The definition of the modern campus experience has changed drastically over the course of the past few months. Before the campus experience was all about desirable amenities for students – rock climbing walls and plush communal workspaces, for instance. Now, the campus experience is all about providing high-class amenities and making it safe for students and faculty to return to campus.
Enter the safe, modern campus experience.
The Safe, Modern Campus Experience
This new approach to campus life centers around the services needed to provide a high-quality student experience while also protecting at-risk faculty, staff, and the surrounding community. This change has shifted the “amenities war” away from luxury gyms and services, and closer to amenities necessary to serve the education and security of the campus.
Given the budget disruptions caused by COVID-19, a recent article from McKinsey & Company asserts, “higher education institutions may want to consider providing fewer, better ancillary services, while keeping the broader wellbeing of their students in mind”.1
Smart package lockers have emerged as one of the preeminent services for this new approach to campus life. Many universities already leverage these solutions to support student package deliveries. Now, solutions providers like Parcel Pending by Quadient are working with our higher education partners to help re-deploy lockers on campus to facilitate other existing delivery processes on campus.
Mail Service Centers Are Only the Beginning
Campus mail services centers are just one example of an ancillary service that has had to adapt to unexpected circumstances quickly. Universities are now facing the added challenge of facilitating deliveries for students, faculty, and staff who are no longer on campus regularly.
Many institutions have transitioned to centralized delivery systems supported by smart package lockers to provide easy, self-service drop-off and pick-up of various goods. For many universities, this change has been a boon for handling a wide variety of deliveries.
“Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve seen clients use our lockers for completely different reasons then than what they initially purchased their systems for,” says Mark Bailey, Account Executive at Parcel Pending by Quadient, “… [sometimes for] literally anything and everything except student packages.”
Colleges and universities can utilize smart lockers for a number of deliveries, including student mail, personal belongings or electronics, library books, textbooks, move-in materials, and more. Gone are the days of door-to-door or in-person manual deliveries, sometimes across multiple buildings. Now, students, faculty, and staff can retrieve packages and other important deliveries at their convenience and without having to interact with couriers or other university staff.
Reinventing Campus Deliveries with Smart Parcel Lockers
Re-deploying lockers to support existing processes helps provide a contact-free campus experience and minimizes human-to-human contact to keep students, faculty, and staff safe.
Lockers can be installed wherever an institution needs to process deliveries and connect to an existing asset tracking software where students and staff are already registered. This means universities do not need to create a new communication process for students and staff; instead, there is one simple process for drop-off and pick-up regardless of which department is using the lockers.
Also, by leveraging a software like Parcel Pending by Quadient’s WTS (Web Tracking System), institutions can support interdepartmental deliveries using one database system. Whether it’s the mail center, library, bookstore, or campus IT, each department can tap into the software to access chain-of-custody for any of their deliveries.
This can make implementing lockers quick, easy, and cost-effective, as funds can be pooled from various departments to reduce the overall investment cost.
Smart lockers have shifted from a nice-to-have amenity to a must-have necessity. Colleges and universities should strongly consider taking the upcoming holiday break to rethink their approach to campus deliveries and consider investing in smart lockers to help provide a safe, modern campus experience.
Parcel Pending by Quadient is offering a number of flexible commitment terms that can help you bridge budget gaps attributed to COVID-related disruptions in campus operations.
Let us take care of your deliveries so you can take care of your students, faculty, and staff. Learn more about our university parcel management solutions here.
- Dua, André, et al. McKinsey & Company. Reimagining higher education in the United States. (2020, October 26). https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/public-and-social-sector/our-insights/reimagining-higher-education-in-the-united-states.