3 Smart Locker Use Cases: Enterprise, Higher Ed & Government Applications

Organizations of all types are embracing the smart locker trend to manage overtaxed mailrooms and enhance services in innovative ways.

Fri Jul 16 07:04:00 EDT 2021
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The struggle is real. Mail centers are currently overwhelmed with parcels and they’re about to get even busier: shipping volume is expected to increase by nearly 15% through 2024.

Learn how enterprises, universities and government agencies are adopting smart lockers to address mail room challenges, while also discovering innovative uses that enhance services for employees, students, constituents and more.

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Adopt to adapt: Smart lockers for enterprise, higher ed and government

The ecommerce boom has mail centers struggling to keep pace not only with the tasks at hand, but also with the rising expectations of those they employ and serve. As a hybrid mix of onsite and remote work becomes the norm, more and more organizations are adapting with technology-enabled solutions—including smart lockers.  

Smart lockers are being embraced by enterprises, higher education and government to modernize the entire mail center experience and help those they employ and serve stay safe and productive. But many of these same organizations are discovering that the smart locker is far too useful to confine to mailroom duty only.

1. Enterprises

Whether we’re talking a 500-strong corporate office or a facilities management firm, the challenges are similar: you need a safe, secure way to manage packages and assets, as well as visibility into everything that moves across the organization. It’s not an easy task when “across the organization” increasingly includes remote worker locations.

Some 90% of companies are transitioning to a “hybrid” workforce that combines on-site and remote employees. Ensuring employees feel safe, productive and valued whether working remotely at home or hot-desking it in the office is critical. This helps explain why over 61% of enterprises are planning to invest in smart locker technology.

Contactless delivery with smart lockers improves the safety and efficiency of traditional package and mail distribution. It requires less staff to operate and allows employees to rest assured their packages and mail are safe until they’re ready to pick them up. But it doesn’t end there. IT departments are using smart lockers to manage and maintain valuable assets like laptops and cell phones. Other enterprises have found that smart lockers help solve the challenges associated with the distribution, sharing and inventory of essential equipment and supplies.

For these reasons and more you can add smart lockers to the list of technology-enabled solutions the modern workplace demands. 

2. Colleges and universities

Campus mail centers have long been bustling hubs that offer both students and staff access to critical services. Today, the bustle has grown more chaotic as overburdened mailrooms deal with an influx of packages and a generation of students that have come to expect convenient digital service options. Let’s be real—parents and staff expect the same.

Recent campus closures have revealed that services once considered conveniences could be a matter of organizational survival, particularly when it comes to ensuring the health and safety of students and staff. Smart lockers not only ease the burden of traditional package and mail distribution, they offer a secure no-contact experience.

No-contact experiences aren’t just for the campus mail center. Like enterprises, campuses are using smart lockers for asset management as well as a host of other services. Generation buy-it-online sees no reason why they should walk the aisles of the campus bookstore or check out equipment from the library. Smart lockers allow bookstores, libraries and other departments to receive a request online and fulfill it through a locker.

Want to order a book for class and pick it up later? Done!  Need to check out or return some video equipment? Done!  Don’t have the resources to staff a lost and found? Done!

3. Government agencies

From administrative office to court of law, maintaining business continuity is both a pledge to those they serve and a mandate that must be fulfilled—often by law. This places a special burden on government employees managing packages, mail and assets.

Consider the challenges: ensuring the health and safety of staff and community, tracking every document and asset moving across the agency, keeping whatever needs to be secure under lock and key. Smart lockers with their security, tracking and auditing capabilities are a game changer for this sector.

In addition to package and mail distribution, asset management and other secure services for staff, agencies are adopting smart lockers to enhance citizen services. Rather than have a staff member wait on someone who needs to pick up a document or permit, smart lockers allow citizens to request what they need online and pick it up when they’re able. Not only is this a boon to busy staff, it helps serve those who may not have the ability to get the help they need during office hours.

From use case to choice of provider

The use cases are solid, but what next? There are countless new providers launching their own version of the smart locker. If your organization is serious about incorporating smart lockers into your current services, here are the top three things that you should you look for in a partner:

  • Longevity: Evaluate whether the provider has the potential to support you for the term of your business.
  • Quality: Look for smart lockers that are built to last with software capable of delivering the operational efficiencies you need.
  • Service: Determine if the provider has the service infrastructure to immediately respond to service calls.