Tips for selecting the best visitor management system for you

Long gone are the days of using pen and paper at your front desk. As more businesses transform into modern times, visitor management systems are becoming increasingly popular; if you've not made the change yet, now is the time to.

Chances are you've already used a visitor management system when visiting a customer or supplier. You've probably seen for yourself what a great first impression they make while ticking the GDPR box. There is an extensive range of brilliant technologies on the market today that will hugely improve the visitor sign in process. Below are a few tips to consider when selecting the right solution for you.

1. Decide what you need it for

Is it only for standard visitor management or do you need it to manage contractors and other visitor types? Would it benefit you if staff could use it to sign in and out of also? Once you know who you want to sign in, you can ensure the solution has all the features required for the various visitor types.

2. Look deeper than just the standard features

Every good visitor management system will take a picture and print a badge. Investigate if you can customise the fields and add in your own bespoke policies. Can you ask survey questions on sign out? Does the solution support multiple languages? You need to ensure that the system you select has the features you require to meet the needs of the business, not only for now but for the ones you may require in the future.

3. Is it compliant?

You need to be sure that the new solution keeps your IT and compliance teams happy. Is the infrastructure that runs the system of an enterprise level? Is the required redundancy measures in place? Do you have control over how long the data is held for each visitor type? If not you may end up on the naughty step with the compliance officer. Where is the data stored? Don’t settle for the supplier just telling you they’re GDPR compliant; ask what country the data is stored in, then check with your organisation that this is suitable. Is the data encrypted at rest? All these questions will help you procure a visitor management system that is stable and protects your data.

4. Find out about new features

Talk to the supplier about the new features that have just been released. If it’s an app, see how often they bring out updates. You do not want to select a product that is standing still; this is a fast moving sector, you want to ensure your chosen product is keeping up with it. Ask what is coming next, this will tell you that the system is going to evolve and keep adding value to your organisation.

5. What is the cost of the solution?

Don’t get caught up in tricky plans that change on usage. If you have multiple entrances or sites, how is this priced and what is the cost on renewal? Additional features - are they included or charged extra for? The new features on the roadmap - do you need to budget for these or will they get added to your plan? All these questions ensure that you don’t have to explain yourself to the finance team further down the line.

6. What integrations does the solution have?

Does the visitor management system connect to your email directory? Can you receive notifications to current communication tools such as Slack, Yammer or Microsoft teams etc? This helps you to understand if the solution will be stand alone or will work with your current tools.

7. Check out the team behind the solution

Find out about the company. Read some reviews or ask for some case studies. Ask some questions over email or online chat about the product; see how responsive they are. Do they develop the solution in-house or use a third party? This will give you a good feel for who will be supporting you and how responsive they will be to questions.

8. Try before you buy

Nearly all of the leading solutions have a free trial. Download your shortlisted products and give them a go; ask yourself how easy were they to set up. A good solution should be ready to test in only a few minutes. If it’s too complicated, we would suggest the ongoing management of it would be similar. If you don’t have the hardware to have a trial ask for a web demonstration; this will give you a great overview of the solution and an opportunity to discuss with one of the team.

Hopefully this blog has helped you with choosing the best visitor management system for you. All of this has been taken from questions that have been asked of us over the years and the feedback we have received. If Sign In App has made it to your shortlist, start your free trial here.