In the consumer goods industry, creating exceptional visitor experiences goes beyond just a warm welcome. It involves implementing a well-crafted visitor policy that balances security, compliance, and hospitality. After all, visitors are an important part of what helps your company develop your product, expand your business, and maintain a great brand reputation. In this blog post, we'll explore what a visitor policy is and the eight essential tactics that will elevate your production site’s visitor policy to new heights. From establishing clear rules and procedures to prioritizing safety, privacy, and seamless technology, a good policy will help you create a memorable visitor experience.
What is a production site visitor policy?
A visitor policy for a production site is a set of rules that state who’s allowed onsite, when they’re allowed to be there, and which parts of the facility they can access. In some cases, a company may have a unique policy for each type of visitor. For example, food and beverage manufacturers might have separate visitor policies for vendors, contractors, auditors, and business partners. Having a workplace visitor policy in place is important because it helps to:
- Keep everyone on-site safe: A visitor policy clearly states who can and cannot enter the workplace. If someone doesn’t meet your criteria for entry, your team can take the proper steps to ensure they’re not allowed onsite. Plus, it ensures that only people who are certified with your specific safety requirements can enter.
- Stay compliant: A visitor policy should take the latest regional regulations into account for each office or production site location. This ensures your company collects and securely stores everything you need from visitors to remain in compliance with the latest regional regulations.
- Create a consistent visitor experience: A visitor policy serves as a reference for facility managers to ensure they provide a consistent experience to every guest onsite. This means regardless of who’s working at the front desk, you can be sure your visitors are welcomed onsite according to your company standards.
- Save time: A visitor policy ensures your team won’t have to reinvent the wheel every time someone comes to the production site. Instead, they can follow the guidelines outlined in the policy, saving them time and effort.
8 must-have sections for your production site visitor policy
To create an effective and standardized visitor policy, you’ll want to include the following sections:
1. Purpose and scope
Your policy should clearly outline the purpose and scope, including types of visitors allowed, where they should sign in, what hours they’re allowed to visit, and specific access or safety requirements. To create this, work closely with your executive team and production site managers to outline the types of visitors that are allowed and the goal of their visit.
Who is and isn’t allowed access to your facility is a key element of your workplace visitor policy. In this section, clearly outline which individuals or groups are allowed into different areas of the workplace. For example, your facility might welcome business partners, vendors, or auditors, but doesn’t allow family members or friends to visit. Vendors might be allowed in the main office spaces, but not the floor. You may also want to include a list of blocked or flagged individuals who are not allowed to enter the facility. But instead of handwriting each name in your policy, simply add them to your visitor management system (VMS) and add a link in your policy.
If your facility handles sensitive information or proprietary processes, it's crucial to take a few extra precautions to protect your company's trade secrets and intellectual property. In your policy, be sure to include which documents visitors need to sign before they arrive on site. This typically includes non-disclosure agreements or waivers. It may also include watching safety videos, signing a risk liability form, or completing safety training before coming onsite.
4. Health & safety guidelines
Your production site likely has heavy machinery, hazardous chemicals, or delicate equipment that are intended to only be used by trained professionals to create your consumer’s favorite goods. However, when operated by an untrained person, they can cause damage to the person or the facility. That’s why it’s important to include safety and health guidelines in your visitor policy. This section should outline all of the pre-, during, and post-visit safety rules. This could include dress requirements for visitors who come onsite, like closed toed shoes. It could also be stocking your lobby area with PPE or gloves. Finally, this could also look like access restrictions. For example, maybe only authorized individuals are allowed to go onto the production floor when they have the appropriate safety attire.
5. Emergency procedures
There’s no way to predict exactly when a natural disaster will strike your production site or an intruder will enter, but there is a way to plan and prepare. In the emergency section of your visitor policy, include clear instructions such as evacuation protocols, assembly points, and emergency contact information. This information should be easily accessible in your facility and communicated to your visitors during the sign-in process.
6. Data protection & privacy
Your visitor policy should also include a section on data protection and privacy. Your facility may have data compliance laws to abide by such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or other regional laws. So be sure to clearly outline how visitor information will be collected, stored, and used.
It’s always a good idea to be prepared with the process that is needed to deal with violations of the policy. For example, if a visitor doesn’t watch the required video or refuses to sign necessary documents, what should your front desk administrator do? Should they call security or reschedule the visitor to come another time? These are questions that you’ll want to think through and include answers to in your policy.
8. Communication & training
Last but certainly not least, you should communicate your policy to all employees and staff. Provide multiple training sessions for your front desk team, security team, and any employee that regularly interacts with visitors. You’ll want to make sure you also frequently revisit your policy to make adjustments and retrain your people.
Why it’s important to have a consistent visitor policy
If you oversee more than one location, you know how challenging it can be to standardize the visitor experience and the compliance process you so dutifully crated. Without that, it’s hard to maintain consistent and accurate records that protect your company from liability. Plus, a consistent experience creates a good impression on your visitors and helps you build a positive reputation among consumers. Using a visitor management system (VMS) will help you standardize at scale—while also giving you the flexibility to meet local and regional requirements. Look for a visitor management system that can easily sync with any of your existing tools such as your existing access control system or document storage tool.Here are a few of the benefits of using a VMS to maintain consistency and scale your workplace visitor policy:
- Pull centralized data: Access visitor data and invite details for each of your locations to see who’s authorized to be onsite for each of your locations. This can help you stay ahead of audits and pull consistent and accurate data when you need it.
- Easily adopt across all locations: Configure your account settings once and implement it across all your locations, plus new ones. This helps to avoid multiple, lengthy setup processes in each location while still enabling you to customize your settings based on each location’s requirements.
- Uphold a great brand: In the consumer goods industry, reputation is everything. Part of what builds a great reputation is creating a consistently good experience whether it's the experience of a consumer interacting with your product or the experience of a visitor coming to your site.
—Coupling your visitor policy with the right visitor management software can create the ultimate experience for anyone who enters your facility. This not only elevates your brand reputation and sets you apart from competitors, but it also supports your compliance needs and safety standards. Ready to improve the visitor experience across all your locations? Check out our blog post on How to build a stellar brand through visitor management.