In an era that prioritizes efficiency and independence, smart lockers are manifesting these needs at universities around the country. Saving time for staff and students, these modular systems create tangible solutions to overwhelmed mailrooms, busy schedules, and package loss and theft. Campuses are even using these secure delivery systems beyond the mailroom. Here are eight ways smart lockers are changing the university experience for the better.
1. Free Up Mailroom Space
Online shopping has been increasing steadily in the past decade, and the pandemic has pushed it to an all-time high. With mail carriers overrun, mailrooms overworked, and package theft increasing, every aspect of the delivery system is overwhelmed. On college and university campuses, this trend is exacerbated. Mailrooms staff have experienced a significant shift in the mail to package ratio and are not equipped to handle the large influx of packages.
Luckily, the solution doesn’t require more space and more staffing hours. Smart lockers provide an effective, contact-free, and systemized addition to the mailroom. Adding smart lockers frees up mailroom space while keeping packages highly organized. Couriers can deliver to lockers at individual dorms in addition to a centralized mailroom. Super resilient outdoor lockers don’t require any indoor space. They can be installed anywhere with access to electricity and WiFi!
2. Reduce the Hassle: Save Staff Time
Not only will a smart locker system free up space for your campus mailroom, but it will also free the mailroom staff from hectic workdays. The software can be integrated into your preexisting systems and doesn’t need any fancy equipment. Just scan packages in with a smartphone, and they will be registered into the system. Each package can be easily searched in the log by recipients name, delivery location, package type, etc… You will also get an update when the package was officially picked up by the student, meaning the software tracks the full chain of custody. No more searching for lost packages!
3. Convenient Access for Students
For many students, going to university means one thing (in addition to furthering their education): the first time living away from home. Packages play a big part in students adjusting to this new lifestyle. Care packages from family and friends send comfort and love while online shopping provides an easy way to get dorm essentials. The ease, efficiency, and safety of smart lockers ensure that students get their necessities as seamlessly as possible.
4. User-Friendly Tech
The streamlined smart locker systems nearly eliminate mailroom lines. Pickup is quick and easy, saving time and promoting social distancing. With a user-friendly app, students can pick up packages by scanning a QR code. Using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, this triggers a locker door to open without the recipient even having to touch the kiosk. The process is efficient, simple, and sanitary!
5. 24/7 Access
Additionally, students can access the lockers outside of mailroom hours. Students can fit their mail pickup into their schedules and release the stress of making it to the campus mailroom before it closes. Between classes, jobs, and extracurriculars, time is a precious commodity. Adding smart lockers to your campus delivery system will improve the quality of life for your students.
As a bonus, multiple packages for a single recipient can be deposited into a single locker. Students can easily grab all their deliveries without having to wait for sorting or typing in individual codes.
6. Campus Libraries
In addition to mail delivery, smart lockers are being used for a variety of creative purposes across college campuses, including libraries. Staff can place student holds and interlibrary loans in a locker, and an email or text notification will let the student know their texts are ready. The sanitary, contactless pickup eases stress for library staff, and students can grab their requests at their convenience.
7. Secure On-Campus Resources
Libraries aren’t alone in finding a use for smart lockers on campus. With thousands of students operating on thousands of different schedules, the modular systems are a secure and reliable solution to many delivery scenarios. At the start of the year, staff can send out orientation materials to the incoming freshmen. Need to distribute laptops, tablets, or even mobile hotspots to ensure all students have good WiFi access? The lockers will secure the equipment, and the software will give the IT and AV departments notifications when the items are picked up. And just as easily as students retrieved their deliveries, they can return equipment using the app and locker system.
8. Food Delivery
Saving space and time, reducing stress for staff and students, and securing inter-department deliveries are plentiful reasons to add a smart locker system to your campus. But the temperature-controlled options really take the cake, or they can at least deliver it!
Campus dining spaces are crowded at mealtimes, and the pandemic required many campuses to dedicate resources to delivering meals to individual dorms. Refrigerated lockers provide a contactless pickup for food delivery. Students can order food on their meal plan and schedule a pick-up time. The mailroom app will send delivery notifications and reminders to students when the food is ready so they don’t forget to grab their perishables!
The System that Works for You
Whether it’s simplifying campus mailrooms or distributing technology, smart lockers are changing the university experience for both staff and students. With options in build, material, and design, you can create a system individualized for your needs, even adding your school colors and mascots! Smiota can help you pick and design the perfect solution for your campus.