Parcel Lockers Open a New Way to Improve the Student Experience
College and university students haven’t changed much over the years but how they acquire their supplies and essentials for school has made a seismic shift to online purchases. Students as well their parents order just about everything online because of its convenience. As a result, over the last decade, the number of packages per student received at universities has doubled or even tripled. Managing the exponential growth of inbound package deliveries has become a major pain point for student mail services who operate using a manual or home-grown process especially during peak periods like the start of a semester. In fact, 2.5% of manually tracked packages are lost or misplaced daily.
Traditionally, students received their mail via dedicated letter-sized on-campus mailboxes. If a student received a package, which in the past was the exception and not the norm, he or she was notified by a pick-up slip in their mailbox. Now mailboxes are underutilized and the model has flipped with the growth of e-commerce and Amazon. Parcel growth is expected to rise at an annual rate of 17-28% through 2021. From textbooks to writing materials to special sport or science equipment, each student requires an inventory of items to help them complete their studies. For students balancing a workload that includes academics and a part-time job, their busy schedule may not coincide with the student mail center’s hours.
Some universities are investing in Intelligent Parcel Lockers to accelerate inbound package delivery while providing an electronic chain of custody for student mail services. Parcel lockers make pickup easy and secure, allowing students to choose the most convenient time to collect their package after receiving an email notification. In fact, parcel locker data indicates the majority of packages are retrieved by students after 6 p.m. after most mail service centers are closed.
By using parcel lockers, universities can improve both the student experience and improve mailroom productivity by:
- Reducing the risk of lost or stolen packages
- Reducing frequent status inquiries from students that can drain productivity
- Retaining better trackability and accountability along with gaining powerful analytics
- Reclaiming countless labor hours and freeing up resources
Parcel Lockers are simple solution that can help university administrators take control and stay ahead of the growing avalanche of packages.