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University College Oxford

University College Oxford improves parcel security and traceability with intelligent parcel lockers from Parcel Pending by Quadient

About University College Oxford:
University College Oxford (Univ) is the oldest of the 38 Oxford colleges. It has up to 500 students, both graduate and undergraduate, studying across a range of subjects that span the sciences and arts. Located in the center of Oxford, Univ enjoys access to the city’s amenities and a welcoming community atmosphere. In 2019, the college upgraded its parcel management system to resolve a storage issue, improve parcel traceability, and increase security.

The Challenge

On a daily basis, an average of 90 parcels arrive for students at the Univ Lodge. It was incumbent on staff to notify students of their deliveries and they would do this by tailoring a proforma email each time a parcel arrived. Parcels were stored awaiting collection in a room at the Lodge, which was accessed by any student collecting a parcel. This room was no longer going to be available, leaving the college with a storage issue.

“The student accommodation is contained within the grounds of the college and doesn’t have a separate postal address, so all parcels come to the Lodge,” explains Michael Park, Univ’s head porter. “While the process we had for managing deliveries worked, it was a little bit clunky and then it was decided the room we used was going to be repurposed which would leave us with nowhere to keep parcels.”

The Process

Faced with an impending parcel storage issue, the college researched potential solutions and contacted Parcel Pending by Quadient to discuss parcel lockers.

“The concept seemed ideal as a way of managing the parcels,” says Michael. “Dealing with Parcel Pending by Quadient was straightforward. We were pleased to be given a single point of contact so that we had someone we could go to with any issues or concerns. They responded quickly and comprehensively.”

The Solution

The college chose Parcel Pending by Quadient’s secure electronic parcel locker system to store parcels and automatically notify students who are then able to collect their items when it is convenient for them. Over 90 lockers were installed on-site at the college, conveniently located outside so that students can collect anytime, 24/7. The solution automates notifications by sending an email containing information – in the form of a PIN/barcode – that the student uses to open the relevant locker when they’re ready to retrieve their parcel.

“Deliveries still come to the Lodge and we transport them over to the lockers,” explains Michael. “If parcels require a signature, we still sign for them before putting them in the lockers. The index list suggests possibilities when you start to type in the student’s name, so it’s simply a case of selecting the right one and putting the parcel in the locker. When the door has been closed, the student is sent a notification. They can then collect at any time; we don’t have to be there.”

“We would work with Parcel Pending by Quadient again in the future. Students have reacted positively to the lockers, space is no longer an issue, and we now have an audit trail which is very useful.”
Michael Park, Head Porter, University College Oxford

Delivery and Results

With intelligent parcel lockers from Parcel Pending by Quadient, students can self-serve for parcel collection. The convenient on-campus location of the lockers means their items are readily available and easily accessed with the notifications they receive. A third of students collect their items on the same day, with 90% retrieving their parcels within three days.

For the Lodge, the lockers have solved the storage issue and saved space given over to parcel management. Staff time that was previously spent notifying students of their deliveries has been saved. The electronic system ensures the status and location of each parcel is always known.

Parcel management is now also more secure. Previously, students would retrieve their own parcels from the storage room, now it’s guaranteed that only addressees of parcels will have access to their items.

“Now, we have an audit trail from the time items are placed in lockers to when they are retrieved,” says Michael. “Security is a lot better.”

Challenge Results Solution Method
The college faced the loss of parcel storage space and wanted an improved audit trail to track and trace parcels. Students have reacted positively to the parcel lockers and staff no longer have to individually notify students or supervise parcel collections. Items can be traced from the time they arrive and are stored securely. Over 90 parcel lockers installed at Unive meet the parcel storage needs of the college and can provide a secure and automated drop-off/collection system. Parcel Pending by Quadient ensured Univ had a single point of contact to progress the locker solution which now serves the needs of the college campus.

As the market leader, Parcel Pending by Quadient has helped thousands of leading colleges and universities preserve their reputation and bottom line with contact-free intelligent parcel locker solutions and mail-related solutions. Discover how our university package lockers can integrate with WTS, taking care of your packages so you can take care of your students and staff.