To understand manufacturers’ predictions about how COVID-19 will affect their businesses, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) in the US conducted a survey of its member companies from February 28 - March 9, 2020, asking558 respondents about the impact of the outbreak.
Others put into place business continuity plans, or procedures companies must follow to continue operating in such cases of major business disruptions. As part of these plans, essential workers' shifts were reduced and adjusted to help lower risks of spreading the virus with less human contact.
Preparing for a return back to normal
As of late April 2020, a number of manufacturers have started to prepare for a return back to the office.
Elsewhere in Europe, some manufacturing factories like Marset and BD in Spain have already started to reopen. As for auto manufacturers, a Hyundai plant has resumed operations in Nošovice, Czech Republic, while Audi has reopened its first plant in Györ, Hungary.
New procedures have also been put in place to help carmakers control health risks in the workplace.
"Auto manufacturers and suppliers are converging on a consensus that temperature screening, daily health questionnaires, assembly lines redesigned to keep workers 3 to 6 feet (0.9 m to 1.8 m) apart, and lots and lots of masks and gloves can enable large-scale factories to operate safely." - Reuters, April 2020
But as manufacturers make plans to resume business as usual, it's important for these essential organizations to properly detail an efficient visitor management process that keeps employees and visitors on the premises safe.
8 ways an effective visitor management system can help manufacturers prepare
Production facilities that are remaining open during the COVID-19 crisis hold the important responsibility of properly screening any absolutely necessary visitors. They owe it to their staff to keep individuals who are possibly infected at bay.
Implementing a visitor management system could ultimately contribute to later manufacturing facility closures during a crisis, and earlier openings after disaster periods end.
Beyond strengthened health and safety in the workplace, manufacturers dealing with this type of public health emergency can benefit from several features that come along with the right visitor management solution. Here are 8 of them.
1. Sending agreements in advance.
It's important to make sure (especially during health emergencies) that individuals understand procedures, warnings, and health codes before arriving. A cloud-based visitor management system allows hosts to send NDAs or other documents with key information via email to visitors prior to the scheduled meeting.
2. Deploying in multiple locations, remotely and fast.
Visitor management software can be deployed across multiple locations in a matter of days, and all remotely.
Deployment projects range from very large to very small; regardless, we're here to help and we'll work to find a solution that works for you.
3. Avoiding overwhelmed IT teams.
When disasters strike, sometimes IT teams (some forced to work remotely) can find themselves overwhelmed with tasks coming from their own colleagues, let alone third-party vendors.
The right visitor management provider will fully handle the technical side of set-up (without a need to come on-site), freeing up time for your IT team to focus on your business.
4. Adapting to existing systems.
Cloud-based visitor management systems work with your existing systems for capabilities like user provisioning, or the automatic synchronization of users in your active directory (AD) for your facility or office.
This way, new people added to your AD will be automatically added to your users list in your system, and your list of hosts will stay up-to-date.
5. Allowing for access control integrations.
Using a QR code sent via email, allow visitors to only access specific areas of your premises through certain turnstiles or doorways. They'll only be able to access these areas for the given duration of their visit; or, you can set them up with access as recurring visitors.
6. Producing accurate logs and reports of every individual that sets foot on a premises.
Some manufacturers, within the aviation and automobile sectors, are required to keep accurate logs of every person that enters a given building.
Ditching old, inaccurate, and insecure paper logbooks and opting for more efficient, digital visitor management systems helps organizations adhere to these strict requirements.
Cloud-based visitor management software also allows for the generation of real-time reports for an accurate view of visitor analytics, whenever you need it.
7. Complying with industry regulations.
Visitor management systems like Proxyclick help manufacturers stay compliant with data privacy regulations like GDPR, CCPA, and APPI. Automatic data deletion, for example, allows for personal data stored in the system to be removed after a given number of days.
In addition, features like ID Match, watchlists, access control integrations, and the above-mentioned data reporting capabilities help companies comply with other regulations like ITAR for those involved with US defense, and C-PTAT for certain types of manufacturers, logistics providers, and more.
8. Protecting employees and respecting the visitors' right to be aware and secure.
The flexibility of a visitor management system, particularly during times like the COVID-19 outbreak, allows for you to set up the visitor flow that's right for you. Use custom screens to ask questions that minimize health risks on your facility, or set up watchlists to keep out any known unwanted visitors.
It pays to be prepared
We all need to face one likely truth: we'll see outbreaks like this, and other disasters that disrupt our lives and businesses, again in the future.
What we've already learned is that it certainly pays to be prepared. This includes identifying smarter ways to keep moving forward in times of crises, without jeopardizing the health and safety of your workers and visitors.
Looking for more effective ways to handle health emergencies at your workplace? See our COVID-19 resource center for additional articles, videos, shared customer experiences and more.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published on March 20, 2020 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.