Aiglon College is a prestigious private boarding school located in the alpine village of Chesières, Switzerland. Taking all students' and staff's security very seriously, the school made the decision to switch from a paper logbook to Proxyclick's visitor management solution. This helped them completely revamp and improve their procedures for welcoming visitors and ultimately played a big role in their COVID-19 visitor policy. The implementation process was smooth, Proxyclick was easy to adapt to pandemic-era regulations, and Aiglon was able to ensure campus-wide health and safety, as well as peace of mind.
Southeast of Lake Geneva sits Aiglon, a private boarding school that has been providing a unique amalgam of progressive ideals and classical education to students for more than 70 years. The school’s campus - including state-of-the-art buildings and chalets - encompasses 23 buildings, set over 3 kilometers of school grounds where some 370 students live alongside 220 faculty members.
Courses in geography and life sciences make ample use of the natural surroundings, and year-round sporting activities (skiing, hiking, mountain biking, etc.) are an integral part of the curriculum.
In addition, Aiglon takes the security of its students, staff, and visitors very seriously, and that’s one of the reasons it uses Proxyclick.
Five years ago, Aiglon’s visitor management solution was a paper logbook, says John Gerhardt, Senior Computer Services Technician at Aiglon. The move to Proxyclick was triggered by a desire to keep improving and stay up-to-date with the latest technology.
“We're a member of a number of school organizations, such as CIS, IB, and various accreditation bodies,” Mr. Gerhardt says, adding that one of the recommendations of these organizations was to leverage digital solutions to keep full control and visibility over visitors to the campus.
“We're an open campus, and we're happy to accept visitors. We want people to come onto the campus, to look at our campus, and to welcome parents and visitors - but we also need to know who's on the campus. That’s strictly regimented.” - John Gerhardt, Senior Computer Services Technician, Aiglon
Mr. Gerhardt considered several digital visitor management solutions but ultimately selected Proxyclick, realizing that the school’s security would be better served through a system that integrated with the software his staff was already familiar with.
“One of the things that drew me to Proxyclick was the API and the custom screens. We didn't want our staff to have to learn another interface to add visitors, so we've integrated with Google Forms and we can keep using our workflows."
While implementing Proxyclick’s solution, Mr. Gerhardt reports that the school took the opportunity to review its procedures for welcoming visitors and come up with a more practical system that simultaneously improves security and manages visitor flow more efficiently and professionally.
The system has enabled the creation and maintenance of a central visitor register--to include not only visiting parents or prospective families, but also cleaners, medical staff, external contractors such as electricians, carpenters, and examiners.
A typical visitor flow with Proxyclick sees visitors register 24 hours before their visit so that they can arrive, do a custom, touchless check-in, and then have their badge printed off.
But, given that Aiglon is a school - with parents sometimes coming to pick up students due to illness or family emergencies - visitors sometimes arrive unexpectedly. When this happens, they check in on an iPad at the main reception desk. Mr. Gerhardt is quick to point out that improves visitor flow significantly over the paper logbook.
"The kiosk check-in is very good. Easy setup, simple, looks nice, prints out the badge. Proxyclick gives a really smooth experience for the visitors and receptionist." - John Gerhardt
Once visitors obtain their badges, a notification is sent to the host. Mr. Gerhardt explains that hosts “can reply to notifications, saying, ‘I'm coming, could you get them coffee…’. They like that feature.”
This way, visitors receive a warm handoff to hosts; they complete their business on campus and use the system to check out at the reception desk when they are finished. If they forget to check out, the system can do it automatically at midnight.
Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, the number of outside visitors on Aiglon’s campus dipped sharply. Now, with cases down and restrictions in the region loosened somewhat, outside visitors have been starting to return.
On a typical day, Mr. Gerhardt estimates, the campus receives some 15 outside visitors, including everyone from doctors to contractors to conference attendees.
Aiglon uses Proxyclick’s health questionnaire function to screen visitors before they are allowed on campus - but for the most part, the solutions that had already been embraced with the initial implementation of Proxyclick’s system have also worked to facilitate the school’s COVID-19 response.
"Proxyclick played a big role in our COVID-19 policy with regards to visitors. We were lucky we had it in place already. We just made a few changes to existing flows and it was a smooth process." - John Gerhardt
For an institution like Aiglon, a visitor management system is an important tool for so many practical considerations such as facilitating easier check-ins and promoting great visitor experiences, as well as safety concerns.
For the parents at Aiglon, Proxyclick’s most important function is a less tangible one - to provide peace of mind that the institution to which they are entrusting their children’s education is safe, modern, and welcoming, and that they can feel at ease when they leave their children at the school.
The implementation of Proxyclick’s visitor management system has been a success. Mr. Gerhardt reports that a number of visiting parents leave with the lanyards and badges they received upon check-in "as a memento.”
This is not a problem, however; Aiglon has come to see this feature as a unique “piece of marketing collateral,” a sign that parents have been impressed by their visit and will be returning to Aiglon in the future.