What To Look For In a Visitor Management System

by Glenn Hicks on December 13, 2019
The Next Generation of IWMS: iXMS

An easy-to-use visitor management system creates a positive first impression for job candidates, clients, and guests. It shows your company is forward-thinking and just as concerned about security as you are about their visit. (After all, no one wants to be met with an unoccupied desk and a paper sign-in sheet, especially when they’re visiting for the first time.)

When it comes to visitor management technology, there are a number of different options, including free software systems. But like most things in life, you usually get what you pay for. And when it comes to workplace security, you can’t afford to cut corners.

Here are four important visitor management system features that should be included in the software you are considering.

4 Features Of A Top-Notch Visitor Management System

While there are dozens of visitor management solutions available, some are objectively better than others. When considering your options, don’t settle for software that can’t offer the following features:

1. Pre-Registration through a visitor management system

One of the most important visitor management system features is that it should facilitate easy hosting for on-site or off-site events by offering guests the ability to pre-register. Prior to the event, you can send guests an email with instructions on how to check-in before they arrive. Then, on the day of the event, guests don’t have to wait in line and your events team has more time to answer questions and help visitors navigate the venue.

2. Microsoft Outlook Integration

With a Microsoft Outlook integration, you can email visitors important information before they arrive. For example, you can send a welcome email with your office address, Wi-Fi password, parking instructions and details on how to check-in. You can also include a QR code for visitors to scan when they arrive, helping to speed up the check-in process.

3. Self-Service Check-In

A self-service check-in option means guests don’t have to wait for your front desk staff to be available; they can just use a kiosk. After they enter their name, the software will prompt them to sign any required documentation (like an NDA) and print a guest badge with their photo. Once the visitor has completed , the software will alert the appropriate team members via email, Slack or push notification on their mobile device.

4. Security Watchlist Cross-Check

One of the most important visitor management system features is an emphasis on workplace security. Whenever a guest checks in, the visitor management software will review your uploaded security watchlist to see if they are on it. If an unauthorized individual attempts to sneak in, the visitor management software will alert the appropriate personnel. In addition, you can use the software’s real-time reporting tools to view visitor history and lobby activity should an incident occur.

Above all else, the most essential component of a visitor management system is a streamlined, intuitive user interface. If the software is clunky or difficult to use, the feature set is irrelevant.

15 Questions to Ask When Evaluating a Visitor Management System

To ensure you make the most informed decision, you have to know what visitor management security features to ask about to providers. Here are 15 important questions:

  1. Is your solution on-premise, hosted or SaaS?
  2. What hardware or additional software is required to use your solution?
  3. Is your development team in-house or do you outsource?
  4. Do you offer a trial of your solution? If so, how long does the trial last?
  5. What kind of integrations are available with your solution? (For instance, does it allow visitors to use wayfinding software and digital signage to navigate your building after they arrive?)
  6. Who is responsible for implementing integrations?
  7. What are your solution’s reporting capabilities? Can reports be customized?
  8. How does your company protect our data from cyberattacks and outages?
  9. How long does software implementation take and who is responsible for it?
  10. What type of training do you offer and how is it provided?
  11. Are software updates automatically deployed or do they have to be manually implemented?
  12. ow frequently is the software updated?
  13. Are there fees associated with software updates?
  14. What do you charge for ongoing maintenance and upgrades?
  15. Do you provide ongoing customer support? If so, what does it cost?

Many visitor management system features can impress guests before they even arrive. You just need to make sure you invest in the right solution.


Glenn Hicks

A member of the Business Development team, Glenn has years of experience with business process improvement on the Commercial Real Estate and Facilities Management sides.

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