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Visitor Management Versus Access Control

City Buildings

What’s the Difference Between Visitor Management and Access Control?

If you’re a business owner or a facilities manager tasked with making security decisions at your building, chances are you think visitor management is somehow an offshoot of, or even the same thing as, access management. While the two systems complement each other when integrated, they serve very different security functions.

Access Control

Access control management may already be established in your building. It was most likely installed as part of your original physical security system. Access management provides admission to the building through digital access cards, which allow employees to get in and out of the building. Access management, however, is not designed to monitor visitors. Because visitors are only granted temporary access to your facility, they are not given access cards.

Visitor Management

Visitor management, on the other hand, is designed to gather personal and background information on every visitor that enters your building. Visitor management systems require visitors to scan a driver’s license or passport at check-in and run a background check to make sure they are not a potential danger to your company, staff, or other visitors.

In addition, visitor management systems print temporary ID badges for visitors, which can include a snapshot of the visitor for additional security. Visitor ID cards are also branded with your company logo or other identifying features, as determined by the company. Many organizations distinguish them from other ID badges (e.g. employee, vendor, and contractor badges) so they can be identified at a glance.

The information your visitor management system collects on every visitor is monitored and those with proper user authority can generate a variety of reports, such as compliance reports, audits, reviews of traffic patterns, etc. If an emergency arises requiring evacuation, emergency personnel can gain access to a printed or digital report of who is in the building to make sure everyone gets out safely.

Determine What You Need

Although access control offers security to the physical building by requiring digital access cards to be permitted entrance, it does not offer the security features for visitor management. A visitor management system generates reports offering a wealth of information that can help your security team identify important information like the most heavily-trafficked times of day or week, so that adequate staff is on hand at all times. In fact, visitor management systems offer a wide array of capabilities that keep your organization safe and accountable.

Find out more about the differences between access control and visitor management systems, and decide if visitor management is a tool your organization can use as part of a complete security solution. Contact Veristream today to get your free demo at 888-718-0807.

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