The WhosOnLocation Blog

Featured post

The new Help Center – the answers you need, when you need them

2 minutes read time

As Leonardo da Vinci said “Learning never exhausts the mind,” and our Help Center is no exception to this. Learning is an essential part of our lives, improving the brain’s overall cognitive functions, including memory, concentration, attention to detail, and problem-solving.

The Help Center offers an excellent place for you to start your education on the WhosOnLocation features and how they integrate, empowering you and your organization to gain the most from your subscription. As you enter the Help Center, not only are you able to answer all your questions, but additionally, you are exposed to the new features of the products enabling you as a user to improve your understanding of WhosOnLocation.

The new and improved Help Center

Our new Help Center is available right now – jump into the Help Center and check out the simplified design, faster search and refined structure yourself. It can also be accessed through the WhosOnLocation app, WolMobile, and the Contractor Portal, ensuring all users can benefit from the resources available.  And if you don’t find what you are looking for or want to know more, just reach out using the “Contact support” button at the top of each article.

Help Center or Customer support?

Our Help Center provides the quickest response to all your queries. Just start typing your question and you’ll see search suggestions and popular answers appearing below. Articles within our Help Center also aim to be as comprehensive as possible, providing in-depth step-by-step guides in each article.

How can the Help Center help you?

The Help Center provides support to your organization to ensure every member stays across any product improvements or advancements through the new ‘Product Updates’ page. 

Additionally, the Help Center offers over 500 articles covering our features, everyday tasks you may need help with, and common troubleshooting tips for ease of use. Our step-by-step structure which includes screenshots ensures the process is as easy and simple to follow along as possible. Whether you’re a location administrator, have contractors accessing the portal, or an employee of your organization registering visitors, we have articles tailored for your experience.

Read more.

3 minutes read time

GDPR: What you need to know

Article updated: January 2019

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was enforced on May 25 2018.

The purpose of the GDPR is to:

“…harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy.”

The maximum penalty for breaching GDPR on or after the enforcement date are fines up to 4% of annual global turnover or €20 million (whichever is greater).

For businesses using visitor management apps/software, here are some key things you need to know:

1. GDPR will ensure businesses are only collecting personal information that is for “specified, explicit and legitimate purposes”.

Make sure you are only collecting the bare minimum of data for operational purposes. Be specific and transparent about how this data will be used so that every site visitor understands how and why their information is being collected.

2. Data subjects have a right to be forgotten.

Don’t “remember” visitor information by default without explicit consent. Of course, some people will want their information saved if they are regularly visiting your site – just make sure visitors can voluntarily opt in to have their data saved for next time. Additionally, only keep records for as long as is absolutely necessary.

Data subjects may withdraw their consent for you to hold their data at any time, but note that the subject’s rights may be measured against “the public interest in the availability of the data”.

3. If you are regularly processing or monitoring large quantities of data, your business must appoint either an internal or external Data Protection Officer (DPO).

Data Processors (e.g. WhosOnLocation) and Data Controllers (e.g. WhosOnLocation customers) must both appoint a DPO. The DPO must be appointed on the basis of professional qualities such as expert knowledge on data protection law and practices.

4. Only work with Data Processors (vendors) who provide “sufficient guarantees to implement appropriate technical and organizational measures in such a manner that processing will meet the requirements of this Regulation.”

WhosOnLocation has been working through an incredibly thorough process to ensure that our software provides features that enable our customers (Data Controllers) to be GDPR compliant.

Some of these features will include:

  • Giving our customers a way of automatically deleting (or anonymizing) visitor data after a certain length of time.
  • Allowing site administrators to enable an option for visitors to “Do not remember me” during the sign in process. This will prevent the returning visitor feature for this visitors subsequent visits.
  • Bulk visitor removal based on search terms should a visitor subsequently want their details removed from WhosOnLocation.
  • Showing a waiver (optionally with signature required) to visitors who you require consent from.

As a Data Processor, WhosOnLocation must also notify our customers of a data breach “without undue delay”.

What’s next?

Are you processing the data of EU citizens or offering a product or service in the EU? Are you using third party vendors to process or collect any kind of personal data? Make sure your vendors are GDPR compliant. You will also need to have a legal expert review your privacy, data collection and data processing policies.

To read about the key changes implemented in May, visit the EU GDPR FAQ page.

3 minutes read time

The True Cost of Poor Hazard Awareness and On-Site Safety

In 2015, 4,836 workers died from work-related injuries or illnesses in the United States. A significant portion of those fatalities – 7.3%, or over 350 – were in the manufacturing industry (United States Department of Labor).

