How Smart Parcel Lockers Boost Student Safety
With campus operations looking a little different going forward, colleges and universities across the UK and Ireland are working to ensure student and staff safety. With hybrid learning, social distancing and mask requirements, more than ever before, Facilities and Estates teams must assess their onsite processes in order to enable a safe campus experience and give peace of mind to students and their parents.
With the unprecedented growth in e-commerce, one process which must not be overlooked is parcel management. A process that, if poorly managed, can lead to health and safety risks.
Here’s a snapshot of how smart parcel lockers elevate safety without compromising productivity or convenience.
|Task||Pre-COVID||Post-COVID||Post-COVID with Quadient Smart Lockers|
|Staff Productivity||Carriers would deliver to a central reception or mailroom; employees then sort mail for distribution to students||An increase in volume means parcels pile up awaiting employee sorting/delivery due to reduction of in-person staffing||Employees distribute parcels to lockers boosting productivity by 30%|
|Notification of Delivery||Students had to manually check with mail services. And/or staff had to manually contact students to advise them to collect.||Staff notify students about the parcel and dictate when to collect due to limited pick-up hours||Students receive text/email/app notification that a parcel is waiting for them|
|Person-to-person interaction||Students retrieve parcels with in-person interaction||Couriers may interact with staff during the handover of parcels, students then cautiously retrieve parcels from staff with physical interaction and safety protocols||Couriers or staff place parcel into locker. A unique barcode or access code opens the locker. Student retrieves parcel safely without human interaction.|
|Retrieval of parcel||Parcels delivered to post room; students must pick-up during designated times||Students queue up outside the post room during collection times and socially distance while waiting for staff to hand over the parcel||Students retrieve parcels when it is convenient for them (24/7 access) within 10 seconds without the need to even touch the keyboard|
|Management of parcels||Post room staff manually monitor and track which parcels have been collected and which are yet to be||Post room staff squeeze in package admin tasks as time allows; significant delays caused by reduction in staffing||The system automatically notifies students that the parcel remains un-retrieved|
If you still have students waiting in line for parcel retrieval, checking in with the postroom or signing for packages you’re perpetuating the old school of parcel management. Why not leverage the power of technology to automate virtually every mailroom task? Embracing smart locker technology reduces possible exposure of COVID– 19 to both students and staff while also increasing productivity.
The Demand for Student Safety is Real
The fear of COVID is founded in facts. Despite reports of school parties, students remain influenced by the pandemic. In fact, 26% of college students have swapped their choice of colleges this year because of the high threat of getting the disease. And 62% of all parents are anxious about sending their kids back to college because of the pandemic.
The Growing Volume of Package Deliveries
Although Parcel Pending by Quadient’s smart locker solutions are carrier agnostic, statistics paint the picture of the parcel pile-up hitting colleges across the country. Royal Mail reported they delivered 496m parcels during the last three months of 2020, 30% higher than the same period in 2019. Couple that statistic with this one: with over a third of UK consumers buy online multiple times a week, and you can see the mounting problem.
Easy, Fast, and Safe Parcel Delivering Without Human Interaction
Quadient parcel lockers enable packages to be stored securely without face-to-face interaction by your employees. Our automated system sends recipients a notification that they have a parcel to collect, and a unique access code to their smartphone, allowing for easy and safe package pickup without ever touching a keypad. In fact, it typically takes less than 10 seconds to retrieve a parcel with no signature required! Smart locker technology not only promotes social distancing but prevents any human interaction. And, allowing students to pick up 24/7 (if access to your facilities allows), reduces the chance of crowding during peak times.
University Smart Lockers: Where Safety Meets Productivity
Imagine saying goodbye to the headaches of package delivery, notification, and retrieval and hello to a reduction in staffing resources by about 30%. Our smart locker systems track each delivery and pickup, providing you with a full chain of custody and visibility for each package. Since Parcel Pending by Quadient’s locker system integrates effortlessly with its own Web Tracking System (WTS) or existing university mail tracking systems, you have complete visibility into where your packages are at all times.
Custom Configurations to Meet Your Business Needs
Count on us to custom configure a locker layout that fits your space, needs, and aesthetics. Installed in as little as one business day, smart lockers are modular with a variety of sizes including accessible lockers so that 80% of all packages can be securely delivered to university smart lockers freeing up staff to focus on other tasks. Additionally, Quadient parcel lockers are completely customisable and can be wrapped to stand out with your logo and colours, or alternatively, blend in with the surroundings.
And, with our superb, local customer service team, we have your back when it comes to support. Available 24/7/365, we offer email and phone support for both employees and students.
The higher and further education environment will continue to evolve as we learn more about COVID-19 and begin the journey out of national lockdowns. Don’t let package management problems add more stress to your plate. Save time and money by streamlining your package management process with a Quadient parcel locker solution.
For more information about how to streamline parcel management at your school, university or student accommodation site, get in touch today for a free virtual demonstraton.