Buying a visitor management system (VMS) may be a no-brainer for security, compliance, safety, and a smoother overall workflow. But not all systems are created the same, and some companies may not offer the features you need to run your VMS effectively.
That’s why it’s crucial to ask questions upfront about how the system will fit into your current workspace and staffing arrangements and protect you and your visitors. And while most of these questions will be directed toward a VMS vendor, some need to be asked internally first so that management and employees understand the needs being addressed and any new responsibilities they may have once the system is in place.
Without a good sense of what your visitor management solution can do and who will help handle the details, the benefits of your investment may be lost. So from considering unexpected costs to handling potential hazards and changing COVID protocols, we’ve put together a 3-part series to prepare you with some of the key questions companies should be asking when considering a digital visitor management system.
What features do I need in a visitor management system (VMS)?
When thinking about what to look for in a VMS, zero in on companies that offer a range of options that can be customized based on your evolving needs.
- Do you have multiple job sites?
- Do you need check-in kiosks at each one?
- What features do you need beyond a digital sign-in?
- Will the system need to scan IDs and print badges?
- Will you need perimeter sensors and geofencing capabilities on some sites to keep visitors safe and your property secure?
Which questions should a visitor management system ask a visitor?
It’s helpful to take time with your staff to ensure you have a good handle on the questions staff needs to know upfront. For example, some departments may need to confirm safety certifications, while others may need to use advanced access algorithms to grant entry to parts of the building. Many buildings merely need an ID verification and a reason for the visit.
Of course, on a secure worksite, there may be a longer list of questions, and they may need to be customized based on the visitor. That’s why it’s important to be sure a VMS can handle these different situations and apply them in the right instances. It’s crucial to understand your options for customizing the visitor experience so you aren’t wasting time gathering too much data or the wrong types of data.
How is employee and visitor data protected by the visitor management system and its vendor?
Businesses will need to decide whether visitor data will be hosted locally on-site or in the cloud. Some visitor management software vendors have cloud-based systems that handle customer data, so you don’t have to. However, it’s still wise to ask if customer data is encrypted and regularly purged, where it is stored (for compliance purposes), and where liability lies in the event of a data breach.
If the company purchasing the VMS houses the company data on their own servers or in their own cloud, these are also important considerations. If you collect personal data from visitors, it’s important to be prepared to answer questions about how it’s being safeguarded and inform employees and visitors of their privacy rights.
What kinds of reports and statistics can I get from a VMS?
A good visitor management system will provide an intuitive dashboard so that businesses can spot trends, pull data for reports, and use check-in/out data for tasks such as billing. While data may be collected primarily for security purposes, it’s potentially profitable in the long term to look at visitor data to see how processes can be streamlined to make everyone more safe and productive.
You’ll also want to ask if the VMS will allow you to easily create custom reports to answer questions about everything from repeat visitors to the number of monthly perimeter alerts. For example, Sine’s VMS includes an intuitive and customizable dashboard so you can see the statistics you need to improve your visitor flow and security.
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Effectively handling visitors can save you money on personnel, security breaches, lost productivity, compliance management, and improve your overall brand image. But choosing a vendor for your visitor management system can be a complex process. Brainstorming your needs ahead of time and thinking logically about the setup you need and the features you’d like to have will make the process more efficient.
With the right VMS, such as Sine’s visitor management system and its multiple integrations, you’ll have the flexibility you need to do simple check ins, set up complex perimeter alerts, and everything in between. And better yet, you’ll be able to scale up when your needs change.