Sep 5, 2019
Nov 9, 2023

Why a sign-in app should replace pen and paper for visitor management

We compare visitor management systems so you can choose the best option for your workplace.
Fayette Fox
Why a sign-in app should replace pen and paper for visitor management

What’s the right visitor management solution for your company? With so many options on the market, it can be hard to know where to start. You want visitors to feel welcomed, to complete the right forms, and for the process to be efficient. And of course the price needs to fit your budget.

We’ll go over the pros and cons of different kinds of visitor management systems—pen and paper, on-premise digital sign-in software, and cloud-based sign-in apps—so you can choose the best visitor management option for your workplace.

Pen and paper

The paper logbook seems like a simple visitor management solution. But is it an effective one? Visitors write their name and company on a paper sign-in sheet. It seems straight-forward, but there are efficiency and security concerns. The receptionist may have to type up the information later for a digital record.

Otherwise, your company may have to hold on to stacks of papers to keep track of who has visited your office. If you need visitors to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) or other legal forms, the receptionist needs to print them out and store the signed copies.

If you use visitor badges, the receptionist or visitors will likely have to write them out by hand. And unlike digital sign-in software, with a paper logbook, visitors can easily see who else has recently visited your company, raising security concerns.

Overall, the downsides of using pen and paper for visitor management are:

  1. Make your company seem outdated
  2. Convey the wrong first impression
  3. Create a poor workplace experience for everyone involved

On-premise digital sign-in software

Using on-premise digital sign-in software for visitor management is more efficient and may give a better first impression than pen and paper. But if the interface is clunky and the legacy software is outdated, you won’t be impressing anyone.

There are a number of issues with on-site software options, including:

  • You may have to pay high up-front costs including installing server hardware, anti-virus software, etc. This sort of workplace technology needs to be physically housed in a server room and requires power and cooling.
  • There will also be ongoing costs for software support, hardware maintenance, and regular software upgrades.

Real talk: If there’s an office emergency like an evacuation, an electronic logbook stored on a hard drive in your workplace won’t be of much use.

Cloud-based sign-in app

A digital sign-in app is a modern, more streamlined way to handle workplace visitor management. This kind of workplace technology runs on an iPad. It makes a great first impression on office visitors because it’s attractive, quick, and easy-to-use.

The hallmarks of a good cloud-based sign-in app are:

  • Customization. Convey your company’s branding clearly and immediately by adding your colors, logos, and graphic identity. Configure sign-in flows for each visitor type so that visitors can sign your NDA or other forms right in the app.
  • Photo capabilities. A quality sign-in app takes visitors’ photos and automatically sends the image to the visitor’s host, so they always know who to greet in reception.
  • Printable badges. A sign-in app can even print customized name badges for your visitors.

This all makes for a positive workplace experience for your employees and visitors alike.

Financially, sign-in apps make good sense too. Digital sign-in apps are affordable, even for small companies. With a SaaS (Software as a Service) visitor management product, there are no big, upfront expenses or amortized costs. You can easily scale up or down as your business needs change, and the software is easy to update.

Because a sign-in app is cloud-based, there’s no hardware to maintain or store on-site in a server room. And you can securely access your data whenever and wherever you need.

Check out how a digital sign-in app has helped make Pandora’s visitor management more efficient.


Ready to up-level your visitor sign-in experience? Talk with a visitor management expert for a free trial.

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Fayette Fox
Fayette Fox

Fayette is passionate about writing content to help educate and inspire workplace leaders. She covers everything from the visitor and employee experience to space management, to the workplace tech-stack that keeps it all running.

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