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Manage visitors virtually

iLobby platform eliminates logbooks.


February 3, 2017
by Matt Powell, Associate Editor

iLobby repurposes reception staff for higher value duties. PHOTO: INKAS

iLobby repurposes reception staff for higher value duties. PHOTO: INKAS

The INKAS Group of Companies is well known for producing some of the world’s most impressive, and expensive, armoured vehicles at its Toronto plant.

Now the company, through its AppGear division, wants to virtualize a manufacturing facility’s visitor management system with iLobby. The innovative tablet-based visitor registration and management platform enhances the security of business infrastructure and streamlines a visitor or tradesperson’s experience at a plant.

It shows exactly where everyone is within the facility, at all times.

“The platform is the evolution of the entire INKAS group, and builds on the theme of security and safety in the workplace,” says David Fraser, COO of INKAS Armoured Vehicle Manufacturing.

“In the back end, iLobby also provides some analytics about how productive your employees were.”

The system works as a virtual receptionist, prompting visitors, tradespeople and delivery personnel to register through a tablet, keying in personal information, the company they work for, and a vehicle’s license plate number.

They’ll be prompted to pose for a photo and an ID badge will be printed. The system will then send an instant visitor notification to specific employees the person is in the building to see via text message, e-mail or voice alert, and provide both parties with the location within the building where a meeting will take place.

The cloud-based platform collects signatures on health questionnaires, waivers, NDAs and legal documents. It also eliminates administrational burdens during regular auditing through a central database that stores an entire visitor history profile with export options. A tablet can also be placed in delivery areas to track trucks coming in and out.

All-seeing

Tablets are placed in reception and delivery areas. PHOTO: INKAS

Tablets are placed in reception and delivery areas. PHOTO: INKAS

An evacuation mode assists during emergencies by dispatching notifications to all employees. If there are visitors in the building, they’re listed in the employee notification. Health and safety personnel receive a complete list of all visitors and contractors to assist in the headcount process.

“Instead of having a person at your front desk, the system allows companies to reprofile them to a position in which they’re generating revenue,” Fraser says, noting the concept is similar to the way telephone operators were repurposed when the telephone keypad was introduced.

In highly regulated industries that require compliance with regulations such as PCI, GMP or ITAR, iLobby ensures appropriate security and visitor protocols are in place, which is handy during an audit. The platform produces standard and fully customized reports instantly.

Fraser says the idea took about a year from concept to working prototype, and has been in the field for five months. It combines all facets of INKAS’s business divisions, including cash-in-transit, armoured vehicle and point of sale. There’s a number of pricing options, starting at free and ranging up to $199 a month for the corporate package, which includes a 10-inch tablet, cellular connection, unlimited users, a multi-site licence and a badge printer. An enterprise package is also available for larger operations.

iLobby fits in nicely with the growing virtual scope of manufacturing facilities. While the system may not directly impact what’s happening on a plant’s production line, it does provide valuable insights into what’s going on across the entire facility.

This article appears in the May/June 2016 issue of PLANT.

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