Electronic Locker Suppliers That Support Higher Education Clients
7 Min Read
Written by: Parcel Pending
How to Choose the Right “Smart” Locker Solution to Reduce Operational Costs and Improve the Student and Campus Employee Experience
Online packages and deliveries for students have become a major pain point for colleges and universities nationwide. Back in the day, campus mail services were originally designed for the majority of their volume (70%) to be mail and the remaining 30% to be packages.
Today, with the boom in online shopping this ratio has flipped. In fact, every year, approximately 31 packages are delivered to every student on a college campus. And there’s no signs of this trend slowing down. In fact, this rate is expected to grow by more than 13% annually.
The global electronic lockers market is on the upswing, according to the global “Electronic Lockers Market” (2021-2025) research report1. The industry is projected to grow from $718 million in 2021 to more than $1.6 billion in 2028, according to another market research report2.
During the forecast period, North America is expected to have the highest market share in the global electronics locker industry. This is mainly because of the increase in the number of parcel deliveries caused by the growth of online shopping across the region.
As a result, campus mail services – which often lack space to begin with – are now overflowing with student packages on a daily basis.
That is why many colleges and universities are looking to invest in electronic university smart lockers to solve their package problems as these sturdy steel lockers improve security by keeping their contents safe. However, researching and identifying the best electronic locker systems to hold those packages can seem daunting. There is a lot of misinformation and marketing jargon out there and most college and university mail centers simply don’t have the time to sift through it all to make informed decisions about the best electronic locker system to meet their needs.
Below, we will discuss what colleges and universities should look for in a smart locker system to quickly identify the best electronic lockers suppliers to meet their package management needs when students and staff return to campus:
Safety & Security
When it comes to smart locker systems, one of the very first questions you want to ask the electronic locker suppliers is how exactly their electronic locker systems keep student and faculty packages safe and secure. For example, do they offer cameras? You should also ask what materials and security features they use in the construction of their indoor and outdoor smart lockers. For instance, do they offer theft proof steel parcel lockers for secure storage space, or do they use plastic lockers? Do their electronic smart lockers help prevent someone from stealing packages and do they eliminate missed deliveries by electronically logging each delivery and pick-up time? Do they provide full chain-of-custody tracking to ensure high security and reduce package liability and theft issues?
For example, with Parcel Pending by Quadient’s university lockers, package recipients don’t need to worry about package theft, misplaced packages, or damage.
Here’s how it works: a carrier agent or mailroom staffer scans the package at the Parcel Pending locker system kiosk, and a locker door opens automatically. The package goes into the locker, the delivery agent closes the locker door, and the electronic lock then locks securely. A notice is sent via email or text message to the user’s phone to inform them that their package is available. The recipient then goes to the locker at their convenience, enters the one-time PIN or scans a unique barcode that was sent to them to unlock the locker lock, and the door opens. They retrieve their personal items, and the storage space is now available for a new delivery.
Reduce Operational Costs
In addition to safety and security features, you will also want to inquire about how a supplier‘s electronic lockers will reduce your operational costs. After all, you will be making an investment into their technology so you will need this information to help you understand what your return will be. Consider asking about the step-by-step process of how their lockers will work to improve the security of your mail services. Also, ask specifics about how much time you can expect your mail service staff to save by using their lockers. You also will want to ask for customer testimonials, references, or case studies to gain a better understanding of your potential ROI.
Most importantly, electronic lockers should make it quick, easy and convenient for students to retrieve their packages 24/7 at their convenience. Students, along with their families and friends who send them packages, should be able to rest easy knowing that their packages and online orders will be delivered and remain safe and secure in their electronic lockers until they are retrieved. Likewise, university mail services should no longer have to worry about students rushing to the mail services before it closes to retrieve their packages. This helps provide a premium student experience at university while reducing staff time.
