Organisations sector-wide – from schools to businesses, hospices and everything in between – are beginning to steadily adopt digital visitor management systems. Primarily this is reactive to the increase in threats to safety and data security which we have seen in recent months. Using a traditional visitor book is no longer an option. Data is unsecure and it doesn’t provide a dependable log of visitor activity. As organisations evaluate their choice of visitor check-in system, here are 5 key criteria to help you make a sound decision on investment:
1. Total cost of ownership
Where many will obviously concentrate on the initial purchase price of the product, it is important to consider the total cost of ownership. There are often peripheral costs which are overlooked, such as print refills for ID badges and RFID cards. It’s key to evaluate the cost of these when you are looking into the different visitor check-in systems available. You may want to ask how many print refills will you go through in an average year so you can work out the additional cost. As standard for most software providers you will also be required to pay an ongoing license fee, after the first year. Look out for user fees as well – you don’t want to see your monthly costs creeping up as you add users to the system!
At VisiPoint we have a transparent pricing structure, with a clear cost of ownership. The print rolls for our ID badge printer are a minimal expense – a cost of 4 pence per badge print. Our visitor management software suite comes with unlimited user licenses too, so you’ll never face unexpected bills as your organisation grows.
2. Ease of use
It’s essential that the system is efficient to provide return on investment. And in order for it to be efficient, it needs to be simple to use. Before you choose to purchase a system, a full demonstration is recommended so you can see for yourself how the system would operate in your reception environment. A visitor check-in system should be so intuitive that reception staff are not distracted from the workload in order to show visitors the process – or this indeed would defeat the purpose.
VisiPoint is an easy-to-use visitor management system with effortless user journeys. To see how visitor sign-in works, watch this video.
3. Integration with existing systems
The possible integration with existing systems is a key consideration as this can streamline several processes and ensure you are getting the optimum return on investment. For example, integration with your existing management system could eliminate manual data entry and resource spent on management reporting. Some visitor check-in systems can also offer integration with door access systems to sew together visitor management and access control.
VisiPoint offers integrations with existing management systems to maximise operational efficiency – such as the MIS system for schools. Additionally, the system comes with an integrated RFID reader so that staff can use their existing access cards to sign-in in seconds.
What support is required for the system to keep ticking over? You should enquire to see if the system provider offers support for the system and what the ongoing cost is for this. It’s crucial to understand if there will be down-time in the event of the problem and how quickly the support will be provided.
VisiPoint offers a range of support packages, with the basic package including helpdesk/ telephone support and next day swap-out for hardware if issues cannot be resolved remotely by the support team.
This is very pertinent issue at the moment with the upcoming new GDPR regulations. Organisations are liable for the data they collect and process, and the privacy of this data should be taken very seriously. Visitor check-in systems typically store the data captured in the cloud, or on premise. Before you purchase a system, you must ascertain how secure this data is and if it is encrypted.
The data collected in the VisiPoint system is stored securely in the cloud, with data encrypted both at transfer and at rest. This eliminates the risk of data loss or breach.
Making the move from a traditional visitor book, to a digital visitor management system is essential for the safety of staff and visitors. Yet, it is key that you select the best solution for your reception needs and for your budget. Be sure to assess the five criteria above to when evaluating visitor check-in systems.