As colleges and universities nationwide prepare to re-open this fall, many are seeking innovative technology solutions to help them improve the virtual and in-person campus life experience. 

One tech-savvy solution gaining popularity among colleges is smart parcel lockers. While most people are familiar with smart lockers as a package management solution, many don’t realize that smart lockers do so much more! 

There are a number of unique ways that colleges and universities can use smart package lockers for operational improvement. They enhance their student and faculty experience, save valuable staff time, reduce operational costs, and, most importantly, provide a safe, secure and contact-free way for students and faculty to retrieve their packages, personal items, and school supplies.

Premium Campus Mail Services Experience

Now more than ever, college students are shopping online in light of COVID-19, and universities should be prepared to manage holiday-like package volume year-round.

This is where a smart locker comes into play. Smart lockers eliminate the chaos of on-campus mail delivery and student housing management by assuming all of the customer service responsibilities for mail and parcel delivery, notification, and retrieval. In fact, up to 80% of online orders and packages, including grocery, medicine, and more, can be delivered directly to parcel lockers, freeing up campus mail staff to focus on other tasks. With fewer staff and resources on-site, Parcel Pending by Quadient lockers provide an easy, secure, and contact-free way to manage the overwhelming influx of daily deliveries.

The step-by-step package delivery process is simple:

  • Student packages arrive via courier at a central receiving area on-campus.
  • Mail operations staff sort and code the packages for smart lockers according to their final on-campus destination.
  • Staff deliver the packages to the appropriate locations on-campus and place them into a secure storage locker.
  • Students are notified by text and/or email about the delivery status and are provided with a unique code to use when retrieving the package(s) privately and safely at any time.
  • The student arrives at the locker and enters their unique access code, accessing the locker and retrieving their package at their convenience.

University mail services no longer need to worry about students rushing to collect their packages before the mail services center closes. Electronic lockers make it quick, easy and convenient for students to retrieve their packages at their convenience simplifying the package delivery process for university staff, students and couriers alike. Because students are able to pick-up their packages any time of the day without having to tie up mail services staff, campus mail operations will also experience fewer inquiries and complaints from students trying to locate their lost or stolen packages.

Beyond Packages

Smart lockers can manage more than just packages. Colleges and universities can utilize smart lockers to deliver student mail; distribute personal belongings or electronics (like a laptop or tablet); disseminate library books or textbooks, move-in materials; shipping logistics; and so much more! This helps to minimize human-to-human interactions and keep both students and faculty safe.

Contact-Free Pick-Up Options

COVID-19 has not only created a major increase in online shopping, but also an increase in consumer demand for safe, secure and contact-free package retrieval. In fact, a recent study shows that a whopping 87% of consumers prefer contact-free pick-up options.

Smart lockers provide seamless package management and a safe, secure and, most importantly, contact-free way for students to retrieve online orders and packages at their convenience. For example, students can use their mobile device to open their corresponding locker door thereby avoiding any contact with keypads, touchscreens or package locker doors.

These package locker solutions also help colleges and universities adhere to state and local health guidelines by reducing contact with delivery drivers and couriers, and encouraging the safety of students and campus mail services staff. Instead of the numerous face-to-face interactions between delivery drivers and mail services staff, and then mail services staff and students, students are able to retrieve their packages from a self-service solution at any time of the day. 

Self-service lockers are available 24/7, which helps eliminate congregating lines and encourage social-distancing. Staff can then discourage drop-in traffic, asking students to make an appointment for any in-person questions or assistance.

Quick System Set-Up

With a flexible API, our smart locker systems also easily integrate with university mail tracking systems and come with 24/7 customer support to ensure a premium user experience.

Smart lockers also reduce liability for stolen packages and missed deliveries. All deliveries and customer pick-ups are monitored, tracked, and verified by Parcel Pending by Quadient’s built-in cameras and infrared scanners to guarantee safety and security. That means that delivery attempts are also monitored and verified. Cloud-based, web video surveillance is also available.

Students and staff no longer need to worry about tracking when a package will be delivered and planning a well-timed trip to the mail services center. Instead, they can rest assured knowing that their packages and online orders will remain safe and secure in the locker until they are ready to be retrieved. 

Reduce Operational Costs

Some estimates suggest that every student receives approximately 31 package deliveries every year, and this rate is expected to grow by more than 13% annually. 

However, campus mail services were not designed for high packaging volume. As a result, campus mail operations – which often lack space or room – are constantly overflowing with student packages. The daily influx of packages forces mail services staff to spend countless hours accepting and sorting deliveries, as well as facilitating pick-up.

Parcel Pending by Quadient university locker solutions can reduce the labor resources demanded by package management by as much as a third.

Smart lockers can solve a number of pain points for university mailroom operations including: saving valuable staff time, diminishing lost or stolen packages, eliminating package liability, removing stale packages with the help of our robust reporting, reducing operating costs, and providing an enhanced campus life experience. 

As the leading company for package and mail-related management solutions, we’ve helped hundreds of leading colleges and universities preserve their reputation and bottom line with contact-free intelligent parcel lockers and mail-related solutions. 

Learn how Parcel Pending by Quadient’s university package lockers can deliver a premium package management solution by meeting consumer needs.