Business Person Signing In On Tablet

Why You Should Invest in a Digital Visitor Logbook

Traditional paper-based systems are rapidly being replaced with digital alternatives, and the visitor logbook is no exception. It’s not surprising — as part of an integrated Identity and Access management (IAM) solution, a digital logbook is a much more secure, robust and immediate way to understand, monitor and manage who is on your premises. We’ll explore some of the main benefits of digital visitor software, and how moving to a cloud-based visitor management system can strengthen your security while leading to a more delightful visitor experience.

Issues With Paper-Based Visitor Logbooks

The conventional visitor management system — a book you hold at reception where visitors sign in and out — has several weaknesses:

  • It’s prone to human error. Receptionists and visitors will forget to add details to a paper management system.
  • It’s not great for auditing. A paper logbook only records initial entry and exit for the premises; it does not track where people are within that time. It’s also difficult to parse if you need to find details on a specific visitor or day.
  • It may go against privacy regulations. Laws and compliance like GDPR, HIPAA, and others may require that you keep all information, including visitor names and contact details, confidential.
  • It adds extra friction and inconvenience to the visitor experience. Signing into and out of a traditional logbook is an extra step for visitors. For a busy campus, that can add to waiting times; not having all their identification or other details on hand can cause frustration for visitors.
  • It expends staff resources. Reception staff need to spend time asking people to sign in and requesting people sign back out again. Visitors also spend their time signing logbooks instead of doing something more productive.
  • It doesn’t provide extra direction to visitors. An electronic system can automate the pre-registration, invite and check-in processes. It will offer helpful information to your visitors when and where they need it, whether that's directions to the building or a reminder about a company's health and safety policy.
  • It’s not always current. This makes it difficult to track visitor counts or to prepare for emergencies.
  • It lists visits in a silo. There’s no ability to schedule visits for hosts or invite visitors. What you see is a first come, first served list of visitors. 

Benefits of a Digital Visitor Log

Integrating With Badge and Other IAM Systems
The real power of digital visitor management software comes when it’s used as part of an overall IAM and badge management system. Attaching authenticated identities to badges means it’s easy to track and use badge management best practices through your digital logs. Through using authenticated identities, you are able to extend the best practices utilized for employee access badge management to visitors and other temporary cardholders. This provides central management, reporting and control as part of a holistic solution.

Instant Tracking of Where All Visitors Are
A digital log provides up-to-the-second updates on where visitors are in your facilities when integrated with your physical access control system. From when they first come into the building, to tracking them through doors that require badge access, to when they leave, you’ll always be aware of their location. This can help with:

  • Robust visitor and security records of where and when visitors arrived and left, and how they interacted with locations and facilities during their visit
  • Strong auditing capabilities, so you can meet regulatory, compliance and security needs
  • Immediate reporting of overall visitor numbers and customized insights, searches and filtering for particular visitors, hosts, locations and other criteria

Enhanced Security
A digital log helps your security team to ensure people only have the right access at the right time by:

  • Screening visitors at initial entry, and if they try to enter specific areas
  • Checking that visitors are not going into restricted areas and that they are authorized for certain locations
  • Identifying how people traverse and use different areas and ensure sensitive parts of the premises are properly protected
  • Getting notifications if algorithms find unusual patterns of behavior in logs
  • Using log information to immediately add, remove or change visitors’ privileges on a badge
  • Keeping employees and visitors safe

Emergency Preparedness
An up-to-date, location-based digital visitor management solution gives you access to vital information in an emergency. You can design evacuation plans and other contingencies for specific situations and ensure all visitors are properly accounted for in the event of a disaster. You can also use your digital logs to check the flow of visitors throughout your premises and pay attention to things like occupancy limits, or the use of elevators, stairs and other access points.

Better Visitor Experience and Productivity
Badge management and digital visitor logs can become a net positive for your business, brand and premises, rather than an inconvenience. Fast self-service kiosks allow visitors to check themselves in, answer any necessary security questions and notify hosts. These check-ins are then recorded in the digital logbook, and badges can be enabled for certain areas, for a seamless visitor experience.

This creates a better brand impression while freeing up your reception staff to provide value-added services to visitors.

Workforce ID Visitor Management Provides an Integrated and Streamlined Visitor Management Process

The front desk is where the visitor experience starts — impress them with a safe, simple and effective sign-in process. WorkforceID Visitor Manager makes it easy to:

  • Automate check-in and reduce wait times
  • Customize screening questions to your security needs — keep check-in short and simple or require additional checks
  • Go touchless and minimize infection risks at a self-service visitor kiosk
  • Automate and enforce compliance with visitor access and policy-based registration across all offices
  • Simplify compliance audits

Learn more about WorkforceID Visitor Manager.

Kate Kim brings over 15 years of experience in access control and visitor management spaces. For the last 5 years, Kate has provided Product Marketing and Product Management leadership for HID Visitor Solutions and the EasyLobby SVM product. Prior to joining HID, she led a global team responsible for card access and front lobby support across variety of environments at Target Corporation. She is based in Minneapolis, MN.