting for you to do at the sign-in gate.

Automating your Health and Safety inductions will also keep your contractors, suppliers and service providers happy by saving them loads of time too. If you’re sending an induction ahead of time they can do it at a time that suits them.

Much less confusion

When contractors and visitors are filling out paper-based forms or inductions it often means dealing with illegible handwriting. Give yourself or your admin team a break,  set-up your Health and Safety inductions online and let the software weed out any illegible or unclear details or answers.

No more unnecessary costs

How much money does your organization spend on printing induction related booklets and forms? You can minimize the amount of printing you need to do if you move inductions online, and you’ll be able to save money on related stationary, like those big folders and filing boxes with all the historical induction records.

Much less stress

Do you ever stress about not being covered if something goes wrong on-site. What if an emergency plumber has to fix a leaking pipe in your factory over the weekend and there wasn’t any time to do a proper induction? Perhaps there wasn’t even anyone to find the induction booklets? If your inductions were online you could have already made sure a list of plumbing contractors had been inducted online.

Most online induction programs let users set memos for when your contractors need to refresh their inductions or ‘triggers’ for if someone fails an induction or if someone with an out of date induction record is trying to sign-in to a location.

Generally better inductions

When your inductions are online you can add things like videos or pop-up quizzes letting you cater better to different learning styles, allow for people to learn at different speeds, and easily keep your content up-to-date.

More backup

Auditors or Health and Safety inspectors keeping you up at night? What about if something happens on-site and you can’t prove everything practicable and reasonable (i.e. inductions) was done in the lead up to the accident?

Don’t stress out about that, if your system is online you can easily share the reports or key induction data with an auditor, or get to the bottom of who was on site, why, when and how they were inducted if there are any incidents.

Much more control

Are you managing inductions for more than one location? And/or do you ever need to share induction modules or induction reporting within your organization? You can share information and access easily if you are inducting online.   or you need to share induction modules within your organization you can do this easily when the inductions are online.

You can also control who needs to do what inductions when. For example, using WhosOnLocation you can set rules for who needs to do what inductions and when those inductions are expired. So if you have a plumber servicing one location who’s been fully inducted with your general Health and Safety policies and procedures, when that plumber visits a new site you can see he’s already completed and passed the general induction and set a rule that they will only have to do the site-specific module before he enters to do his work.