A physical security report by Memoori showed that in 2019 the market for access control products and visitor management systems reached over $8 billion. A forecast of the world market for 2024, shows it could be worth over $12 billion.
Why this drastic increase? Many businesses are seeing the need to secure their facilities not only from data breaches but physical breaches, as well. You can integrate access control systems with any visitor management system, preventing unauthorized entry into buildings or compounds.
Visitor management software is now used to track the entry and exit of persons from both residential and commercial facilities. This helps to increase security, protecting employees and residents, and in the case of schools, students and teachers.
You can protect your employees at your workplace or residents at your gated community too. Read on to find out the best visitor management system to suit your needs.
What Is a Visitor Management System & How Is It Utilized In Your Industry?
Any residential or commercial space needing security or privacy can benefit from a visitor management system. Visitor management systems monitor visitor movement at any location including arrivals and departures. The visitor management software used in these systems can:
- Protect the privacy of residents, employees, teachers, or students
- Improve security
- Track visitor activity
It will allow you to collect relevant visitor information. This can include a person’s name, company or business, date and time of visit, and contact information. It can also capture an image of the visitor so that you can keep track of anyone who enters or exits your building or community.
You can use visitor management systems in:
- Gated Communities
- Office Buildings
- Multi-Tenant Residential Buildings
- Retail and Dining Locations
- Government Buildings
- Commercial Real Estate
- Schools & Universities
Guest Management Software Solutions
Visitor management software is the basis of all electronic visitor management systems. The software records information about visitors that enter or exit your premises. You can store this information in a database and access it when needed.
Some visitor management software systems are compatible with desktops or laptops. These are usually located within your building at the front desk or a security access point. Some users opt for a self-service visitor management kiosk that provides an easy-to-use platform such as LobiBox.
Depending on the size of your business or residential complex, you can integrate the software with identity management software to increase security so that you can effectively protect your building and all those who work or reside there.
On-premise visitor management systems were available before cloud computing. They are still used in both public and private facilities. This system stores your data and applications on a local machine that runs on your company’s network. Many companies chose to shift to a cloud-based solution due to limitations of on-premise software including:
- The training it requires
- The initial investment needed
- It is expensive to scale and difficult to maintain
- It does not facilitate check-in apps that allow access from outside the building
- The server can crash and data breaches are possible
Cloud-Based Visitor Management Software
The advent of cloud computing resulted in the shift from having information stored on local systems to having them in the cloud. This allows you to access the system’s information from anywhere. This type of system facilitates third-party integration and can be quickly deployed for any business suite that needs an extra layer of security.
Many business suites opt for the cloud based solution to build a reliable visitor and entry database that can be tracked across all physical locations. Another benefit of the cloud-based visitor management infrastructure is the remote access and control capabilities. Regardless of where you are in the world, you’ll be able to access your visitor management system with a computer or mobile device.
Types of Visitor Management Solutions
You can choose the system that works best for you. This will ultimately depend on the software you choose and where you’ll be implementing the system. Systems used at residential locations will vary from ones used in a commercial building in a variety of ways. Here are the types of visitor management systems that are currently available on the market:
Front Desk Check-In
This traditional face-to-face check-in system is a personal way to manage visitors. However, it can result in high overhead costs, inefficiencies, and data management issues. You can reduce overhead costs by utilizing an automated visitor management system that does not rely on a physical employee being present.
Visitor Management Kiosks
These allow self-registration or check-in. Visitors enter their information via a virtual receptionist kiosk or shared tablet at the lobby or entrance. Virtual receptionist kiosks are a powerful tool for the modern office suite, allowing businesses to reduce overhead and automate scheduled access for visitors and employees alike. Many businesses with low-medium visitor foot traffic opt to utilize a visitor management kiosk as an alternative to a traditional front desk receptionist.
Integrated Visitor Management Units
These systems integrate with access control systems. They prevent unauthorized entry through doors, or any other access points of a building. Together, they can control locks, readers, and controllers to secure any building or compound.
In the modern era, commercial buildings and business suites are utilizing the combination of access control systems and visitor management to provide a secure and efficient way to keep track of building entries and exits. Storing this data can be useful for improving efficiency down the line, and can be utilized for security investigations when needed.
