Should I replace my visitor books with an electronic visitor management system?

Here is a very popular question should I replace my visitor books with an electronic visitor management system? and what will it cost?

I received this question yesterday….
Just exploring ways to reduce costs at the moment – currently purchasing visitor books and then having to archive them as we need to keep them for a period of time. We have 7 sites. Can you please give me an idea on pricing?

Cost is one of the highest priority items when making a business purchase today, times are tough. if cost wasn’t the highest priority when purchasing a book to read we would still have physical retail bookstores. Kogan and Costco would not exist they only sell on price.

What other value can you achieve with an electronic visitor management system over your existing visitor management books? The top five answers to this question from customers are:

  • Compliance
  • Evacuation management
  • Communication
  • Instant reporting
  • Visibility across all locations

Visitor, Contractor Compliance

We hear of many types of compliance required by business with visitor management record keeping. I was talking to a quarry earlier this week and they have to report monthly the total hours worked on site by certain groups of visitors and contractors. Currently at the end of each month they go to the visitor management books and add up the total hours for the month. This process takes around four hours each month.

compliance can also include the recognition and acceptance of location-based safety rules. For example with an electronic visitor management system you can ask your visitor to comply with the site specific rules. These statements and questions can be created  specific to each location with the visitor electronically acknowledging any statements or questions that you put forward. Some examples include:

  • No smoking on site
  • No photos
  • Please wash your hands on entry
  • Please report all hazards while on site
  • Have you been overseas in the past 21 days
  • Did you injure yourself while on our location?
  • Have you been to an African country in the past 28 days?
  • Did you give your security pass back to the security guard?

Including these statements all questions as images allows visitors to understand the message quickly.

evacuation image


no camera warning

Compliance can also include current contractor insurance, workers compensation and other policies as well as on-site inductions.

Evacuation management

Having the ability to know who is in your building at the time of an evacuation is important. Having the ability to have this information in your hands at the time of the emergency is crucial. Visitor books have been fantastic for decades however when it comes to evacuation management visitor books are limited in their ability to assist all wardens and health and safety managers manage an evacuation.

What can you do with that visitor management book in an evacuation?

  • Pick up the book (if you can) and run outside
  • Tick off the names of the visitors in the book ( if you can read the writing)
  • Only one person can manage one book

What can you do with an electronic visitor management system in an evacuation?

  • You can access the  visitor management system from any smart device
  • You can access the system from the building next door
  • You can access the system for one location from any other location in your business
  • you can electronically sign off people safe for accurate evacuation management reporting
  • You can push and evacuation alert to all visitors, contractors and employees on site via SMS asking them to confirm they are safe
  • Multiple floor wardens or health and safety managers can be registering visitors, contractors and employees safe at the same time
  • You can quickly establish who is missing
  • You can provide historical evacuation management reports


Communication is my favourite, I wrote a detailed blog just a few weeks back on communication as it is the single biggest source of frustration for reception admin and security guard staff. The cost of a visitor management system is covered immediately by the increased company communication.

You can read my previous blog here

Instant reporting

This is where visitor management books and electronic visitor management systems are like cavemen and spaceman. Many initial enquiries about visitor management systems are about reporting. If you have ever needed to gather  data from a visitor management book you will know exactly what I am talking about. We see customers managing 10 visitors a day and 800 visitors a day it doesn’t really matter how many visitors a day you have coming into your business as send you need to report on any information using a visitor management book you know you are in trouble.

I have spoken to customers that have a visitor management book at the front of the building and another visitor management book at the rear of the building, can you imagine reporting on information contained in multiple books?

Electronic visitor management systems allow you to instantly report on:

  • Any employee
  • Any visitor
  • Any contractor
  • Any supplier
  • Any location
  • Any kiosk or entry point
  • Who needs assistance to evacuate in the event of an emergency

For any date period you choose, a single day, month, months or year. Within seconds you have the information in your hands.

hourly visitors

Visibility across all locations

Another favourite of mine is the ability to have all of the information from all of your locations at your desktop. I’ve spoken to companies with multiple locations multiple entrance points all run by manual visitor books. We have customers now that use the system to get a better understanding of how frequently suppliers are attending their locations across the nation for some companies the cost of the system is justified by this ability alone.


we have barely touched on some of the things we can do with contractors and inductions, these modules increase the value significantly of the visitor management system.

With the system costing as little as $20 a month for small locations how could you not replace your visitor management books.


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