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Simplifying Visitor Management in Factories & Manufacturing

December 14, 2023

Manufacturing plants are complex environments with multiple moving parts that require constant monitoring and high levels of security. In settings like this, proper visitor management is imperative for ensuring a safe and secure environment for everyone.

Failure to implement adequate visitor policies and procedures can lead to unauthorized access, security breaches, and, even worse, injuries or damages. With this in mind, it becomes increasingly important for manufacturing plants to ensure that their visitor management tactics are up-to-date, efficient, and effective.

Improve manufacturing plant security with a Visitor Management System. Keep an accessible record of on-site individuals, enhance compliance, and facilitate audits. See more from @GoiLobby:

In this blog, we will highlight the importance of proper visitor management for manufacturing plants and provide insights into how a visitor management system can assist manufacturers in these complex environments.

Main Security Concerns in Visitor Management

When it comes to managing visitors in manufacturing plants, security is always top of mind. To ensure a safe and secure workplace, manufacturers must have comprehensive but easy-to-follow visitor policies to mitigate the risks associated with unauthorized access, security breaches, and the like. Because the stakes are so high in these plants, having reliable software that can oversee these functions becomes imperative.

As noncompliant manufacturers have learned the hard way, failure to implement adequate visitor management strategies (backed up by a formidable visitor management system) can result in severe consequences that can impact the company's reputation and finances and present legal ramifications.

Here are some of the primary security concerns that manufacturers face on a daily basis and how a visitor management system can help ensure adherence:

Compliance Requirements

Manufacturing plants must adhere to strict compliance regulations, such as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT). As part of its comprehensive requirements, ITAR dictates that access to certain plant areas is restricted to US citizens or individuals with proper clearance. Within the broader scope of C-TPAT, screening and verifying visitors’ identities are required to prevent unauthorized access. Additionally, to ensure a safe working environment, manufacturers also need to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This code sets standards to protect the health and safety of workers, including guidelines for training, hazard communication, and record-keeping. Non-compliance with these regulations places a plant at risk of loss of contracts, penalties, and reputational damage.

Visitor management systems (VMS), like VisitorOS, a module of iLobby’s FacilityOS platform, can assist manufacturers in complying with these regulatory requirements. VMS offers a powerful solution to simplify and integrate processes, reducing the complexity of managing multiple compliance needs. By having valuable compliance tools like identity verification, information security, and reporting capabilities all in one platform, visitor management software streamlines day-to-day operations and helps ensure compliance, minimizing the risk of penalties or fines.

Streamline visitor registration at manufacturing plants with VisitorOS by iLobby. Pre-register visitors, automate sign-ins, and maintain a real-time log. See more from @GoiLobby:

Proper Identification of Visitors

The ability to identify visitors and their reason for being on-site is crucial for safety, security, and compliance regulations in manufacturing plants. Naturally, visitor management systems play a vital role in streamlining this process.

Visitors should be validated through elements like ID checks and entry permits and then easily identifiable through the use of badges. With a visitor management system, these processes can be automated, reducing manual effort and ensuring accuracy.

Moreover, intellectual property concerns may also determine which areas visitors can and cannot access. Having visitors sign nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) or submit documents ahead of time helps ensure compliance and protect intellectual property. Visitor management systems can facilitate the collection and storage of these documents, ensuring easy access and retrieval when needed.

To remain compliant with regulations like ITAR and C-TPAT, some visitors may need to be escorted to areas where unauthorized access is prohibited, such as ITAR-restricted areas, hazardous zones, and intellectual property-rich areas. In such cases, manufacturers need to consider whether the visitor is a customer, vendor, or contractor to properly address where they are allowed in the plant to remain compliant with certain standards, as unauthorized access can result in security breaches, theft, injuries, and repercussions of non-compliance.