School Visitors & Security
Visitor management systems became an integral part of school security. This was a result of the unfortunate rise of school violence in recent years. Many schools started implementing controlled access to buildings. This included visitor logging or a web-based visitor management system.
Establishing a secure method of tracking and logging visitors is one of the best strategies an administrator can use to improve school security overall.
Why Do Visitor Management Systems Matter?
Visitor management has become more than just a novelty. It is a Health, Safety, Security & Environment (HSSE) requirement for many businesses. Unknown visitors can pose a threat to your business. A visitor management system is another facet that safeguards employees, data, and your workplace.
Common Visitor Management System Features
Visitor Logging – The logging in of visitors allows easy access to the information. This is important if a mass evacuation is necessary or in the case of any type of emergency. This data can also be useful during internal and external security investigations.
Emergency Evacuation List – Visitor management software can facilitate the safe evacuation of visitors. It can account for every on-site person and add them to your visitor evacuation lists.
Efficient Sign In – Visitor management software that allows visitors to sign in before arriving can significantly increase the system’s efficiency. These systems also allow for automated building access for the visitors, eliminating the need for a receptionist or doorman.
Access to Visitor Information – You can program your visitor management software to collect visitor data based on your company’s security policies. It’s a great way to ensure you meet your organization’s regulations or compliance goals.
Visitor Satisfaction – An efficient sign-in system enhances your visitors’ experience. Not only will it be hassle-free, but visitors will feel secure knowing there are systems in place in the event of an emergency.
Reduction of Overhead Costs – Self-registration reduces the work of the front desk and/or security personnel. It then frees them up to do other important tasks.
Increased Building Security – Visitor management systems enhance security. They provide increased visibility. They facilitate the tracking of visitors entering the building, checking in, those on the premises, and those who have checked out. A properly installed system will also deny access to visitors that do not have prior permission or a scheduled meeting.
How To Choose a Visitor Management System
Your company or building’s visitor management needs will be dependent on various factors. These include the type of information to be collected or the amount of foot traffic.
Either might be better facilitated with self-registration or an automated visitor management system. Here are some visitor management features to consider:
Make a good first impression. Use special features such as contactless entry or self-registration. Program the software process flow and branding to suit the needs of your visitors and your building.
Data Security and User Privacy
You can customize your visitor management system to design specific workflows that can differentiate between different types of guests. Categories can include personal guests, customers, delivery drivers, or contractors. Many businesses will define individual access levels and security policies for each type of visitor.
You may want particular integrations based on the type of facility you have. These may include access control systems, surveillance systems, video intercom, or digital ID software. Visitor management systems integrated with access control systems are proven to increase business efficiency and security.
Mobile Communication Capability
You can receive notifications via an app, SMS, or email when your guests check-in. Some visitor management systems also allow you to make customized emergency announcements or send important messages to visitors.
Reports and Insights
A visitor management system is only as good as the data it provides. Reports generated from the system can help with decision-making. You can also use the data to provide better customer service by tailoring visitor experiences based on specific segmentations.
Other features such as badge management, ID scanning, and of course, cost are also very important when deciding which visitor management system is best for you.
The Cost of Visitor Management Systems
Some companies that provide visitor management systems offer various payment methods, free demos, and trials. Often there’s a monthly subscription or a charge for each system user, or a one-time standard cost.
Although cost is an important factor, also ensure that the system can provide the other important features you need and that they have great customer service and after-sales support.
Here are some of the initial and monthly costs you can expect from some of the available visitor management systems on the market:
- LobiBox Visitor Management System
- Initial Hardware: FREE
- Monthly Cost: $249
- Initial Hardware: $2500 – $5500
- Monthly Cost: $250 for 100 apartments (charged per user)
- Initial Hardware: $1000 & Up
- Monthly Cost: N/A
- Initial Setup: $1700 – $3000
- Monthly Cost: starting at $100
How To Decide On The Best Visitor Management System
The best visitor management system for your organization or compound will depend on your specific needs. Choose a system based on client reviews, pricing, and the features you need. Try to ensure that the system you purchase resolves common pain points you experience and increases visitor efficiency in the long-run.