Visitors are undoubtedly an integral part of any workplace, industry, factory or institution. However, keeping a track of individuals entering and leaving at such facilities is important as it raises the primary concern of security. In the early days, organisations use to resort to using basic techniques like a log book mentioning in/out entries. With the advancement in technology, high-tech visitor management software can help in accurately managing this very activity and ensure a safer and more organised workplace. That is how the concept of Visitor Management came into practice – for tracking and monitoring guests at workplaces or any such facilities. It involves tools and techniques used for monitoring and tracking the visitors effectively as well as reduces the risk of unwanted intruders and trespassers inside the facility. At the same time, having an efficient visitor management system psychologically too gives a feeling of comfort and safety to the employees of the organisation. The following technologies play a key role in having an effective visitor management system:
- Digital Video Surveillance Systems – Digital Video Surveillance or Closed Circuit TV systems assist in monitoring access to secure areas. These systems help in creating and maintaining a video record of all the visitors at the facility. In addition, a reactive mechanism which sends an alert in case of suspected intrusion can also be integrated into the device.
- Access Control Systems – Access Control Systems ensure that employees, contractors, and outside visitors are granted the necessary access to the facility using features such as swipe cards, tokens for proximity, keypads with PIN, and so on. This helps in preventing unauthorised access to a specific or entire area of the facility. For internal purposes, these systems can also be customised to provide different types of access to different people based on their role in the organisation. For example, an IT warehouse can be made accessible only to the IT department. These systems can further be customised to create temporary badges for visitors which are active only for a specific period and expire on the validity end date and time. Also, it is possible to manage and monitor several company locations from a single central location. These systems can be modified to provide a waiver of the access checks at the discretion of the management of the organisation.
- Biometric Scanners – The introduction of Biometric Fingerprint or Retina Scanner has helped in building a robust and fool-proof Visitor Management System. It has eliminated the needs for manual scanning of the bar code which is usually printed on the entry pass or the ID. Once the visitor is registered with the Biometric Scanner for the first time, the visitor’s data gets uploaded in the system and is linked with the relevant fingerprint or retina. This reduces the need for data entry in the system each time the same visitor visits the facility. On verification of the fingerprint or retina scan the stored data is associated and displayed to confirm and ensure the visitor’s identity. Further, the visitor can have access to the specific meeting room which can be pre-configured in the system.
- Web Based Real Time Systems – Visitor Management System over the web can be configured where it connects the visitors to the organisation’s employee. As soon as the system verifies the details of the visitor, it sends a notification to the concerned person indicating the arrival of his visitor. The system can also be enhanced to build an approval mechanism where the person being visited can either approve or reject the visitor. Once the approval is processed the visitor pass gets printed. In case of a planned appointment, the online system can be used to pre-book the meeting rooms at the desired date and time. This helps in ensuring a smooth process and drastically reducing the manual effort needed for such activities.
AADHAR number is a unique identity number provided to every citizen of India. Considered as the largest national identification card, it is expected to cross 1Billion cards very soon. Organizations as well as government establishments are increasingly looking for Visitor Management Systems which can offer digital identification using the AADHAR card. It is quite possible that the use of AADHAR number to authenticate genuine admission, especially at sensitive ports of entry, is soon going to be in great demand. Technology companies building visitor management system and time and attendance management system have already started exploring it.
Visitor Management Systems come in handy in case of a natural calamity too as the number of people trapped inside a facility can be gathered quickly. Since the personal details of all employees are anyway available with the company, it also aids rescue operations by providing the details of the other guests. A Visitor Management System is a powerful tool to provide any kind of analysis which is required by the management. It also improves the operational efficiency of the security system and the visitors’ experience.