Utilities providers are highly regulated organizations that face unique challenges when it comes to managing visitors. It’s not simply for reasons of safety or security that utilities track who comes in and out of their facilities—they’re actually required by law to monitor and report visitors.
Given the size of plant facilities, however, manual visitor management processes that use pen and paper registration simply can’t address a utility company’s real needs. The benefits of a visitor management system for businesses in general cannot be argued. However, perhaps it’s even more evident for the utility industry given their tighter regulations for monitoring. Here are some reasons why top utility companies use a visitor management system:
1. Easily Enforce Strict Regulations
As mentioned, utilities are required to account for all guests and visitors who enter their facilities. While tracking who goes in and out of your premises sounds simple enough, keep in mind the volume of contractors and personnel who are likely to enter your plant.
The average electric utility usually has dozens of office buildings in a sprawling compound. It’s likely the property has multiple entrances and exits. When you consider the number of people required to go in and out of the premises, tracking can get very complicated. In fact, according to statistics, some of the largest utility companies employ upwards of 100,000 employees. That’s not even counting the outside contractors who regularly arrive for emergencies, construction, repairs, or special projects.
The world's biggest energy utility companies in FY 2018, based on the number of employees.
With a visitor management system, a utility company can streamline their guest and employee monitoring processes and comply with stringent regulations. On top of making sure everyone who enters their premises is accounted for and safe, utility companies can easily enforce today’s strict regulatory access and reporting guidelines and ensure that NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) are part of their sign-in process.
2. Track Visitors Inside Your Facility
Utility companies must enforce strict monitoring of visitors and employees on their property for a reason. They have to secure their facilities at all times to ensure their equipment is protected and visitors are kept away from potentially dangerous areas. To do this, they have to know who is inside their facilities and why they’re there. While a pen and paper registration process may tell you who’s on your premises, it won’t tell you which part of the facility they’re in at a given time.
A visitor management system can give you real-time updates regarding your visitors, including where they are, where they’re going, and how many people are inside your facility. It can also help you get a big picture view of visitor patterns including numbers and movements for use in safety and security planning.
3. Discreetly Screen and Flag Visitors
Another reason why top utility companies choose to use a visitor management system is because of the ease with which they are able to screen visitors, even before they arrive on site.
With a visitor management system, you can easily ensure visitors have the credentials required to access your facility. If someone is entering your plant to troubleshoot an unplanned outage, for example, your system can provide real-time updates to reception letting them know that you’re expecting contractors to arrive. If you have guests arriving for a meeting, your personnel has the option to pre-register them to allow for speedier processing, or have them register quickly in the lobby. With this feature, utility companies can securely gather and store a guest’s first and last name, company affiliation, contact details, and host and use the information to screen visitors discreetly.
Additionally, because visitor management systems are digital, it creates an audit trail that’s easy to access and search. There’s no need to worry about information in paper logbooks being illegible or inaccurate.
4. Easy Integration with Employee Monitoring Platforms
For highly regulated industries like utility companies where accurately tracking visitors is necessary, visitor management processes must have a balance between control and efficiency.
Strategic tech integrations allows utility providers to easily streamline employee and visitor monitoring for better efficiency. For example, SwipedOn offers integrations with Active Directory and Azure, that can eliminate the hassle of registering individual employees one by one and instead importing all current staff at once. This ensures that employees are able to log in and log out whenever they enter or leave the premises. This makes the whole process faster and more efficient for utility companies who often have to deal with both employees and visitors going in and out of the facility.
5. Quickly Print Out Visitor ID Badges
Quickly printing visitor ID badges is a useful visitor management feature for any business, but more so for utility companies who need a quick and easy way to identify visitors who enter their facilities.
Safety and security are important for utility companies. With visitor ID badges, it’s easy for internal staff to identify which guests are actually authorized to be in the premises. When visitors wear their badge, employees can easily check to make sure that the photo on their badge matches their face and make sure no one has access without proper authorization.
There are many ways a visitor management system can help make tracking, monitoring, and reporting processes faster and easier for utility companies. Doing all these not only speeds up the whole check-in process, it also guarantees the safety of your guests and ensures the security of your premises.
With constant pressure to improve security of facilities, it’s important for utility companies to find technology that will streamline current processes and address visitor management challenges. The right visitor management system can help you monitor and manage personnel, contractors, guests, and visitors who need access to your premises. It can ensure that you comply with strict regulations, balance efficiency with security, and manage data easily. To find out what SwipedOn can do for your organization, reach out to us today.
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