Changes in health and safety legislation and practices have seen a huge reduction in work-related fatalities in the past decades. Since 1970, an estimated 75,000 lives have been saved in the United States through more effective health and safety management. That’s around 1,500 lives saved per year on average.

But there are still approximately 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers annually (a recently published US DOL statistic from 2016).

What is the cost of work-related injuries and illnesses?

First and foremost, the cost is human. As an organization, you want to take care of your employees and foster a positive workplace culture.

But there are real fiscal costs associated with poor health and safety practices too.

  • Lost working days
    Manufacturing injuries and illnesses resulted in a total of 118,050 days away from work (DAFW).
  • Loss of reputation
    A high rate of incidents or illnesses can negatively impact your reputation to current and prospective employees and clients.
  • Productivity losses
    Injured or unhealthy workers can lead to a decline in production rates and a high turnover rate.
  • Legal costs
    If you don’t comply with health and safety regulations, you could face big legal costs.
  • Insurance costs
    Insurance premiums can increase if your organization has a higher rate of illness and accidents.

According to the United States Department of Labor, businesses spend $170 billion a year on costs related to occupational injuries and illnesses – and these expenses come directly out of company profits.

But employee safety doesn’t cost. It pays. Workplaces that establish safety and health management systems can actually reduce their injury and illness costs by 20-40% (US Department of Labor).

 Related Infographic: Safety Statistics From The USA And Beyond

Safety and security starts by knowing who’s on-site.

To help ensure you have a tight grip on the safety and security of everyone on-site, use a visitor, contractor and employee management solution like WhosOnLocation.

You can use WhosOnLocation to…

  • Increase hazard awareness by making sure people acknowledge each hazard before continuing on-site
  • Improve site safety and security by knowing who’s on-site at any given time, currently or historically
  • Reduce risk of injury by ensuring everyone is properly inducted, certified and qualified
  • Effectively manage an evacuation and verify the safety of anyone signed into the site by using the WolEvac app

To learn more about how effective people presence management can vastly improve your site safety, download our latest white paper below.

Improving Safety White Paper - Visitor Management

Improving safety: Reduce Incidents Through Hazard Awareness and Verify the Safety of People When an Incident Occurs

As the safety landscape changes, organizations face new demands on an almost daily basis. The pressures to increase efficiency, deliver ROI, reduce risk and meet compliance are becoming top-level concerns.

Download White Paper >

6 minutes read time

Improving site safety and security in a multi-tenant building

In a multi-tenant building, how can you keep all of those in the building safe and aware of hazards? How can you ensure a smooth visitor experience from the moment someone enters the lobby or reception shared by all the other tenants in the building? And how can you manage and verify the safety of all visitors, contractors and employees on-site in an evacuation?

Many businesses operate in multi-tenant buildings, where the first point of contact is a shared lobby. These locations have multiple organizations in the one building with visitors entering through the same reception and security. This can make it difficult for businesses to manage the safety and physical security of their visitors, contractors and employees.

In some multi-tenant cases, they have a property management appointed reception or security team who take care of the whole building. Other times, one of the major tenants may own the responsibility for the shared lobby area and reception/security team. Other multi-tenant buildings might not have a shared reception at all, instead listing the tenants with the floor numbers beside the elevators.

There are many benefits of having a shared reception, but in most cases, there is double-handling. For example, visitors will approach the shared reception, be directed to a floor by the building or head tenant’s receptionist/security team to the reception or kiosk of the tenant that they are visiting as well. Having to sign-in twice can be confusing and add friction for visitors.

WhosOnLocation has a multi-tenant visitor management solution that makes having a shared reception smooth and simple for both tenants and visitors.

Here’s how it works.

1. Install a Multi-Tenant Kiosk

The Multi-Tenant Kiosk has been built to be used by any company or building that wants to manage multiple tenants from one kiosk.

When visitors, contractors, deliveries etc arrive on-site, they can sign-in to any of the organizations in the building (if they’re using WhosOnLocation and managed under the shared reception account). This means that they don’t need to sign-in again when they get to the tenant’s floor.

Benefits of having a multi-tenant kiosk:

  • In the case of an evacuation, the building staff have a list of all visitors in the building and can verify people’s safety directly from the WhosOnLocation WolEvac app.
  • Building security personnel have a record of anyone who is or who has been on-site. This helps them monitor and track all visitors and ensure that no one is anywhere they aren’t meant to be.
  • All visitors, contractors and employees can acknowledge any building hazards that aren’t tenant-specific.

