What You Should Know About Smart Lockers
As contactless and automated delivery options become more ubiquitous in our increasingly digitalized world, the shipping and receiving industry has seen some major changes. Package shipping volume continues to grow each year; and with the rise in ecommerce and remote work, strained mail systems have made businesses look toward more innovative solutions to maintain operations. One of the more widely adopted solutions has been Smart Lockers.
Here we’ll go over everything you should know about smart lockers including how they work, their use cases, and the benefits they offer to your business, university, or residential complex.
What Is a Smart Locker?
Smart lockers are storage lockers equipped with technology that is able to automate processes such as delivery, distribution, and package notifications and provide stronger security measures to protect deliveries. It makes shipping and receiving more convenient by speeding up order fulfillment for retail stores, libraries, and restaurants. They also help streamline mailroom operations at corporate offices as well as residential, university, and correctional facilities.
Gone are the days of finding a slip on your door after missing a package delivery. Smart lockers allow the receiver to pick up their package in a nearby, secure location at a time that is most convenient to them.
How Do Smart Lockers Work?
Despite being equipped with complex technology, using smart lockers is quite simple. Delivery services leave the package in one of the lockers. Once the delivery is marked as complete, the receiver is then notified that their package is ready for pick-up through an app. Smiota’s smart lockers, for instance, utilize a mobile app where all information and notifications are centralized. It also provides instructions on how to access their delivery via a secure PIN unique to that locker.
Smart lockers have additional advantages depending on the types of packages being stored. There are indoor lockers that have a variety of door size configurations, outdoor lockers with heavy-gauge steel and added protective features, and temperature-controlled lockers (refrigerated, frozen, ambient, and heated varieties) for food and medication deliveries, and more.
The Benefits of Using Smart Lockers
Smart lockers provide a number of benefits to companies and residence complexes of all sizes and types, particularly to those that are heavily involved with e-commerce.
- Save time: This is especially true for companies that have hybrid work models, where it’s not guaranteed that employees will be available to sign for packages. Smart lockers allow people to pick up their package on their own time, rather than having to wait around to sign for it or risk missing the delivery and causing further delays.
- 24-hour access: Smart lockers provide unmatched convenience by allowing customers, employees, and residents to pick up, ship, and make returns on a 24-hour basis. There’s no need to wait for the UPS Store to open or stand in line at the post office when a smart locker is just around the corner.
- Security: Heavy-gauge steel doors and smart security systems ensure unauthorized users are unable to gain access. Smiota, for example, provides a proprietary Locker Delivery Operating System and an innovative cloud platform that includes state-of-the-art security measures to provide peace of mind to customers.
- Customizable solutions: Businesses of all types and sizes can streamline their mailroom operations by tailoring their lockers to their specific needs. From temperature control to varying size configurations, smart lockers are able to accommodate any need. Some companies even offer lockers with customizable visuals to fit a specific office design or brand aesthetic.
- Data and analytics insights: Smart locker technology allows you to generate real-time performance reports that allow you to make more informed decisions when it comes to optimizing mailroom efficiency.
- Contactless pickup and delivery: The coronavirus pandemic opened everyone’s eyes to the importance of going contactless; and delivery systems are no exception. With 24-hour access, heightened security measures, UV-C technology, and antimicrobial protection features, it’s never been easier or safer to implement contactless shipping procedures.
What Are the Use Cases For Smart Lockers?
Smart lockers are useful for businesses and residence complexes of all sizes. Here are a few of the more common use cases:
Buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) has become a core part of retail operations, regardless of industry. Now more than ever customer expectations are centered around convenience, which a smart locker system is able to provide. In addition to analytics reports, you’ll gain access to better inventory tracking and more efficient order fulfillment to provide a better customer experience.
Universities are home to thousands, if not tens of thousands, of students. It’s already hard enough for mailrooms to keep up with such large volumes of incoming and outgoing packages. Smart lockers provide relief for mailroom employees — whether for multiple dorms/buildings or one centralized location — so they can focus on other priorities. Many smart locker companies, such as Smiota, are able to seamlessly integrate their lockers into your mailroom software or provide a new one, if necessary.
Apartment Complexes/Multi-Family Homes
There has always been a need for residents to receive packages, but over the past few years, this need has increased dramatically. Between meal kits and grocery deliveries, increases in ecommerce, and remote work opportunities, people are increasingly dependent on shipping infrastructure to purchase everyday items. For some apartment and condo buildings, this means lobbies and front doors are cluttered with packages — ones that are often temperature sensitive. Smart lockers are able to provide better security for these sensitive items and declutter common spaces.
Work Smarter With Smiota Smart Lockers
Smiota smart lockers are your number one resource for making your shipping and receiving efforts more efficient and automated. By providing 24/7 access, heightened security, a customizable platform, and an app that easily integrates with your existing software, your package solutions are just a phone call away.