Cracking the Code: Deciphering Visitor Management and Its Significance

How does your organization typically manage visitors and guests who arrive at your premises?Every organization, whether consciously implemented or not, has a system in place for handling guests, your visitor management system.

What is visitor management?

Visitor management is any process that helps an organization keep track of the people that visit their location. Policies can vary by organization, facility type, industry, or geographic location.

  • Various businesses experience high levels of foot traffic daily, including job candidates, delivery personnel, contractors, and consultants.
  • Lack of a dedicated receptionist or front desk personnel can lead to confusion for visitors trying to navigate the premises.
  • Visitor management systems address this issue by providing a check-in kiosk where visitors can sign in.
  • Admin users can customize the system to gather necessary information from visitors.
  • Once checked in, the system alerts the host contact via SMS, email, Slack, or Microsoft Teams.
  • Additional features may include badge printing, signing NDAs or legal agreements, and storing visitor information in a cloud-based log.

Visitor management encompasses the personnel, protocols, and procedures implemented to:

  1. Welcome and greet guests upon their arrival.
  2. Inform their designated host (the employee they are meeting) about their arrival.
  3. Manage deliveries efficiently.
  4. Assist guests in navigating to their intended destination within the premises.
  5. Ensure the security of the location, prioritizing the safety of both guests and employees.

Pen and Paper Visitor Management Systems

  1. Pen and Paper System Basics: Records visitor information manually in a logbook including name, purpose of visit, and check-in/out times.
  2. Cost and Ease of Implementation: Low initial cost with minimal training required, utilizing cheap and easily available equipment.
  3. Drawbacks of Pen and Paper Method:
    • Operational Inefficiencies: Handwriting entries lead to congestion in entryways.
    • Security Concerns: Manual verification of credentials and limited ability to conduct further security checks.
    • Badge Inadequacy: Lack of photo identification on visitor badges allows for easy swapping.
    • Documentation Challenges: Requires manual data entry into a computer or physical storage of logbook for record-keeping.

Computer Visitor Management Systems

  1. Electronic Features: Utilizes computer networks for visitor data monitoring and recording. Includes photo ID, database searching, and automatic door access functionalities.
  2. Security Advantages: Enhances security through ID verification against databases. Offers searchable visitor databases and custom-printed photo ID cards.
  3. Implementation Challenges: Incurrs higher initial costs compared to pen and paper systems. Requires a longer familiarization period for security personnel and visitors. Consideration needed for the amount and usage of gathered information.

Why use visitor management system?

A visitor management system streamlines the process of welcoming, tracking, and securing guests within a facility. By implementing such a system, it helps achieve:

  • Integral Functionality: A visitor management system is essential for office operations, automating tedious workflows and freeing up valuable time.
  • Efficiency Enhancement: By automating mundane tasks, such as front desk operations, the system allows for better time management and increased productivity.
  • Streamlined Processes: Manual front desk operations are often suboptimal, highlighting the necessity for a comprehensive visitor management system to unlock invaluable benefits.
  • Time Saving: Implementing a robust system not only improves efficiency but also returns valuable time to employees, enabling them to focus on more critical tasks.

Components to Effective Visitor Management

1. Identifying Guests:

Effective systems prioritize identifying visitors, acknowledging that guests may feel disoriented upon arrival, particularly during their initial visit. Organizations employ various methods to welcome and reassure guests of their correct location.

  1. Signage: Clear signs directing guests to check-in kiosks or registration desks remove uncertainty and guide them through the process effectively.
  2. Dedicated Receptionist: Having a staff member stationed at the main entrance, such as a greeter, office manager, or security guard, who is responsible for welcoming and directing guests ensures a personalized and efficient experience.

2. Facilitating Guest-Host Connections:

Visitors typically arrive at your building with specific purposes. Examples include:

  • Delivery personnel: providing food, office supplies, or equipment.
  • Professional guests: vendors, job candidates, or visiting professionals.
  • Friends and family: picking up employees or social visits.

3. Visitor Registration:

  • Visitor Registration Methods: Organizations may utilize paper logs or digital systems for visitor registration.
  • Paper Logs: Require guests to manually sign in and out, prone to penmanship issues and lack of privacy.
  • Digital Logs: Automatically store records, easier to locate, no penmanship issues, allow for more information storage, and are easily searchable.
  • Self-registration vs. Employee registration: Visitors may register themselves or be assisted by employees, with some organizations requiring employee verification of visitor ID for added security.

4. Visitor Identification:

  • Visitor Identification: Badges or stickers serve as a vital security measure for identifying visitors within an organization.
  • Access Control: In establishments with restricted areas, badges help regulate guest access, ensuring safety and security.
  • Emergency Response: During emergencies, badges indicate that a visitor may require extra assistance due to unfamiliarity with the premises.
  • Enhanced Guest Services: Badges enable staff to identify and offer additional assistance to guests, potentially enhancing customer satisfaction and relationships.

Significance of Visitor Management

  1. Enhanced Security: Visitor management systems bolster security by verifying guest identities, monitoring their movements, and restricting access to sensitive areas.
  2. Efficiency Improvement: These systems streamline the check-in process, reducing wait times, minimizing administrative burdens, and enhancing overall operational efficiency.
  3. Compliance and Record-Keeping: Visitor management systems facilitate compliance with regulatory requirements by accurately capturing visitor information and maintaining detailed logs, ensuring accountability and transparency.
  4. Positive Visitor Experience: Seamless check-in processes and clear navigation instructions contribute to a positive guest experience, leaving a favorable impression of the organization.
  5. Emergency Preparedness: Having centralized records of visitors enables quick evacuation procedures and enhances overall safety protocols during emergencies.


Implementing an effective digital visitor management system can yield numerous organizational benefits. It’s crucial to establish and formalize all necessary components rather than relying on ad-hoc methods of guest reception. This systematic approach can contribute significantly to building organizational success.