Shenandoah University Modernizes its Student Mail Center Experience with Parcel Pending by Quadient’s Integrated Smart Locker Solution
Shenandoah University is a private, nationally recognized, 4-year university located in Winchester, Virginia. A close-knit and dynamic academic community, its pastoral setting in the Shenandoah Valley borders the Blue Ridge Mountains and is close to Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland. The University was founded in 1875 and offers programs across 200 different fields of study at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. Of its 4,000 students, about 1,200 live on campus in one of 13 residence halls.
|Shenandoah University’s student mail center staff had to rely on a handwritten log to track incoming package deliveries. Trying to find logged packages in the limited mailroom space often led to long lineups and frustrating wait times when students came to pick up packages. This mean there was no certainty that students would reach the mail counter in a timely manner between classes or even during business hours.
|Committed to the value of smart locker technology, Shenandoah University Director of Auxiliary Services, Pam Burke, selected Parcel Pending by Quadient to address the University’s package management needs. Burke and her team worked with the Parcel Pending team to ensure the University was ready for the installation and that all aspects of the launch were properly coordinated, including an integration with Quadient’s Web Tracking System.
|Parcel Pending by Quadient’s integrated smart locker solution has been a game-changer for all those on campus, including the more technology-averse staff members. It has made the package pick-up and management process a far more pleasant and efficient experience for everyone involved. Lineups are also a thing of the past, with students now able to retrieve packages at their convenience even once the mail services center closes for the day.
An overwhelmed mailroom created long lines and longer waits
With a small and hard-to-access mail services center, more students than available mailboxes, and the dramatic increase in online shopping in recent years, the package situation at Shenandoah University was becoming increasingly difficult to manage. The student mail center’s two full-time staff members and part-time student workers had to rely on a handwritten log to track deliveries that were too big or too numerous for the University’s existing mailbox infrastructure. Trying to find logged packages in the limited space led to long lineups and frustrating wait times when students came to pick up packages.
Oftentimes, given the size of the line meandering along the narrow hallway leading to the mail services center, there was no certainty that students would reach the mail counter in a timely manner between classes or even during business hours. And a mailroom employee taking a sick day or dealing with a late delivery translated to one less person to handle requests at the mail center’s counter.
“In high volume periods, the mailroom was organized mayhem with hundreds of packages waiting to be sorted,” noted Pam Burke, Director of Auxiliary Services. “For the staff, it was a struggle to navigate the space, let alone find the right package.”
Introducing a new, modern, and seamless process
Burke found out about smart parcel lockers after discovering them at a National Association of College Auxiliary Services (NACAS) trade show. She was convinced that smart lockers would be a perfect solution to the University’s mailroom headaches.
Committed to the value of the new technology, Burke finally received the go-ahead in 2022. “I would send photos to my VP,” noted Burke. “I think the image of one of our staff members struggling to reach the office computer surrounded by more than 300 recently-delivered Amazon parcels gave everyone a perfect sense of the scale of the problem!”
A longtime Quadient customer, Shenandoah had recently upgraded their Quadient mail meter and started using Quadient’s Web Tracking System (WTS) – a mail and package tracking technology that seamlessly integrates with Quadient’s smart locker solutions. Adding a Parcel Pending by Quadient locker solution to further modernize their mail services was a logical next step in the partnership.
|“I really appreciated the knowledge of the Quadient team. They were amazingly helpful and easy to communicate with. It was a seamless process.”
|Pam Burke, Director of Auxiliary Services, Shenandoah University
Burke and her team worked in close collaboration with Parcel Pending’s sales and installation experts to ensure a smooth transition to the smart locker technology. Together they made sure that the university was ready for the installation and that all aspects of the launch were properly coordinated, including the WTS integration.
“Deciding on the locker configuration we wanted was straightforward and simple,” said Burke. “I really appreciated the knowledge of the Quadient team. They were amazingly helpful and easy to communicate with. It was a seamless process.”
The current configuration and custom Shenandoah University-branded wrap was planned and designed in a way that will make it easy to expand the configuration and increase capacity as the student population grows.
More space, no lineups, and unexpected compliments – lockers are a game changer
The smart locker solution is still in its first few months of use on the Shenandoah University campus, but Burke’s team in the mailroom loves it and so do the students. For all those on campus, including the more technology-averse staff members, the smart locker technology has been easy to learn and even easier to use. It has been a game-changer.
|“Typically, students only find me if they want to complain about something. But I had two students come and find me in my office recently and tell me how much they absolutely love using the lockers, which was a really pleasant surprise.”
|Pam Burke, Director of Auxiliary Services, Shenandoah University
With the smart locker solution, packages no longer need to be stored in the mailroom. This has helped the Shenandoah student mail services team reclaim valuable square footage in their small office. It has also made the package pick-up and management process a far more pleasant and efficient experience for everyone involved. And lineups are a thing of the past, with students now able to retrieve packages at their convenience even once the mail services center closes for the day.
Burke was thrilled to report that the lockers have generated an enthusiastic response from students living on campus. “Typically, students only find me if they want to complain about something. But I had two students come and find me in my office recently and tell me how much they absolutely love using the lockers, which was a really pleasant surprise.”
Burke has already recommended Quadient to other institutions via NACAS. She’s happy to tell anyone who asks how easy the experience has been, both for her and the mail services team, and about the significant way it has improved the package delivery experience for staff and the students on campus. “I’m a big proponent of supporting those campus providers that are there to support us,” she said.
Quadient is the market leader in parcel management and smart mail solutions for colleges and universities worldwide. With more than 70 million packages delivered annually, Parcel Pending by Quadient has successfully helped thousands of educational institutions preserve their reputation and bottom line with our contact-free intelligent parcel locker solutions.
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