How Visitor Management leads to a safer, more secure facility

By Brady People ID

On the surface, the goal of a Visitor Management system seems pretty clear: to process and track guests at a facility to give an organization a better idea of who’s coming and going.

However, Visitor Management has a high-level goal that’s arguably more important than the one mentioned above: to increase facility security.

Visitor Management and facility security go hand-in-hand, and both are key to providing a great experience for employees and guests. A good Visitor Management system will make a site safer in a number of ways.

1. A Visitor Management installation deters would-be troublemakers.

Imagine a nefarious character approaches a worksite, intent on gaining access to a building and walking off with some cash or other valuables.

He walks up to the front door, casing the joint.

What would he prefer to see in the front lobby: an elevator bank without a soul around or a staffed front desk with a guard standing by a sign that says “GUESTS MUST SIGN IN”?

The answer is obvious: one of those scenarios causes the would-be bad guy to bail and go to a different site, while the other only makes him feel more bold.

One of the most obvious benefits of a staffed Visitor Management installation is that it serves as a visual deterrent, discouraging people with bad intentions from even trying to enter a facility.

A Visitor Management installation at a site entrance sends a clear message to troublemakers of all kinds: this site takes security seriously, and any threats to that security will not be tolerated.

2. Visitor Management makes it easy to identify people who aren’t authorized to be on-site.

At a busy worksite, like a multi-tenant office building or crowded warehouse, one of the most difficult things for security personnel to do is determine who’s allowed to be on-site and who isn’t.

Particularly at large facilities, faces change frequently. New employees are hired, different groups work different shifts. It can be hard for a security officer to get to know everyone’s face, and can be even harder to quickly identify that face in a crowd.

However, a solid employee identification program coupled with a Visitor Management system takes that burden off of security officers by allowing them to identify an unwelcome guest with a quick glance.

The basis of many Visitor Management programs is a visitor badge. These badges can range from simple paper badges to innovative expiring badges, which show an expiration indicator after a guest’s time is up.

By combining an employee ID program with a Visitor Management program that uses visitor badges, a site can ensure that every person authorized to be on-site has a badge.

In that case, it’s clear that anyone who isn’t wearing a badge either forget it at home or isn’t supposed to be there. In either case, security personnel can zero in on that person to see what’s really going on.

Using visitor badges helps to eliminate the guesswork that comes with identifying unknown personnel, taking some of the burden off of security staff and freeing them up to make important decisions more quickly.

3. Visitor Management watch lists help keep unwanted characters out.

Visitor Management installations increase security by simply being present at a building’s entrance, as discussed above.

However, in some cases, a person who isn’t allowed on-site may still try to gain entry, whether it’s a disgruntled former employee or an executive from a rival company who has been snooping around a bit too much.

Without Visitor Management, it’s virtually impossible to stop these people from gaining access to a facility. Even if a security guard is stationed at the entrance, he or she would need to quickly identify the person walking through the lobby as unwelcome.

Not only is this not the most reliable security measure, but it also creates the potential for some very awkward cases of mistaken identity.

With a Visitor Management system, a facility can load a list of names into so-called “watch lists”, which are lists that exist within the software to tell the user that a person isn’t welcome on-site.

These lists can be added manually or can pull from government sex offender registries and other databases.

Watch lists are particularly effective when the Visitor Management installation also requires the scanning of a license or ID card for entry; this way, there’s no way for the guest to lie about his or her identity.

Using watch lists helps keep threats out before they’re ever given a chance to impact your facility.

By adding a Visitor Management installation to a worksite, an organization is able to truly enhance the safety and security of all on-site personnel. Visitor Management solutions are available for organizations both large and small, ranging from visitor logbooks that use expiring badges to full-scale software solutions. Visit www.BradyPeopleID.com/VisitorManagement to learn more.