As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more companies have started to give greater importance to hygiene in workplace and employees’ health. It is against this backdrop that Ricoh’s Smart Workplace, which promotes better use of office space and management of facilities, has attracted much attention. Nonetheless, while management staff of many companies are interested in the Smart Visitor Management System, the practical value of the system is often underestimated. As a matter of fact it is a platform that can help maintain healthy operations at workplace and employees’ well-being, while benefiting companies in many other ways.
Maintain well-being of workplace and employees
To fight the coronavirus, there are various things one can do, including wearing a face mask, washing hands frequently and getting vaccinated. But the most important measure is human flow control. In pre-COVID time, couriers, contractors or other visitors who turned up in the office of a company were required to register in the reception area. In the process, the receptionist would inevitably come into contact with the visitors. Ringing the bell of the office and filling in a form would also increase the risk of infection.
The Smart Visitor Management System brings revolutionary changes to the visitor registration process. It allows visitors to pre-register online. Companies can also state their latest hygiene measures on the online form and require visitors to declare their health conditions, so that they can keep at bay high-risk individuals. When visitors turn up in the office of a company, they can use the self-service kiosk or directly turnstiles (if integrated with the Access Control System), be granted access via a unique QR code and hence complete a fully contactless (and seamless) registration process.
Boost company image and efficiency
A survey conducted in 2020 indicated that 94% of respondents believed that the Smart Visitor Management System could improve office operation efficiency and 76% said it could enhance visitors’ experience. The factors contributing to the positive feedback include that the system allows visitor self-registration and automatic delivery of essential information to visitors (e.g. company location and instructions on finding a meeting venue, possibly in different languages or in video format) after the online registration procedure is completed. All these ease the workload of receptionists. The system can also shorten visitors’ waiting time by informing related employees of the arrival of visitors via email/ text notifications.
Employees can also use Digital Facilities Management to pre-book meeting venues without having to manually check booking records. The system can also provide Wi-Fi passwords to visitors who have completed the registration procedure. This saves visitors the hassle of manually keying in the password. Besides, without having to publicize the password in workplace, security risk can be lowered.
Integrate records for big data analysis
Making good use of big data is key to enhancing the value of smart workplace systems. Nevertheless, it is also a challenging task that requires companies to get hold of quality data. Conventional visitor management mainly involves manual work. It takes an increased manpower and extensive time to analyze this type of data and improve office and reception operations. The process of recording information and inputting data is also prone to errors. All these may hinder a companies’ ability to obtain useful data. The Smart Visitor Management System, on the other hand, can accurately record visitor information. It allows users to export all kinds of real-time visitor data, including peak visit hours and at what time certain facilities are used. With such data, management staff can flexibly assign employees to different tasks. The data can also serve as reference for future office design.
The system can put together all visitor records from offices, workshops, warehouses and research centres in different regions for centralized storage and management. Companies with branches in other countries or in the Greater Bay Area will be able to sort and check related data via a one-stop management interface.
Heighten security and meet legal requirements
Another advantage of the Smart Visitor Management System is that it can improve a company’s security. In times when there is a considerable number of visitors gathering at the reception area of an office, the receptionist may not be able to recognize everyone, so that individuals with ill intentions could blend into the crowd easily and steal the company’s properties or confidential data. The Smart Visitor Management System can prevent this by requiring all visitors to pre-register or register at the self-service kiosk. Facial recognition, ID match and e-signature features can also be added to the system if required.
For certain sensitive industries such as financial investment, banking and property management, heightened security can ensure a company complies with various security rules and regulations, such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). The Smart Visitor Management System meets international standards as well as auditing requirements. In the event of data leak or other accidents, the suspects can be identified and investigation reports carried out quickly, given that the system has recorded visitors’ personal data and when they had appeared in certain areas.
Real value: fast return of investment
The aforementioned advantages of the Smart Visitor Management System means companies can expect a high rate of return of investment. The returns mainly find expressions in: