Originally published December 20, 2017.
When’s the last time you were able to give your student workers an immediate raise? That’s exactly what happened at the University of Nevada Las Vegas after they installed Smiota’s package delivery system in their residence halls.
Streamlining their package management system doesn’t just save UNLV money. It saves their residence hall staff time, too, so they can focus on their primary task of enhancing the student experience.
Here’s how UNLV did it.
The problem: A constant deluge of packages
How many packages do you think each student at UNLV receives each month? One, maybe two? Try 2.5.
While that might not seem like a lot, it can add up. UNLV has about 1,800 students living on campus and gets 6,500 packages a month. That’s over 80,000 packages delivered to residence halls each year.
In May 2017, this is what the package delivery process at UNLV looked like:
Every parcel arrived at the same central mailroom – the hub of the whole system. Staff manually logged each package that came through the door. Then, they shipped the packages off to one of four service delivery desks serving nine residence halls.
At the delivery desk, staff logged the packages again and placed slips for each package in the student’s mailbox. Students could then pick their packages up from a staffed desk between 10 am and 10 pm every day (one desk was open 24/7).
This might seem like a pretty straightforward system, but it still took quite a bit of time. From initial delivery to pick-up, each package took about 3.2 minutes of staff time. With 6,500 packages arriving each month, staff were spending 240 hours a month on package delivery. In dollars and cents, UNLV was spending over $200,000 each year in operating costs on package management alone.
The solution: Smiota’s package management system
Warren Porter, Director of Operations at UNLV, knew there had to be a better solution. In fact, when school let out for the summer, he promised his student workers that there would be a better system in place when they returned in the fall.
Initially, he had a hard time finding a company that understood his unique needs. Then, he found Smiota.
Mr. Porter provided all the information we needed to provide a unique solution for his residence halls. The result was a fully customized and integrated mailroom and smart locker delivery system.
In Mr. Porter’s words, this is how the technology helps UNLV meet the expectations of its students:
“Our students enter a social contract with the university and housing, and in that contract, they expect a unique living experience that will contribute to their personal growth and academic success. Generation Z has grown up with technology in all aspects of their lives, and a part of those expectations of the university are high-speed WiFi and other technological platforms that enhance the learning and living environment. The mail lockers, digital student ID cards, and digital keys are many examples of our efforts to create a safe and positive learning and living experience that allows students to focus on interacting with fellow residents and achieving academic success. What we have done here at UNLV is create a stressless process to receive mail that students now feel is a part of their unique experience living at UNLV.”
Here’s what the package delivery process at UNLV looks like now:
Packages still arrive at the central hub at UNLV. But now, the staff is armed with Smiota Mailroom software. Instead of having to log each package manually, the staff just points and scans, which begins the automated chain of custody process and assists with sorting.
Then, employees deliver the packages to Smiota’s smart lockers, called PoDs, in each residence hall. They currently have a total of 341 lockers installed. When a student has a package waiting for them, they’re automatically alerted via text, email, or the Smiota app. They can pick up their delivery at their convenience, often within minutes of notification.
The whole process takes 13 seconds per package.
Since they implemented Smiota Mailroom software and smart lockers, a few things have changed in UNLV residence halls.
First, the 24/7 package delivery desk closed, and desks are no longer double-staffed during peak package delivery and retrieval times. At the same time, staff productivity has doubled.
With the increased efficiency, Porter was able to save the school a significant amount of money. After is all said and done, UNLV will save $73,140 each year over the next five years.
And every penny of that money is going right back to the students.
The first thing Porter did was raise salaries for residence life and mailroom staff, who can now use the time they used to spend on package delivery enhancing the college experience for students. Porter is also investing in new resources for the residence halls, like SmartBoards for the study lounges, more student programming, and new furniture.
“UNLV is saving thousands yearly and has made the package experience for students and staff exceptional!” ~Warren Porter, Director of Operations at UNLV
What to learn more about Smiota’s package delivery solutions and see a live online demo? Set up a time to meet with one of our experts!