The Versatility of Visitor Tracking Among Institutions

Learn how The University of Massachusetts Lowell and Western Kentucky University leverage Visitor Tracking with StarRez to streamline their housing operations.
Visitor tracking and reporting are critical to creating happy, healthy, and engaged communities. In this blog, we explore how The University of Massachusetts Lowell (UMass Lowell) and Western Kentucky University (WKU) use the StarRez Visitor Tracking solution in different ways to regulate, automate, and monitor their visitor program. While each university has differing visitor policies and procedures, we highlight the workflow procedures that maximize work efficiencies for students and staff on-campus.

The Challenge

Before implementing StarRez, both WKU and UMass Lowell handled visitor tracking manually by having residents and guests approach the front desk for a full check in process, causing delays for staff transcribing ID information and monitoring visitor restrictions.

“We didn’t realize how bad the previous process was until we were able to fully track the numbers, we reported that 235,000 visitors checked in during the academic year of 2018-19 which was our first full academic year with StarRez.”

Doug Tate – Assistant Director Housing Admin, Western Kentucky University

WKU Visitor Policy

WKU has a 24-hour visitation policy across their campus, meaning that guests can check in and out at any time during the day or night, however, this must be done at the customer service desk with a valid ID through their desk support.

WKU Web and Portal Visitor Tracking Solution

WKU utilizes individual dashboards via the web for each specific building. The university utilizes a data subscription that creates visitor profiles at room check in/entry creation, meaning that the visitor profile is saved and easily accessible for returning guests.  

Each welcome desk is equipped with a mag stripe card reader for the visitor to swipe. Upon swiping, the system will match the ID with an existing visitor profile. Residents must pre-register visitors by registering them online to prepare the guest’s credentials for arrival.

WKU sets parameters on the numbers of visitors allowed per resident and holds notes on visitor profiles. This allows the system to match profiles in the database to allow/deny each visitor access.

UMass Lowell Visitor Policy

UMass Lowell’s visitor policy varies slightly from WKU’s policy. Their team only tracks visitors after 5:00PM until the morning. While each welcome desk is also equipped with a mag swipe, residents can pre-register their guest in the resident portal to produce an electronic visitor pass for entry. The front desk is only needed to match the ID to the Visitor Pass upon the guest’s arrival. Any flags tagged on specific profiles will be done during the registration process.

UMass Lowell PortalX Visitor Tracking Solution

UMass Lowell uses dynamic lists and customized reporting and dashboards to give staff an overview of current residential activity. Each morning at 7:00AM, an automated report sends emails to residents and visitors notifying them that their visitor status has been changed to departed. Their electronic visitor pass will expire, and visitors will no longer have building access.

Streamlined Workflow

Both universities share that StarRez’s Visitor Tracking solution has streamlined workflow efficiencies, increased residential safety, reduces lines at the front desk, and have empowered staff with the dynamic solutions that work for differing and changing university policies and procedures.

“We used to check in visitors manually (on paper) that took about 1-1.5 minutes. Now with StarRez PortalX visitor registration, it takes about 10 seconds to check in visitors. Which in return creates a streamlined, efficient process for our communities and reduces lines at the front desks.”

Forrest Finkler—Senior Associate Director of Housing at UMass Lowell

If you want to learn more about the solutions mentioned in this blog, you can find out more below.

Jenny Moltz

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