It’s 8:00 a.m. in Hope Mills, North Carolina, and schools across the district are buzzing with activity. Buses are arriving and unloading students; staff is arriving and checking in; parents are dropping off their children, along with forgotten lunches and backpacks; the front office staff is busy taking calls regarding absences and late arrivals; and volunteers are signing in for classrooms activities.
At School A, all this bustle is being handled smoothly (or at least, as smoothly as possible), while across town, the staff at School B is frazzled. Why the difference? School A has an automated visitor management system and School B still uses an outdated paper log-in system.
“The efficiency of an automated visitor management system over manual log-in books is phenomenal,” said Joyce Adams, Former Principal at Grey’s Creek High School (aka School A). “The assurance provided by having a photograph of all adult visitors on campus also offers a greater sense of security.”
Efficiency and Security
Adams has touched on the two main advantages of an automated visitor management system – increased efficiency and better security. While the front office staff at School B is trying to monitor visitors signing in, while juggling phone calls and other tasks, visitors at School A are using a kiosk to sign in, freeing front desk personnel to focus on other important responsibilities. Meanwhile, security is being enhanced at School A.
Let’s take a closer look…
At School B, where the paper sign-in system is time consuming and cumbersome, they encounter the following problems:
- Limited front office staff cannot closely monitor every person entering the building, so sign-in sheets often sit unattended. Visitors could easily forget to sign in, use a false name, or write an illegible signature, making it difficult if not impossible to verify a visitor’s name and identity.
- Since signatures, even when combined with a photo ID, provide no information about a person’s background, the staff cannot identify registered sex offenders or parents with custody issues.
- The staff must manually input all records of visitors, staff and student attendance into the school’s information system.
- In an emergency, such as an evacuation, records are not accessible, so there is no way of knowing who was on school premises and who might be left behind.
At School A, which uses an automated visitor management system, things look quite different:
- Staff and visitors use a self-serve kiosk, which quickly scans any government-issued identification, such as a driver’s license or state ID, and instantly confirms that they are who they say they are. The system also checks their identity against national registered sex offender lists and customized school records for custody issues and banned individuals.
- After visitors sign in at the kiosk, the system prints an ID badge, which includes a photo, date and time, further enhancing security.
- The software keeps an electronic record that is accessible on- or off-site by a web-based system in case of an emergency. This also eliminates the need to manually input information into the school’s system. Multiple export options make it easy to import data such as absences and late arrivals into the school’s Student Information System.
- The visitor management system allows the school to easily adhere to the district’s policies and procedures regarding student safety, as well as record keeping. With an automated visitor management system, this school can track sign-in times, sign-out times, reasons for visit, who was visited, and more, providing an accurate accounting of who enters and exits the building.
After just a few months using the new system, both the staff and parents at School A had great things to say. Parents felt that installing the automated visitor management system significantly improved the safety of their children. Meanwhile, the staff experienced less stress during the busy morning and afternoon rush, which improved morale. Overall, staff, parents and other visitors noted that the system improved the school’s professionalism and reputation.
If you’re encountering the same issues as School B, it might be time to install an automated visitor management system. These simple, but powerful systems are easy to install and use – and are more affordable than you might think.
LobbyGuard offers a full line of visitor management and front office automation products, including self-service kiosks, as well as software-only solutions for customers of any size or industry. Each LobbyGuard product offers the comprehensive set of features you need to secure your facility and manage all visitor traffic entering and leaving your building or campus.
For a free consultation and product demonstration, visit LobbyGuard at lobbyguard.com or call us at 1-866-905-6229.