Companies often have outside visitors to their facilities for a multitude of reasons, whether it’s for meeting with potential partners or investors, coordinating with distributors and consultants, managing maintenance contractors and cleaning service personnel, or hosting visits from customers and the media.  Opening company doors in this way is a normal part of doing business and can certainly be an opportunity to develop strong business relationships and customer loyalty.  But these interactions may also inadvertently leave your company vulnerable to IP security breaches, and it’s considered a best-practice to manage these visits in a way that protects your valuable intellectual property.

 In times past, it was typical for a visitor to complete a paper check-in process, potentially show identification to a receptionist, and read and sign a paper non-disclosure agreement (NDA), which may also be referred to as a proprietary information agreement (PIA), confidentiality agreement (CA), confidential disclosure agreement (CDA), or secrecy agreement (SA).  Small companies may be accustomed to these types of paper-based methods because of their simplicity and low-tech, low-capital nature, but new products are modernizing the way firms can manage visitors and protect their intellectual property. 

 New streamline electronic visitor registration can be used with an iPad and can handle all aspects of the visitor check-in process.  Systems like these offer a streamline sign-in procedure that may include electronic check-in/check-out, electronic signatures for completing NDAs or other legal documentation, taking visitor pictures, and automatically creating and printing badges.  Further, the nature of the agreement can be customized, and even modified based on the type of visitor.  Systems like these alleviate a document storage dilemma, reduce consumption of resources, and reduce the time needed to complete the check-in process.  Managing visitors and NDAs using this modern electronic incarnation is now considered a best-practice in the IP industry. 

So, if you’re still using pen and paper to manage visitors, consider some of these new electronic visitor registration applications.  You can minimize the time pushing papers at the front door and spend more time getting down to business.