Thursday, June 21, 2012

Granting Visitors Temporary Access to Your Facility

What Should My Policy Be?

Many organizations are beginning to electronically register and track visitors that come and go from the facility.  In order to do this, visitors are typically asked to present some type of ID upon arrival, thereby verifying they are who they say they are, and that ID is scanned upon check-in.  Then visitors can then be issued temporary visitor badges for the duration of their stay. 

Organizations typically handle the flow of visitors in their facility one of two ways:
1.       Guests are always escorted by an employee or host.
2.       Guests are allowed to access the facility without an escort.
The more secure the organization, the more concerned they typically are with guest access.  If guests and visitors are to be allowed access without an escort, they may require some level of integration with a door access system.  If this is the case, visitor badges may be printed on proximity or smartcards to grant visitors temporary access rights within the system. 
Why might you consider integrating your visitor management system with access control?
  • You want to give certain visitors access to particular doors in the building that may be locked in your door access system
  • To limit unauthorized guests and personnel from accessing restricted areas
  • In order to track the activity of everyone – even guests – who have entered the building.
Granting visitors temporary access rights is certainly not uncommon these days.  As more and more organizations incorporate access control and electronic visitor management systems in their facilities, they see the need to give visitors access to specific doors in the building for the duration of their visit. 
Things to consider when thinking about integrating your Visitor Management and Access Control systems:
1.       Which doors would you like visitors to have access to in the building?

2.       Would you like to create multiple visitor groups with different access privileges? (Ex: Contractors may be able to access different doors than Volunteers)

3.       Is there an easy way to deactivate visitor credentials if they accidently leave without returning their badge?
The easiest thing to do is implement a fully integrated Visitor Management and Access Control system from day one.  That way you can easily activate and deactivate visitor credentials from the same system, thereby eliminating the hassle of having to manage access rights from two seperate systems. 
Start thinking about how you’d like to implement both Visitor Management and Access Control within your facility in the future.  Taking every possible scenario into account when choosing which system to deploy at your organization will help you to be best prepared for the day when you do get ready to move forward. 

Lindsay Cornell is the Director of Sales for BadgePass, Inc.  BadgePass manufactures cutting edge ID Badging, Visitor Management and Access Control software solutions.  Learn more at

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What are the Benefits of a Photo ID System?

Getting serious about your organization’s security?  Beyond offering visual identification, Photo ID badges can be used for a variety of applications from Electronic Door Access to Cafeteria Point of Sale Systems.  How can you utilize photo IDs to help increase security in your facility? 

Employee Morale
In larger companies and organizations, photo IDs often help to encourage familiarity among staff members.  Once a policy has been instituted mandating the wearing of Photo IDs at all times, employees often feel more secure and more confident approaching employees in other departments.  Photo IDs can instill a sense of community among employees and often encourage people to approach those in the building not wearing IDs to ensure they belong. 
Access Control
Sure, you may be printing Photo IDs for everyone right now, but have you considered using those IDs to access doors within your facility?  By printing badges on a smart or proximity cards, you can electronically control which doors certain employees have access to, thereby eliminating the need for manual key locks.  Without a valid credential, employees will not be granted access to those doors.  Further, you can restrict access to doors certain employees should not be in, like the IT or Server Room.  Best of all, if an employee loses an ID badge, you can deactivate that card’s privileges and print them another!  Without rekeying an entire facility, there is no way to “deactivate” a lost key. 
Visitor Safety
Once you’ve identified all of the employees within your building, it may be time to consider a visual form of ID for all of your visitors as well.  Visitor Management Systems that print temporary ID badges are an easy and effective way to check in visitors electronically while also printing them a badge that they can wear during their visit.  This helps to easily identify those who are guests and also helps employees to feel comfortable approaching visitors without badges and escorting them to the main check-in desk to be registered. 
Other Applications
Feel free to get creative with your photo ID!  Do you have a Time and Attendance system that requires a barcode or magnetic stripe for employees to clock in and out each day?  Are you thinking of instituting a Point of Sale system in your cafeteria that allows for employees to purchase meals with their ID card?  All of these things are entirely possible, depending on the card design and technology you choose to use with your badges.  Whenever you choose to purchase a Photo ID system, think of all the possible applications you may want to implement in the future and keep those in mind when designing your cards. 

Lindsay Cornell is the Director of Sales for BadgePass, Inc.  BadgePass offers secure ID Badging, Visitor Management and Access Control software.  For more information, visit