Archives: July 14, 2022

Digital Visitor Management System: Taking Data Beyond Gate Management

A mid-sized gated community can see visitors numbering hundreds in a day. A large housing complex can see a higher influx with visitors ranging from household workers to family members. Managing these guests is one of the top priorities for the society guards. With security being the prime concerns for most gated communities, only approved guests can be allowed.

Legacy systems ran visitor entry through registers to record details and intercom to communicate with residents. This system had several drawbacks, including the challenge of maintaining years of visitor registers. The legacy systems were replaced by digital visitor management systems (VMS) that created end-to-end solutions to make the process efficient, reducing both time and effort. 

However, the deployment of a digital VMS has many benefits that go beyond recording visitor data. Gatekeeper by ApnaComplex is an integrated VMS that includes multiple value-added services, helping in creating greater efficiency for Resident Welfare Associations / Management Committees and residents.

What is a digital visitor management system? 

At its simplest, a visitor management system is designed to record the details of guests, staff, delivery personnel, other people and vehicles that enter a gated community. Digital VMS like Gatekeeper leverage a digital platform to record and store all information. Under the system, guards use the Gatekeeper app to communicate with residents, seeking approval and notifying them of the entry and exit of any visitor. 

The app is also used to take down all visitor details, including their name, photograph, and address. The information is neatly segmented for different categories of visitors, such as daily help, delivery personnel, and staff. Backed by ApnaComplex’s award-winning ERP, it creates an end-to-end VMS with multiple usages. 

How does Gatekeeper improve efficiency for residents and MCs? 

Gatekeeper offers many benefits that go beyond safeguarding your society. The digitisation and automation of VMS can have unexpected benefits for residents and the management committee, including:  

Pre-approving guests: What happens when you anticipate a visitor, but may not be home to approve by phone? Or when you want the guest to simply walk in? Gatekeeper offers residents the option to pre-authorise guests. The process also frees residents and guards from the on-gate approval process, creating a smooth entry for approved visitors. 

Smoothen deliveries: Today, many residents expect multiple deliveries in a day. This can be challenging for working people who may not be home to receive their package. With Gatekeeper, you can pre-authorise all deliveries to be dropped off at your doorstep. 

Tracking guards: It is not always possible to check if every guard is taking the correct patrol route. CCTV supervision has blind spots and individual supervision can mean wastage of resources. Gatekeeper has a feature for Guard Patrol Tracking where the security personnel has to scan QR codes at blind spots. It creates an efficient system where the guard’s route can be tracked at any later date.

Tracking staff attendance: Gatekeeper is designed to notify residents every time their domestic staff enters or leaves the premises. The automation of data helps residents to keep track of their domestic help, including their attendance. 

Facilitating payroll: Gatekeeper automatically records the attendance of society administrative staff and other personnel. With an automated digital system, any chances of omission are negligible. This attendance record can be later accessed by the financial committee when processing payrolls. 

Checking school bus route: The app allows parents to trace the specific routes as school buses move through the society premises. They can connect with other parents and get real-time notifications whenever the bus reaches the society gates. 

Central database: Finally, one of the biggest advantages of a digital VMS is the centralisation of data. It brings all users on one platform, from guards to residents and the admin staff. The platform stores a database for members and staff. This data can be used for different purposes, including payroll and assessing footfall at different times of the day.

When harnessed properly, Gatekeeper automates many of the society’s operations, creating a more efficient process of data collection and retrieval which can then be leveraged to create further value for residents and the management committee. 

What is QR Code-Based Asset Management & How it Reduces Operational costs

Asset management is a critical part of the governance of a housing complex or gated community. It is concerned with the maintenance and upkeep of society assets like electrical fittings, elevators, or office equipment. Effective asset management can lower operational costs, improve performance, and increase efficiency. However, it can be a complex process involving asset tracking, performance monitoring, scheduling regular maintenance, and keeping an eye on the costs involved. 

ApnaComplex offers a comprehensive module for asset management including QR code- based asset tracking. The solutions are designed to give property managers holistic information about each asset on the premises through a simple QR code scan. This can facilitate timely servicing which is not just important for optimal asset performance, but may also play a crucial role in maximising its lifespan. 

What is QR-code based asset management?

Developed by a Japanese company in 1994, QR code is a matrix barcode that can hold a host of information, including valuable data, identifier or tracker towards a website or application. In asset management QR codes hold a clear edge over other alternatives like RFID or GPS tags because of two main reasons. Firstly, QR codes, especially dynamic QR codes, offer a very high degree of usage and customisation. Secondly and most importantly, they can be scanned by a smartphone. 

ApnaComplex leverages the QR code technology to facilitate both asset tracking and its complaint system. QR codes contain valuable information such as maintenance dues, AMCs, and much more.

Reducing Operational costs

The question now is how QR code-based asset management helps in reducing operational costs? The answer lies in its ability to streamline and automate asset management. 

No need for special equipment: Since QR codes can be scanned by a smartphone, we don’t need any special equipment for their deployment. The ease of scanning means that anyone can use it whenever required. In practice, it allows the manager or a service staff to quickly access all equipment data at a moment’s notice. Since the smartphone works as the scanning device, it also removes the need to invest in any additional equipment. 

