3 Ways In Which Building Management Is Changing

Building management and front of house have traditionally been treated as cost of business. It is part and parcel of being a business and so the cost must be borne and cannot be cut or changed.

As a result, this area has seen little change. The processes are largely the same and there are few reasons to innovate because the budget will be the same next year.

Slowly but surely this is changing. Just as software is eating the world, it is finding it’s way to the reception desk. For such a simple use case — showing up to a reception desk and checking in for a meeting, alternative and somewhat elegent solutions are emerging. As a result, businesses are taking a fresh look at their front of house and seeing how they can innovate and in particular improve the experience for visitors that they invite to their offices.

There are three areas where building management is changing and where business are moving to software solutions provided by the likes of Ingress One.

Health & Safety — Know Who Is In The Building

First and foremost, facilities managers and front of house staff need to know exactly who is in the building, especially in the event of the building needing to be evacuated.

Currently this process is quite messy, with information on employees and guests in separate systems. To add to the confusion, information on guests in the office building is only in a paper based visitor books, where guests are likely to have signed in but not signed out.

New software solutions have the ability to make these scenarios less complicated, by automatically checking guests out, providing guests with health and safety and evacuation information directly to thier smartphones.

Every businesses needs to work out what their individual needs are, but one thing is for certain — the current systems and processes don’t cut it.

Building Entry Without the Hardware

Physical keys and keycards are expensive and inflexible for most businesses. Replacing locks and keys is a slow process which can leave businesses vulnerable.

Also they don’t offer anything in terms of guest management, so visitors need to speak to a member of staff or call the employee that they are meeting when they arrive. This provides a poor experience and does nothing to show guests that they are valued.

There is a shift happening to replace hardware with software. One day all of our keys will be on our smartphones.

Just like your boarding-pass is emailed to you or provided via an app for you to scan-to-enter, this will also be the case with office entry.

A Smart Office For A Higher Level Of Security

The Internet of Things has the potential to transform building management competely. By utilising smart locks, beacons and sensors, buildings will have the ability to become more efficient.

But a smarter office is not just a nice to have. Since the nature of work is changing (BYOD, flexible working hours etc), security has become more important. A smart office is how to manage all of the different employee needs. For example:

  • Allowing building entry at any time of day, whilst limiting access to certain areas with smart locks
  • Understanding visitor arrival patterns to ensure that your building is providing enough meeting rooms and suggesting meeting times for when these rooms are not being used
  • Ensuring that you know when guests leave using beacons to check people out automatically
Building security should not harm flexibility for employees and new technology is the way to ensure a balance between the two.

An All In One Solution?

All of these things can be achieved with a simple software solutions replacing the existing processes and systems. Ingress One provides business with guest entry via a tablet app, employee ID via a smartphone (coming soon!) and integration with any smart lock provider (later on in 2016) all on one platform. This has the additional benefit of giving businesses full control and visibility over their buildings that they have not been able to get hold of before.

Building entry is an area that is ripe for innovation and can potentially save businesses a lot of money. The key is to use technology that guests and employees alike are already comfortable with — their smartphones.

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