Many customers asks me a question about existing access control systems and how they can integrate with the visitor management systems to capture the movements of people into and out of the building or buildings. I am aware of several ways access control systems work from my own experiences. I have asked a few security companies who we work with to provide further information that I can share with you here in this visitor management blog. As soon as I have the information I will post here for review, until then I will share a few recent experiences where visitor management integrated with access control could really benefit your safety plans.
At a recent trade show for security and access control at Darling Harbour in Sydney I saw some really clever wireless access control systems to manage doors that required no cabling meaning the total solution was significantly lower cost when compared to traditional access control systems that required hard cabling for installation but we will leave that story for another day.
Back to some recent examples of access control I have experienced in the past couple of weeks.
Tail Gating Access Control
The most common access control system I have used is where the building has access control points on doors that outside of normal hours are mostly left open or one person could swipe a card to open the door, generally this person could be followed by one or more people who did not physically swipe into the building. This process is often called tailgating and tailgating does not provide very good information with one person being recorded as swiping and 1,2,3 or more not being recorded. When one of the ultimate goals of visitor management software is to be able to tell you exactly who is on location in the event of an emergency tail gating access control interferes with quality data in your reports.
Single File Access Control
Single file Access Control is much easier to manage, only way through is with a turnstile or gate that only allows once person at a time with the swipe of an access control card. Single File Access Control allows much greater reporting on the data as every person must swipe for entry and exit. A couple of weeks ago I was in Sydney city for meetings, one of the buildings I had to enter had 6 half height turnstiles with the only way in and out through the turnstiles for employees and staff. I had to check in as a visitor at the concierge desk which was manned by a security company, I filled in the visitor book and then was issued a visitor pass.
So all the employees and staff who were in the building, thousands of them were all electronically recorded on site through the access control half height turnstiles but as a visitor I was recorded in the manual sign in visitor book. What was in place in this building was employees and staff were checking in and out through the turnstiles electronically into the access control system but visitors, couriers, contractors and day pass visitors from companies inside the building were all checking in manually in a series of 4 manual sign in books.
The ultimate scenario in this building could be for a visitor management system to capture visitors, couriers, contractors and day pass visitors electronically while integrating with the access control system for the staff and employees to bring into one single database a true list of who is on location electronically making the information available outside the building if required in the event of an emergency.
No Access Control
No Access control is in place in millions of buildings, when there is no access control the only way you could possibly keep an excellent current and live list of who is on location is electronically, I know from our visits to companies the manual visitor management book is super popular and easy to maintain. We have experienced and I have written in the past about visitor management books where we found one company spending approx $20,000 per year just on corporate branded manual visitor management books
Integrating with access control systems is easier than ever before with changes in technology, collecting quality data to pass between the access control system and the visitor management system is the challenge when using data from access control systems.
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