Imagine a potential candidate arrives for an interview at your organization. Her meeting was scheduled for 2 pm at your gleaming office but since a previous candidate did not turn up, she was bumped up to the 10 am slot. She proceeds to the visitor center where the security guard asks her to register her details. When she scans her ID the system informs her that she is not registered in the system. Puzzled, she attempts a few more times before heading back to the desk. The security officer does some digging only to find that she was scheduled for 2 pm and so he cannot let her through. A series of frantic calling begins where she attempts to get hold of the organizer to help in changing the details, worrying that she is going to be late for her interview.
This is not an uncommon scenario. Even we have experienced this when we make visits to companies. A lot of organizations have a meeting scheduling system that is decoupled with a visitor management system. In such cases, the staff who is requesting to meet with a specific external visitor such as a vendor, partner or candidate for interview will need to reserve the room within the calendaring system then proceed to the visitor management system to re-enter all the visitor details with the location and timing. Any changes that happen to take place in the meeting schedule will result in the staff having to go into the visitor management system again to make the appropriate changes.
This method has proven to be time consuming, not to mention the possibilities of error as well as overlooking changes to the visitor management system once the schedule changes. When the visitor arrives at the new schedule, their identification no longer works as it is scheduled for the wrong date and time. A rapid scrambling by the security guard and the visitor to call the staff to quickly register them on the spot so that he or she can proceed forward. This certainly does not reflect well on the organizing capacity of the company. A more risky situation is when a meeting was cancelled but the visitor's registration was not removed from the visitor management system, posing a potential security risk.
With an integrated visitor management system that is linked to the room booking system, staff can book the meeting room and then invite the necessary visitors within one go. By entering critical fields, all visitor information can be captured immediately. Any changes to the schedule will automatically trigger an email to the visitor to notify him about the changes.
There are several benefits to this technique:
One of the key benefits of having an integrated visitor management system and room booking system is savings in terms of time and effort needed to manage both the meeting as well as the visitors. With an integrated system, the visitors are tied to the schedule setup for the meeting. So, any changes to the meeting or cancellations automatically trigger an email to the visitor to notify him or her about the changes. Having an integrated system also removes error arising from having to enter the date and time as well as the location in two seperate systems. This provides confidence to the staff knowing that the changes are reflected in both systems simultaneously while entering the details just once.
In today's world security is of utmost concern. Knowing who is visiting and when and who are still within the building are critical to the safety and security of the building and its occupants. With an integrated system, the chances of forgetting to update the visitor details when there is a change or cancellation is eliminated. In a disconnected environment, when a cancelled meeting is not followed through with the appropriate cancellation of the visitor registration will result in the visitor being able to access the premises even though they are not supposed to. This can potentially be a serious breach in terms of access violation.
Better Space Planning
With an integrated system, the ability for management to view the trends in visitor meetings and the rooms allocated can be mapped. This provides valuable information on how the meeting rooms are structured and planned so that there is sufficient meeting rooms with the increase in visitorship. This visibility is hard to achieve when there are two seperate systems providing their own reports. Better insights can result in better use of space, increased collaboration and also reduced expenditures from poor planning.
Impressions do matter and when it comes to inviting visitors to your premises a smooth registration and on-boarding makes for a good first impression. The scenario highlighted in the first paragraph could have gone much smoother with an integrated system. Changes to the schedule can automatically be pushed to the front desk as well as notification to the visitor. When the visitor arrives, the system is ready with the information and makes the necessary alerts to the escort to welcome and usher the visitor to the right location. This provides for a great visitor experience.
It will be beneficial for the organization to have an integrated visitor management system along with the room booking system so that complete end-to-end visibility is available while reducing the workload of the staff and providing greater security to the company.