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Smart lockers ROI: Campuses find strong business case pairing contactless lockers with student IDs

Chris Corum   ||   Nov 06, 2017  ||   ,

There’s a growing demand among college students for smart lockers – a safe place on campus to store expensive belongings like smart phones, laptops and tablets while they’re taking a test or hitting the gym, a lab or a campus event. Equipping lockers with contactless technology can offer students a smart option for storing their valuables without having to remember a locker combination or wait in line for a rental. Instead, students simply tap their existing contactless campus card to engage the secure contactless locker. But how does the smart locker ROI – or contactless locker ROI – equation come together for campuses?

[blockquote align='right']Institutions can make money off rental fees, and there are solid cost savings on the manpower needed to manage and maintain smart lockers[/blockquote]

The return on investment can be significant for universities that install contactless lockers. The potential exists for institutions to make money off rental fees, and there are solid cost savings on the manpower needed to manage and maintain the lockers. “A networked locker system eliminates virtually all the staff time required for locker management, as students no longer need help obtaining or using the system,” says Gerhard Pichler, business development manager for Gantner Technologies.

For decades, Gantner has delivered contactless technology for lockers in universities, athletic clubs, spas, hospitals and corporate centers around the globe. Now the company is bringing the technology to colleges and universities in North America.

In addition to revenue and cost savings potential, smart lockers can provide universities with intangible benefits as well. Contactless lockers can serve as a recruitment tool, positioning the institution as modern and tech-minded. And both students and their parents appreciate the security aspect of the lockers, which can feature alarm functions to protect electronics and other valuables.

The key to contactless smart lockers is that they are networked and communicate in real-time with the management software. This enables efficient assignment, monitoring and revocation. Gantner’s locker management software also offers occupancy monitoring, which helps the institution maximize locker rentals by identifying unused lockers and overstays.

Smart lockers deliver management efficiencies

Contactless lockers are still relatively new to U.S. higher education market. Charting the course domestically is Northeastern University, where in 2016 Gantner installed more than 1,200 networked, contactless lockers.

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