How to set up a multi-tenant kiosk:
Each tenant can register their own WhosOnLocation account, and create a kiosk under each company account. Then email and we’ll do the rest!

Note: If some tenants use another visitor management solution, or prefer to use their own system, they can continue doing so and the kiosk can direct them to the correct level to sign-in there.

2. Assign a Multi-Tenant Sign In/Out Manager

What if visitors can’t use the kiosk for some reason? Or they’d simply prefer to talk to a person? In this case, they can go up to reception and be signed in by a concierge or receptionist, who has Multi-Tenant Sign In/Out Manager privileges.

The Multi-Tenant Sign In/Out Manager allows people from one WhosOnLocation account to manage the visitors for all organizations, set up in different accounts, from the one screen. This allows a shared reception area to be created and used for all organizations in one building seamlessly.

Here are some examples of how multi-tenant visitor and evacuation management might be the right solution for you:


As a property manager, the safety and security of your tenants, staff, contractors and visitors is your first priority. So you want to make sure that, in an evacuation, you can account for everyone in building.

Because your building has multiple tenants, you want a simple way to be able to verify the safety of everyone on-site without visitors to have to sign-in twice (first into the building, then again on the tenant’s floor).

You decide that the best way to more forward is to set up WhosOnLocation multi-tenant sign-in to improve evacuation management. You encourage your tenants to sign-up if they aren’t already using WhosOnLocation so that their visitors can be managed under your account. Now, when anyone enters the building, they can sign-in to visit any of your tenants through the kiosk or reception in the main lobby.

You can invite tenants to use WolEvac (WhosOnLocation’s evacuation app), and both your building staff and tenants’ floor wardens can verify the safety of anyone on-site.


You’re a tenant in a multi-story building. You’ve talked to the other tenants and discovered that of the 10 tenants in the building, 6 are using WhosOnLocation (including you), 2 are using other visitor management software systems and 2 are using paper-based sign-in methods.

The six of you using WhosOnLocation all have your own receptionists and kiosks on your levels. You decide that it would be easier to have a single sign-in point in the building lobby, and you want to appoint a ‘building receptionist’ who can sign all of your visitors in there. You decide to take on this responsibility and assign your receptionist to the shared lobby. Your receptionist then has the ability to sign visitors in to any of the businesses managed under your account (as their multi-tenant sign in/out manager).

Alternatively, if the visitor is going to one of the other businesses (not using WhosOnLocation or not managed under your account), the kiosk or receptionist can simply direct them to the correct level to sign in there.

About 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.

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.

6 minutes read time

Get the most out of WhosOnLocation: Using Add-Ons

Did you know that WhosOnLocation offers so much more than just basic visitor management functionality?

You can customize your WhosOnLocation account to suit your organization by turning on add-ons that meet your specific needs.

All add-ons in your WhosOnLocation account are inactive by default, and can only be enabled by the Account Owner. Each add-on is free and available to use on any trial or paid account.

How To Activate Add-ons

To activate an add-on, go to Tools > Account > Add-on Management, click Yes for the add-on and click Save. (After the Account Owner has enabled the add-on, user roles must be granted by an Administrator before a user will be able to access them.)

Here are 10 add-ons you can activate in your WhosOnLocation account:

1. Acknowledgement Notices

From time to time there may be a need to issue a notice informing people of a specific new hazard that has just occurred, or an event that is happening today or tomorrow.

It may only affect people on-site for that day, the next 48 hours, or longer but either way the hazard or event is only temporary. You may also need to track if people acknowledged their understanding of the notice, or provided extra information, for audit purposes.

Learn more

2. Asset Management

WhosOnLocation’s Asset Management Add-on makes it easy for organizations to manage an inventory of assets and takes the hassle away from tracking where those assets are and who is responsible for them. Assets you might want to track could include…

  1. Temporary access control cards
  2. Keys to doors
  3. Keys to vehicles
  4. Tools
  5. Safety Equipment and PPE gear

Learn more

3. Dashboards

A Dashboard is an easy to read, real-time summary of information displaying key people presence data at a given location. If you have a requirement to know how many people are on-site, whether they are visitors, employees, or service providers like contractors; a dashboard is a great way to display critical people presence metrics and data.

Learn more

4. Identity Management

WhosOnLocation supports a range of different ways to sign in and out. The Identity Management Add-on expands this by allowing employees or service providers another method of sign-in. When this add-on is enabled…

  1. Employees or service providers can tag themselves on or off-site by scanning their barcoded or RFID-enabled ID or Key Fob or Access Card – we refer to these as Tokens – at a visitor Kiosk or at an employee in/out board.
  2. Organizations can share access control data with their WhosOnLocation account, allowing employees to simply scan their access card to open an entry or exit door and have that transaction change the employee’s location status in their account.

