We live in an ever-changing world. As our businesses, living situations, and expectations shift to accommodate these changes, so does our relationship with technology. This is especially true as we live through the coronavirus pandemic. And as consumers demand contactless and more efficient means of procuring necessary items, smart lockers have become a crucial element for many businesses, colleges, multi-family units, libraries, and more. Today we’re going to look at how smart locker features transform the way we exchange goods. They operate by saving major amounts of time and money while also enabling customers, neighbors, and other community members to stay safe.
COVID-19 has caused an acceleration of many different trends, and moving towards a more secure, contactless world is no exception. So, here’s a list of 7 smart locker features that make all the difference in making that process more sustainable for years to come:
1. Streamlined Chains
Deliverable items and retail products will potentially pass through several warehouses’ waiting stations before arriving in people’s hands and homes. For each transfer and step along the way, there is the potential for quick, efficient hand-offs – or paradoxically – disorganization, delay, and wasted resources – whether that be time, money, or both.
An exciting aspect and feature of smart lockers is the ways in which they are able to facilitate the transit process. With smart lockers, delivery professionals are able to do their work swiftly and with greater accessibility.
For example, at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), school officials knew that they needed to improve the mailroom delivery process. This needed to be done both for the sake of students working to deliver mail and students awaiting their packages. With smart lockers and the accompanying software, the university streamlined the package delivery system. Ultimately, their process was transformed for the better. Staff was able to handle and sort packages in just seconds, instead of minutes. Better yet, students were able to access their mail 24/7 instead of the previously more restricted desk hours of the mailroom. The extra labor that was required to protect packages and distribute mail was all but eliminated.
These efficiency measures might seem unimportant at first glance, but the school was able to save $73,000 through the added feature of smart lockers. That’s a significant chunk of change and a big argument for the efficiency featured in smart locker systems.
Likewise, Comcast was able to save 16 hours per day in their mailroom using Smiota Smart Lockers. In 2017, a specific Comcast office was receiving roughly 225 packages a day. Each one needed to be touched several times by different employees and the chain of custody was not complete. Smiota Smart Lockers helped Comcast helped to streamline mailroom and save $76,800 that year.
2. Fully Integrated Technology
Too often, technology makes things harder instead of simpler for people. This is especially true when it is first introduced. Smart lockers feature fully integrated technology – and in transforming the step-by-step delivery process, it synthesizes a body of fully integrated technology.
Consistent and integrated elements of a technological system make a process significantly easier for delivery professionals as well as those people swinging by to pick up their items. Smart lockers connect people to the process, instead of further disorienting them.
3. iOS and Android Applications
Speaking of integrated technology: it’s important that any smart locker be an accessible application for customers, students, etc regardless of whether they use an iPhone or an Android.
According to a 2020 Statista report, around 46% of mobile operating systems used Android. IOS on the other hand accounts for around 53% of the market. Making sure that the smart locker is available technology to as many people as possible is an important feature. Where’s the efficiency in leaving out half of the available users in the US?
4. Customizable Design
Another important feature of making new technology, and specifically smart lockers, accessible, is customizable design features that supplement the aesthetics of a chosen environment. Brand consistency says a lot about a business, and it’s important that integrated technology is able to incorporate the distinctions of an enterprise that customers already know and trust.
It makes all the difference to make intentional choices regarding the appearance of smart lockers. There’s a wide variety of colors, sizes, configurations, and other customizable in order to best suit a particular business objective.
Now, this feature is really cool: refrigerated lockers.
And truly, this feature can be a game-changer for a wide variety of businesses. Restaurants can use smart package lockers for pick up and delivery to keep items cool and send instantaneous alerts to customers or delivery professionals that a specific order is ready.
The same goes for grocery stores, flower shops, and plant nurseries. Plenty of beloved vinyl and other fragile media items can suffer without temperature-controlled conditions but would be protected in a smart locker. Food banks are better able to organize deliveries and manage more time-sensitive food.
With efficiency and refrigeration, a lot of new avenues and possibilities become available.
Smart lockers make a lot of things easier. And while breezy pickup and delivery is an admirable objective in and of itself, there’s another important feature that supplants even the most carefree process: security.
Over half of U.S. adults say they receive at least one delivery per week. Additionally, 43% of Americans have experienced package theft. That is a staggering amount of missing mail and important deliveries.
This is especially true in cases of prescriptions, where people’s lives often depend on receiving medication in a timely manner. The healthcare system is already overly convoluted for the average American. In an economy where insulin can cost somewhere between $25 – $300 per vial, a wrongful or stolen package can compound an already dire situation. Neo Hutiri, an inventor, won the African prize for engineering for just this sort of technology. In this instance, the smart lockers empowered patients and cut down wait times from an average of 3.5 hours to under 36 seconds, according to the BBC.
And then, of course, there is the global pandemic that has defined the past 17 months of our collective interactions. Smart locker features mean that people can be assured that their packages will not be stolen. Plus, they are minimizing contact with pathogens that move amongst populations.
With the vaccinated population varying depending on regions, countries, and politics, it seems that the safety of contactless delivery and pick up are part of our wheeling and dealings for good. Conscientious cleanliness and risk mitigation are perhaps the most obvious selling points of smart lockers. It’s important to invest in the safety and security of our systems and exchanges wherever possible.
7. Adaptable Use
An exciting smark locker use that will inherently unfold as time goes on: their adaptability.
Not all technology has this feature. But smart lockers are really only limited by the imaginations of entrepreneurs and visionaries that utilize them. While smart lockers became critical for plenty of office spaces and businesses during the pandemic, the needs of these entrepreneurs will shift with time. They can leverage smart lockers to keep up with those changes in a secure and efficient way. Whether that is for employees to use for personal items, the transfer of IT equipment between personnel, refrigerated lockers for food, or confidential delivery between departments, smart locker use can be as fluid as the needs of people in the space.
8. 24/7 Customer Service
And finally, for an extra bit of peace of mind? Smart lockers feature 24/7 customer service. It makes a big difference to know that capable professionals are ready to help at a moment’s notice. 24/7 customer service is a feature that means you have support when needed. This means people to walk you through various steps, explain features as you integrate the technology into your strategy, and troubleshoot any issues that should arise.