For example, Parcel Pending by Quadient’s university electronic locker system helps to significantly reduce the amount of labor and time required to manage each package delivery. In fact, Parcel Pending by Quadient’s access control locker solution can reduce package management labor resources by as much as a third by assuming all the customer service responsibilities for mail and package delivery, notification, and retrieval. And up to 80% of packages can be delivered directly to Parcel Pending’s electronic lockers, freeing up staffers to focus on other tasks.
Another key feature to inquire about is customization. After all, you’ll want your electronic lockers to mirror your college or university’s brand image. Be sure to ask any electronic locker supplier if you can customize the colors and designs of their electronic lockers so that you can match the lockers to your school colors, mascot, or campus setting. Along the same lines, you’ll want to confirm that the manufacturer‘s electronic lockers can meet any indoor or outdoor space requirements and/or package size. Most premium smart locker manufacturers will offer a wide selection of electronic locker sizes to accommodate packages of all sizes.
Access to Analytics
Having a safe, secure smart locker system is great, but you also will want to ensure that your manufacturer‘s electronic locker system can easily integrate with your mail tracking systems and offer analytics so that you can glean information from your data to understand how your lockers are being used. For example, with Parcel Pending’s university solutions, colleges and universities have access to robust analytics and dashboards that provide instantaneous summaries that show how their lockers are being used, when stale packages need to be removed, and track locker turnover and capacity. You can use all this information to provide a seamless package management service to your students, staff, and faculty.
Perfect for Athletic Facilities
Smart access lockers also offer a feature or two that make them perfect for athletic lockers. Because these lockers are electronic and self-service, gym managers can leverage them to distribute keys or padlocks to their customers who need to borrow secure storage tools (e.g., padlocks or padlock hasps) to protect their personal belongings. In this case, gym managers can place padlocks or other rental equipment in the gym locker system for a contactless asset exchange process.
Finally, when looking for the right electronic locker supplier, don’t forget to go with a trusted brand that has high end-user ratings and satisfaction. This is again a good place to ask for customer testimonials, references, and case studies so you can confirm the locker supplier is a credible, trustworthy partner for your college or university.
For example, 98% of Parcel Pending’s users said they were “very satisfied” with their school lockers. One of Parcel Pending’s main competitive differentiators is its customer service support. Parcel Pending offers professional installation and maintenance along with local service staff who are on call 24/7 to provide support and answer questions.
Parcel Pending by Quadient’s smart lockers optimize the campus mail services center. And it saves staff hundreds of hours of possessing time, thus reducing stress. For students, tech-enabled storage lockers streamline the pickup process and remove the worry that a package might be lost, damaged, or stolen.
Key features of Parcel Pending’s university lockers include:
- Smart: Built-in intelligence and integration, real-time analytics and reporting
- Secure: Total package security reduces the risk of stolen goods or mis-deliveries
- Accessible: Multi-size lockers accept most package sizes; ADA compliance supports any user
- Trackable: Fully-automated log, 100% chain of custody visibility of all deliveries and pickups
- Mobile Friendly: Users receive instant delivery notifications via text or email
- Convenient, Contact-Free Pickup: 24/7 self-service package access, no signature required
- Customizable: Custom colors and wraps to match school colors, mascots, or campus settings
- Efficient: Streamlines delivery process; flexible solutions reduce space needed to accept deliveries
To start the conversation about how an electronic locker system can benefit your campus experience, contact a Parcel Pending by Quadient representative today!
- Research Reports World. (2021, May 5). Electronic Lockers Market Growth 2021, Global Industry Demand, Share, Top Players, Industry Size, Future Growth by 2025 [Press release]. Retrieved from: https://www.ktvn.com/story/43821828/electronic-lockers-market-growth-2021-global-industry-demand-share-top-players-industry-size-future-growth-by-2025
- Fortune Business Insights. (2021). Smart Parcel Locker Market Research Report [Report]. Retrieved from: https://www.fortunebusinessinsights.com/smart-parcel-locker-market-104718