We live in an era where the average office building is no longer average at all. Constrictions on area size have resulted in buildings that grow upward, rather than outward, and the not unusual habit of one building housing several large corporations. Larger size equals increased traffic, larger grid requirements and increased environmental impact, not to mention the effects seen inside the building, with security concerns, productivity, and internal office structure developments.
Enter the Smart Building.
With the use of ‘The Internet of Things’, building automation is on a whole new level. Helping businesses to save time, money, and the environment, smart buildings use automated processes and data collection sensors to automatically control a buildings operations and improved the safety, comfort, and productivity of their occupants.
One of the key areas in which smart buildings are improving the lives of their occupants is by using digital visitor management to authorise and manage the access of staff, contractors, and visitors to the building. Whilst you might not think this would be an area in which much smart building technology would shine, it is remarkable the difference a little innovation can make to day-to-day processes.
Before employing smart building technologies, the admittance of occupants and visitors to a building was slow, time-intensive, and could demand the use of several human resources. Not something you’ve noticed? This is generally because it’s just something we’ve gotten used to and have learned to live with. Long line ups to check-in, the sign-off of security guards, temporary ID’s needing to be issued… but just because we’re used to this doesn’t mean there isn’t a better way.
Airports were the first to realise this fact, and are an excellent example of how a little ingenuity can change our lives. Self check-in kiosks transformed the line up experience. People went from long lines and tedious waiting periods to skipping lines, pre-filling check-in and sailing through bag drop off. Smart Buildings are capitalising on these experiences and streamlining their own check-in procedures, making a faster, more efficient and hassle free experience to visiting and working in offices and large corporate buildings.
So exactly how are Smart Buildings removing the stress of check-in for their visitors with software platforms like Sine?
Speeding up the check-in process
Rather than having to line up to check-in and gain access to the building, staff and visitors alike can fast-track the process by obtaining the free-to-download Sine Pro app. With the app already installed on their smartphone, Sine will use location services to detect when a used has arrived at the building. Upon arrival the app will then confirm if they want to check-in automatically and, if required, a photo ID badge will be printed for them to collect on their way through, negating the need for a security guard to issue one manually.
Check-in can also be achieved using a strategically placed iPad (or two… or however many you would like really) at the entrance to your building, giving your visitors the choice of how they choose to check into your location. For repeat visitors to a building, such as a staff member who works there, Sine’s check-in process can be streamlined, ensuring team members waste no time with repetitive check-in procedures on a daily basis.
Integrating visitor arrival notifications
If approval is required for a visitor to gain access to the building, this too can be automated, negating the need for staff to be on hand to facilitate the request. When a visitor requiring host approval begins the check-in process, a notification will automatically be sent to their host, requesting confirmation that they are authorised to enter the building. The host can elect to receive such notifications via email, in-app notification or via direct message, ensuring they are always reachable, and the visitors check-in process will not be finalised until authorisation is received, ensuring the safety and security of the buildings occupants.
Invitations and fast track check-in
Calendar integrations and CSV uploads ensure that hosts can upload visitor information directly to Sine, creating an invitation that then links to their calendar. This ensures that meetings are known before hand, hosts can dictate what times it is appropriate for the visitor to visit, and visitor information is already in the system. As invitations provide fast track QR codes and numbers, upon arrival a visitor simply scans their code and the system pulls up their information.
For multiple visitors, expedited check-in can be achieved with the pre-printing of photographic IDs and visitor passes, ensuring that even when a large group of people arrives at your building, they are able to gain access quickly without the need to bypass any security procedures, making them feel welcomed but also protecting the safety of the building’s occupants. It’s the best of both worlds.
Combining security in the check-in flow
Possibly one of the biggest issues in running a large multi-office building is security. Not only do you want to ensure that each individual office or business is secure, but that the building itself is as well. So how do you combine these requirements into one smooth security system, that embraces the requirements of both, without impeding the efficiency of either?
During the check-in process the SinePoint Pro iPads can be used to take photos for identification. Hosts can be picked per office location, ensuring offices know instantly that they have a visitor making their way up. Hosts can also be used to reject visitors, ensuring that any unwelcome or ill-timed visitors do no have guaranteed access to the offices they are trying to enter. Lastly, printed ID badges can be used to display both the visitor, and who they are here to see. See a visitor with a label showing their Host is “Zachary Dannings – Level 1”, and you are on Level 4? You know instantly that they are trespassing, as well as who they are, and can alert security straight away. Security can then use the photo taken on visitor entry to know who they need to locate.
Sine’s visitor management software is already in use in large corporate offices around the world. To see how Sine can be used by your Smart Building to streamline your visitor management, book a live online demo today.