Last updated 22 December 2020

With resource across the public sector stretched more than ever before, innovative use of smart parcel lockers can provide a creative solution.

With the public sector continually asked to deliver an ever greater service with increasing finite resources, there has been a rise in the use of creative solutions to address traditional problems.

Nowhere has this been seen more than in the use of smart parcel lockers, available through our Postal Goods, Services and Solutions (RM6017) framework. 

In this article, we review how 2 public sector organisations – a hospital and a university – used parcel lockers to solve very different problems while increasing efficiency.

The hospital

Only when a patient receives their medication can they be safely discharged from hospital – freeing up their bed. This often means waiting for the medication to be ready to leave the pharmacy, followed by a further wait while the medication is delivered to the wards. 

A Care Quality Commission report found that nearly 75% of patients whose discharge from hospital was delayed was because they had to wait for medicine. Just over a quarter of these patients had to wait over 4 hours. 

The knock-on effect from this can be felt at the other end of the hospital in A&E, where patients often have to wait for hours until a bed becomes available and they can be moved to a ward.

To help solve this problem, a hospital purchased a number of smart parcel lockers. They are safe, secure, and contactless. They can operate 24/7 and are capable of capturing images of access and providing an audit trail. 

The arrival of the lockers at the hospital meant that patients could vacate their bed – either going home or waiting elsewhere onsite – before being alerted by email that their medication was ready to collect.

The message contained a QR code, enabling contactless collection, and a PIN code – the recipient can choose which to use to collect their medication.

This innovative solution had a transformative effect on both patients and the hospital:

  • patients waiting in A&E could progress through the hospital at a greater pace
  • a far better, more comfortable experience for patients and their families
  • other areas of the hospital benefited – such as car park capacity

The university

Northampton University houses over 2,500 students on its campus. The students generate a perpetual flow of parcel deliveries from online retailers and relatives.

Traditionally, the University, like many others, would leave a note under the student’s door when there was a parcel to collect from the mailroom. 

This was a time-consuming and inefficient process for the university and frustrating for students whose access to parcels was often restricted by the mailroom’s opening hours.

With the university keen to use staff time more efficiently while improving the student experience, they purchased a number of smart parcel lockers from Quadient, a supplier on our Postal Goods Services and Solutions commercial agreement.

When their parcel is available to collect, students are alerted via an email or text message. To collect the parcel, they simply have to scan a barcode or enter the PIN code included in their alert, to open the door and access their goods.

The solution provided the University with:

  • a secure, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant parcel storage system
  • the ability to offer contactless parcel collection – especially important during COVID-19 
  • the chance to become more efficient – with staff able to focus on other priorities

Get involved

Parcel lockers can be used by any organisation that has a need for secure storage while looking to increase organisational efficiency. 

For more information on this agreement and to learn how we can help you take some of the pressure off with a range of smart solutions: