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Visitor registration at the reception

Sander van Breukelen has been bouwens&’s point of contact for all things related to safety and security for some time now. He tells us about his work and about the importance of visitor registration for businesses and organizations.

Security and hospitality

In his career, Sander has studied many different forms of security; from events to personal security, and from festivals to designing the security plan for an entire school building. Over the years he has gathered a substantial amount of knowledge and experience. When we talk to him, there seems to be a returning theme. Sander has always enjoyed thinking about and analysing the processes behind securing spaces and groups of people. This quality, combined with his idea that strong security always starts with hospitality and friendliness, makes him a valuable advisor for bouwens&.

Visitor registration and office security

Having started his work for bouwens& as a Security Host, Sander quickly became the coordinator for new locations and clients. Asked about his vision on office security and visitor registration he emphasizes the need for ‘synergy’ between systems and people. “I believe that for instance implementing security gates in an office always has to be accompanied by hospitality in the form of a Security Host. This way you can help visitors and employees understand the systems and you avoid problems.”

Even the best systems depend on the people who implement and execute them. “That’s why our philosophy is that we don’t work with security officers, but with hosts who happen to also have the right security diplomas.”

Visitor registration, why?

That being said, it is very important to work with a system that keeps track of who is in the office at all times. Sander explains that he finds such a system very useful. He stresses that visitor registration also means the registration of personnel and suppliers. “If we look at the general security situation, especially in case of an emergency, it’s essential to know who is in the building and where.”

Visitor registration and access

But even when we leave all types of emergencies aside, Sander claims it’s a logical choice to use visitor registration. A system like that can also be used to grant or refuse access to specific parts of an office building to staff or suppliers. “Let’s take a law firm. A staff member who is hired for his expertise in corporate law and works on the eighth floor, doesn’t have any business in the finance department on the third.” Sander also hints at the value of learning more about the movement of people through an office building.

Visitor registration and privacy

Companies that opt for visitor registration have to comply with the regulations that are laid out in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Sander states that this is a responsibility that lies entirely with the client, and not with the executing security firm. “Being sure that all processes are correct and following the law, requires a thorough investigation. Being the executing party we can always assist and offer our expertise to the client.”

Systems for visitor registration

Handwritten visitor registration in a book is becoming more and more rare. Most companies work with software systems such as Proxyclick, Envoy, Ultimo, or Axxerion. When a visitor arrives, an employee registers him or her in the system, hands out a visitor pass, and gives them a number. Then the employee with whom the visitor has a meeting is informed. Obviously, the pass only allows the visitor to enter those parts of the office where the meeting or activities take place. As soon as the pass is returned, the visitor and all access rights ‘disappear’ from the system. “Of course, later we can still look at a complete overview of who was where on that day.”

The future of visitor registration

Technology is a leading factor in the evolution of security and following people and their movements. What about face recognition software? Theoretically, a company could follow visitors and employees the entire time they are inside their office building. Sander: “I think we should always keep our objective in mind when we use technology. The smarter these systems become, the more moral questions we should be asking ourselves. Do we want to use everything we can use? Or do we want people to feel safe and enjoy coming to work?”

The human dimension remains essential

So although Sander is convinced of the value that systems for visitor registration can add to a business, at the end of our conversation he wants to explain his vision once more to be clear: “Installing a visitor registration system is just the beginning. After that you need the right people to manage that system proactively and with a focus on service. I would rather see our Security Hosts recognize the faces of the staff and returning visitors then that we need camera software for that purpose.”