Emergency Response and Visitor Tracking

In the event of an emergency, security staff need to be able to identify and track all visitors in the facility quickly. A visitor who is not accounted for can pose a severe risk to a plant’s security and safety, let alone their own well-being. Historically, this was managed through the use of pen and paper log books, which are known to be unreliable, error-prone, and can pose security risks. Not to mention, with manual processes in place, most of the responsibility fell on department heads, who were expected to know who was on-site that day based on memory.

By implementing a robust visitor management system, manufacturers can effectively address these challenges. Such a system provides the necessary procedures and tools to safeguard employees, visitors, and assets, thereby protecting the business's reputation. With features like digital check-ins, photo identification, and real-time tracking, a visitor management system ensures accurate and up-to-date information about all individuals present on-site. This enhances both security and safety while also relieving department heads from the burden of relying on their own recollection.

More Ways A VMS Can Support Manufacturing Plants

As we’ve discussed, there are plenty of ways a Visitor Management System (VMS) helps manufacturing plants ensure security and effectively manage visitors. Let’s zoom in on three more that are top of mind for manufacturers.

Safety Training for Visitors

Understandably, many plants require training or a safety briefing for all visitors before even setting foot on site. By implementing a visitor management system, manufacturing plants can enforce the completion of a safety tutorial or basic induction upon check-in, ensuring that visitors are well informed and prepared before accessing the plant floor. The secure storage of digital signatures enables easy access and downloading of confirmation for audit purposes, providing organizations with comprehensive reporting and digital records. This approach not only prioritizes visitor safety and accident prevention during their time on-site but also enhances the overall efficiency and documentation of the process.

Streamlining Visitor Registration Process

One of the best ways to streamline the visitor registration process is to leverage a visitor management system. VisitorOS simplifies sign-in with a digital kiosk or the option for visitor pre-registration, allowing visitors to register in advance. This feature is particularly useful when there are training requirements that need to be satisfied prior to entry or for large groups, as it covers all necessary bases before they even arrive on site.

Most importantly, VisitorOS’s intuitive digital visitor registration automates the sign-in process and eliminates the need for manual record-keeping. With a visitor management system, employees no longer need to handle the burden of manually registering and monitoring visitors, and the system makes it easy to maintain an up-to-date, real-time log of all visitors on site.

Controlling Access Accurately

Manufacturers must ensure that visitors are given access to only the areas they are authorized to visit. A physical identity and access management system, when used in conjunction with a visitor management system, not only allows an organization to keep track of on-site visitors but can provide time-restricted physical access credentials to visitors. For example, SecurityOS, another FacilityOS module, enables businesses to create personalized permission sets to specify which access points to include, when access is active, and the duration of time access will be granted. Essentially, it extends the benefits of Access Control systems to visitors, contractors, and other temporary guests. It also assists with maintaining records and creates visibility into the usage of temporary credentials and who is accessing your space.

When used together, VisitorOS and SecurityOS offer powerful synergies that further streamline operations, aid in compliance, and enhance safety and security. Moreover, SecurityOS enhances site security with rule-based controls that minimize risks, enhance physical security, and remove dependencies on authorized personnel. This ensures timely, error-free access issuance for visitors, contractors, and temporary employees, eliminating the need to rely on cumbersome and error-prone manual credentialing.

Essentially, by implementing a dependable visitor management system, manufacturers can effectively mitigate the risks associated with unauthorized access, security breaches, and noncompliance with regulatory requirements. Making visitor management a priority allows manufacturing plants to safeguard their reputation, finances, and the well-being of their employees now and well into the future.

Don't compromise on the security of your manufacturing plant. See how iLobby’s facility and visitor management platform can help you. Ready to safeguard your business, protect your reputation, and ensure the well-being of your employees and visitors? Request a demo today.

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Marc Regina

Marc is an experienced Sales Executive at iLobby. Renowned for his in-depth understanding of client needs, Marc excels in tailoring solutions that optimize organizational safety, security, and compliance. Outside of work, Marc enjoys playing guitar, traveling the world, and cooking Italian food.

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