Learn more

5. Induction Management

Many organizations require their employees and guests (visitors and contractors) to be aware of their health & safety and security policies, as well as the correct and approved procedures for undertaking or controlling tasks and jobs. These induction courses might be delivered in any number of ways, including PowerPoints, seminars, paper-based course booklets, third-party induction programs etc.

WhosOnLocation’s Induction Management makes it easy to track and maintain induction records, regardless of how the ‘course’ or ‘eLearning’ element was delivered.

Learn more

6. Qualifications Management

When people are on-site and performing certain tasks there may be a requirement for the person to be ‘qualified’ to perform that task. Whether it’s driving a forklift, doing electrical wiring work, working in a confined space, working from heights, acting as a Fire Warden or Fire Marshal, or any number of other tasks – being qualified to do so is often a prerequisite.

WhosOnLocation’s Qualifications Management tool allows your organization to:

  1. Keep track of whether a person’s qualifications, certifications, and accreditations are current;
  2. It will help you to comply with workplace regulations and;
  3. It will ensure that you have some ‘control’ in place to manage whether a person is permitted to carry out a task while on-site.

Learn more

7. Service Provider Management

WhosOnLocation takes away the hassle of service provider management by giving you easy to use tools to maintain accurate contractor records, to manage the presence of contractors on-site, and to report on all contractor and supplier activity, both in real-time and historically.

Service Provider Portal
Empower your service providers to add and manage information about their organizations and members by inviting them to use your Service Provider Portal. This will ensure records are accurate, timely, and easily updated (without the need for a middleman). It also means that your employees’ time is not spent constantly updating these records making your organization more productive.

Learn more

8. Triggers

Triggers help strengthen your security and Health & Safety policies through automated messaging and notifications when specific events occur. Triggers allow you to set-up events that may include one or more rules, which run when an event occurs. If all the rules match, then the assigned action(s) will be triggered. For example, you might set-up a Trigger for an automated email and SMS to send to security personnel when someone signs in after hours.

The Watchlist feature within the Triggers Add-on allows you to automatically check visitors entered into the system against internally generated “lists” and alert nominated people of their presence. Your lists could be anything from national persons of interest to competitors to VIPs.

Learn more

9. WolEvac

WolEvac is your evacuation management tool for mobile devices. It is available for all smartphones as it runs through the phone’s browser rather than a native app.

WolEvac users would normally be those employees who are safety marshals, or fire or floor wardens in a location. They can collaborate with each other to verify they have cleared their zones or areas, and then verify the safety of employees, visitors, and contractors once in the assembly area. Using the app, they can:

  1. Track that Zones are cleared
  2. Send SMS/Text asking ‘Are you safe?’
  3. Perform a manual roll-call
  4. Share critical messages with other safety marshals
  5. View ‘need help’ requests from people NOT safe
  6. View real-time verification progress
  7. View post evacuation reports

Learn more

10. WolPass

WolPass enables your users (employees) to send pre-registered visitors an email confirmation. This includes date, time and location of the event, directions and a Google map of the address, parking tips, Wi-Fi availability and much more all in one convenient email.

To improve the visitor experience you can also add Neighborhood Tips to your WolPass template. You can provide customized information and recommendations, such as where to grab a coffee, the local taxi company, nearby accommodation and more.

Learn more

2 minutes read time

Feature Highlight: Geolocation Tracking

Did you know you can use WolMobile to update and share locations? WolMobile can use your phone’s location services function to pinpoint where you are.

Employees, contractors, and service providers can update their geolocation if they are working off-site, alone, or remotely. After that, map coordinates are sent to your WhosOnLocation account where users can view the GeoLocation Updates map.

You can also set-up a trigger to send an email or SMS to anyone in your organization who needs to know about remote person’s location and status.

There are some very good safety and security reasons for updating and tracking locations:

To send Health and Safety alerts

Some locations might have site or location-specific hazards. Using WolMobile, employees can be sent hazard warnings or other notices they must acknowledge.

This is a great feature for managing hazard warnings and recording who has and who hasn’t acknowledged them.

To pull location reports

With location updates, you can run employee presence reports to see who is where, when they signed in, and if/when they signed out.

You can also see how they signed in – whether it was by using WolMobile, at an Employee kiosk, via a Location Manager, via an ID card scan etc.

It can be fun too!

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.

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.

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.