300 daily packages? 2500+ residents? Two mailrooms? This was the challenge that Marc Krause of Mariner’s Village in Marina del Ray, California faced. Like many apartment complexes, Mariner’s was struggling to deal with the deluge of packages that their residents were receiving. The COVID-19 pandemic certainly hasn’t made this any easier, and building managers are looking for ways to help alleviate the stress.
The challenge: A Mountain of Packages
Mariner’s Village is a large complex serving over 2,500 residents. Dealing with the volume of mail that comes with that many residents can be a problem. Marc says, “we have two dedicated package rooms to support our community. Essentially one room supports small and medium-sized packages and one room supports large and extra-large deliveries. We average 300 package deliveries per day.”
One of the challenges of having so many packages is physically storing them while waiting for residents to pick them up. “Before Smiota, packages were being delivered to each resident’s building and being left outside at the general mailbox area for the building. Often packages would pile up before being retrieved by residents.”
Once residents came to pick up packages, it often would take up valuable staff time to help sort through the mess. “There was a lot of time and resources being dedicated to package retrieval. Since packages would be left in a general area, residents often came to the staff to verify if their package was delivered or that they couldn’t find it and if we had any knowledge of where it was.”
In the worst-case scenario, residents couldn’t find their packages – whether because of misdelivery, accidental pickup, or theft. “Often we had very limited ability to assist residents, as only the resident would receive notification of their package delivery and status” said Marc.
The Solution: Smiota Smart Lockers
Smiota smart lockers have allowed Mariner’s Village to not only simply and streamline their mail delivery process, but it has also been extremely popular with their residents. “Since implementing Smiota Package Rooms, our customer service ratings have improved 100%. Our residents have the comfort and knowledge of knowing they can get their packages anytime, day or night, from a secure, comfortable location.”
Mariner’s Village began by installing 373 package lockers. These are directly accessed by mail carriers and delivery persons, and residents receive real-time up-to-date notifications as to the status of their packages.
Not only do the smart lockers solve many logistical problems, but Smiota’s customer service term has also been with Marc every step of the way to ensure a smooth transition. “The team goes above & beyond to ensure a smooth installation experience and ongoing support. With Smiota, anytime we’ve reached out for support, they’re literally always there. No auto-bot chat boxes or “please contact your representative” auto-replies. You need help, you can call or email anyone, anytime, and get a Smiota team member who knows their product and can resolve the issue.”
The Result: Expanded Smart Lockers
Mariner’s loved their smart locker system, but COVID began to put a strain on their 373 locker system that wasn’t being felt before. “When we opened our 1st package room of 373 lockers for our 981 units a couple of years ago, this room certainly met our needs averaging 65% – 70% capacity.”
But, an increase in shipments changed this. “The pandemic seemed to be the game changer where daily deliveries literally began doubling every day. As a result, we had to create an “overflow” room for the largest packages. In response to the increase, we converted a 2nd room, adding an additional 107 lockers. Since then, the lockers average about 75% capacity so we’re meeting our current needs with room for continued growth.”
As an added bonus, the smart locker system has helped Mariner’s maintain their competitive edge in the housing market. “[Our residents] not only love it, in today’s online shopping environment, they expect it. Our competitiveness with other communities has greatly improved.”