How Smart Lockers are Transforming University Mailrooms

Not long after being in session, cars packed with belongings have begun to subside and students start taking note of all the things they either forgot to bring or don’t have. Fortunately for students, university mailrooms are there to pick up the slack.

Unless you’re an employee or volunteer, it’s tough to see how smart lockers are transforming university mailrooms- particularly toward the beginning of the first semester. But the added benefits through the use of these lockers have made an enormous impact in universities that spans throughout the year.

Transforming Mailrooms with Benefits of Smart Lockers

Transforming the organized chaos of a mailroom into functioning like a well-oiled machine benefits everyone involved. The staff, students, and mail carriers alike. 

The following are a few examples that explain how smart lockers are changing mailrooms in universities, and how they are simplifying life for students. 

Open up more Space in the Mailroom with Smart Lockers

Since the popularity of online shopping, the need for an evolution of parcel management has become paramount, and universities are no exception. Mailrooms have typically become swamped with packages at the beginning of a school year. Incoming packages would taper down to more manageable levels after a relatively short amount of time, as the students become more settled in. 

Not anymore.

Students have just as much access to online shopping outlets as anyone else. Since time management can become an issue for some students, it’s more convenient to find something and order it rather than leave campus.

Online shopping means one thing to mailrooms- more parcels. Even the tidiest of mailrooms become a cluttered cardboard maze after a while, and without a smooth transition between deliveries and recipients, boxes can pile up.

Smart lockers help to keep packages out of the way as they lie in wait safely to be recovered. Due to the nature of a smart locker, packages move more smoothly in and out of a mailroom and help to avoid the clutter that can be caused by multiple online orders.  

Smart Lockers are Less of a Burden for Mailroom Staff

Mailroom staff has a much easier time managing parcels by way of smart lockers, and in most circumstances, line traffic is greatly reduced. Students don’t have to wait in line to receive their packages, but can head straight to the locker and retrieve them. 

Without having to deal with students receiving, they can concentrate more on people waiting in line for outgoing. Smart lockers allow mailroom clerks to get more accomplished while doing less work to make it happen. 

When staff budgets are tight or if the mailroom is at the mercy of operating through volunteers, smart lockers lend a helping hand. They are a great option instead of hiring more staff due to the fluctuations and often unpredictable waves of workload.  

Faster and More Convenient Package Transfer

Students have to rush between classes to try and get packages. Sometimes they only have 15-20 minutes to squeeze in what can be a 25–30-minute wait under normal mailroom circumstances!

Parcel lockers need no clerks to operate once it is loaded and can be used by people picking up their packages at all hours of the day. For students, this means that they don’t have to try and squeeze pickup through a tight window of time. 

Also, there’s no waiting in line to get to the counter and inquire about their package. Once they receive their email notification or text telling them that their package has arrived along with the info about how to retrieve it, they need only go straight to the locker. 

Students have enough to think and worry about throughout their day. How and when they have the time to retrieve packages is eliminated through the use of smart lockers.  

Handling Delivered Foods

Ordering things such as refrigerated items were once a risky move for students who may not get to their packages in time before they either thaw or otherwise warm up. This problem is easily eliminated through the use of a temperature-controlled smart locker.

Local grocery stores that cater to making deliveries can drop off the perishables to the mailroom, which can then be safely stored in a refrigerated locker. 

Using Parcel Lockers in University Libraries

Libraries are picking up on the benefits of smart lockers as well. They are used to exchange books and are great for record keeping.

Through smart locker programming, a librarian can keep track of who has what book, and when it was returned. Also, due to the nature of these lockers, librarians don’t have to be present to receive the books. They can be placed into the locker by students. 

On the flip side, librarians can load lockers with reserved books for easy and convenient retrieval by students. As is true with the mailroom, utilization of smart lockers in libraries saves time all the way around. 

Distribution of Campus Equipment

Libraries are not the only division within a university that can benefit from the convenience of smart lockers. Sometimes students need to borrow equipment to complete a task. Tools, tech, or other items that are in demand by students can be organized through the smart locker’s programming.

Equipment holders can scan the equipment, specify who is borrowing it, and place it in the locker for the student’s eventual pick-up. When it’s time for the item (or items) to be returned, the student replaces it in the locker at their convenience, at which point the clerk or teacher (whichever the case may be) can retrieve and store the returned items. 

Final Thoughts

When times change, other things often have to flow along with the changes. Mailrooms are no exception. 

Whether it’s a mailroom in an apartment complex, a government building, or a university, changes that have taken place over the last several years create more of a workload when left with an antiquated system. 

Smart lockers solve a host of problems that benefit any mailroom in this day and age and will continue to do so for a long time coming. 

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