But perhaps no industry includes more experts on storing and moving items than supply chain management. Unfortunately, maintaining an extensive supply chain with warehouses is challenging and often not very cost-effective.
That’s why Smiota came up with an innovative solution — virtualizing the warehouse by bringing the entire supply chain into smart lockers. This has proven to save companies thousands of hours and millions of dollars annually.
How smart lockers benefit supply chain management
Smiota’s smart lockers provide a simple and secure solution for transferring valuable inventory between locations, supporting greater efficiency and safety in the supply chain. Take a look at some of the benefits:
- Time and cost savings: Lockers bring essential items closer to the employees and customers who need them, and they provide single dropoff/pickup locations for drivers. This can save everyone time and help reduce warehouse operating hours.
- Easy setup and use: Staff members need minimal training to operate the user-friendly lockers. Plus, admins can view a desktop dashboard of real-time measurable outcomes with a single click.
- Automated alerts: Our smart locker software sends customized notifications via text, email, and/or app, including codes that allow recipients to unlock items.
- Secure chain of custody: Lockers prevent unauthorized access, supporting a complete chain of custody for deliverables.
- 24/7 access and support: Approved users have access to the lockers and technical support all day, every day.
- Contactless transactions: Locker transactions eliminate the need for person-to-person contact, so deposits, pickups, and returns are completely contact-free. This helps companies secure the health and safety of their workers and support social distancing practices.
How supply chain staff and customers can use smart lockers
A variety of supply chain networks can use package lockers to help manage the movement of goods and supplies from one place to another. Here are a couple of examples.
For handling servicing equipment:
- A driver picks up new equipment from the warehouse and deposits it into strategically-placed lockers. To save time, drivers can transport items for multiple technicians to secure lockers located nearby.
- Technicians retrieve the new equipment from the lockers when needed to complete installations at customer locations.
- Technicians then bring back the customers’ old equipment and return it using the lockers.
- A driver picks up all the old equipment from the lockers and takes it to the warehouse.
For suppliers and their retail partners:
- Warehouse staff can pick up and transport items from warehouses to smart lockers installed at retail locations.
- Once employees process and deposit the items, Smiota’s system alerts the retail customers of the arrival via text, email, and/or mobile app.
- Using a code provided by the system notification, customers access the lockers and retrieve delivered items.
- Customers can also return items to the warehouse by depositing them into the lockers and notifying warehouse staff. Since the lockers offer 24/7 access, warehouse staff can collectively pick up any returned items when it’s most convenient (e.g., outside of store hours).
Smart lockers help streamline supply chains while protecting both staff and inventory. To find out more about how they can support your supply system, contact us today.