Speedy asset identification: With a QR code, we don’t have to look up a database to identify the asset and gather all details regarding its service history. This saves time that would otherwise be spent in tracing relevant spreadsheets and invoices. In housing societies that have to manage a large scale of assets and equipment, this can be a valuable resource. 

Reduce asset downtime: Proactive maintenance can be carried out by carefully planning servicing schedules. Ready access to service history or maintenance records can give the data we need to create a schedule that reduces any operational disruptions. 

Improving performance: Data can be key in reducing the operational costs associated with repair and maintenance of assets. This is because data can be leveraged via technology to automate maintenance schedules or to call for repairs on time. By accessing service history, we can schedule timely service, thereby improving performance. 

Ensuring longevity: Ultimately, asset management aims at ensuring longevity of the asset through timely maintenance and repair. Well-maintained machinery where performance has been carefully planned for optimsation is likely to outperform its depreciation rate and last longer than expected. 

What makes ApnaComplex QR code-based asset management so efficient?

With ApnaComplex, QR code technology is backed with an ERP that can further automate key functions. The dynamic QR code allows the viewer to pull up all relevant information about the equipment or property. We can automate maintenance schedules so that all support functions can be carried out smoothly and without any delays. We can also set up an alert system to further ensure adherence to a service timetable. 

ApnaComplex also offers a QR code-based complaint system. This innovative feature allows residents and service staff to register a complaint on the ApnaComplex app by simply scanning the QR code. This further cuts down on time taken to identify problems, thus improving asset performance. In the long run, it can reduce asset depreciation, prolonging its lifespan. 

As an information repository, the QR code technology holds a clear edge over any other asset management tool. It provides us with instant access to information that is updated regularly. Backed up with ApnaComplex ERP solutions, QR code is one of the most important tools in asset management today, ensuring optimal performance and longevity. 

Why Digital Payments form the Backbone of Property Management

Financial transactions are a vital part of property management. From vendor invoices to rentals, and maintenance dues, the volume of such transactions is often the biggest challenge for management committees. It can include keeping up with defaulting payments, calculating late payment charges, and sending out timely reminders. 

Legacy systems that depended on cheques and cash payments were the norm until recently. While transfers through internet banking had gained ground, we were still far away from the vibrant digital payment ecosystem that exists today. With multiple options, from bank transfers, payment gateways, to UPI, digital payments have fast gained ground, replacing legacy systems across housing complexes and gated communities.

ApnaComplex offers a single platform where all digital payments are consolidated. Coupled with its award-winning ERP solutions, the program streamlines the overall financial management of gated communities to improve cost and labour efficiency.

Benefits of switching to digital payments

There are good reasons digital payments are fast becoming the norm in apartment management solutions. The digitalisation of payments has resolved some of the long-pending challenges in the financial management of a housing complex, significantly reducing time and effort. 

24/7 access: Unlike depositing cheques or cash, there are no fixed office hours to worry about. One of the reasons that digital payments work for both residents and MCs is the open access at all times. Residents can make their payments at any hour of the day and MCs are not hampered by bank hours to withdraw funds. 

Quick status update: Unlike bank transfers or cheque deposits, digital payments take minutes to be completed. The payee receives confirmation as soon as the payment is made. This means that the payment status can also be updated within minutes. 

Minimising loss of payments: Digital payments almost completely eliminate risks of bad cheques or human errors in writing or recording cheques. Since most electronic payment systems have in-built systems for verifications, any chance of payments that fail to come through are almost completely negated. 

Automating processes: Digital payments facilitate automation of financial transactions and bookkeeping, further boosting the efficiency in financial transactions and recordkeeping. Other than automating billing and collections, we can also automate reminders for defaulters. 

Paperless operations: Online payments mean that there are no cheques or paper receipts. Instead, digital payments rely on secure e-receipts. Hence, it is critical in transitioning to and maintaining paperless operations. 

How ApnaComplex facilitates digital payments 

As an apartment management software, ApnaComplex offers a single platform to consolidate all digital payments, from B2B transactions to rentals and maintenance fees. Residents can now make all their payments on one app. They can also access their transaction history to trace different payments. For property managers, it is a powerful tool to streamline billing and collections. Among its many features are:

  • Secure: The platform offers a safe and secure payment gateway. 
  • Multiple options: One can choose from different options, including NEFT transfers, netbanking or credit/ debit cards.
  • Economic: There are zero convenience charges. In addition, it also saves valuable operational time and costs on accounting and billing.
  • Virtual account: This account is assigned for each flat.
  • Facilitates automation: With ApnaComplex ERP solutions, digital payments are further leveraged for automation, setting up recurring invoices, ensuring accounting entries are automatically recorded, receipts issued on time, and defaulters report sent to members. The system also sends reminders to defaulters.

Digital payments are a crucial part of the Indian government’s flagship Digital India initiative. As we move towards greater integration of smart solutions in our daily life, we will see the emergence of more innovative products that facilitate cashless transactions. With both residents and MC benefitting from the ecosystem, it’s a win-win proposition that also promotes paperless operations.