Modern retail spaces and work environments are becoming increasingly dependent on smart technologies to help them stay organized and operate efficiently. One such innovation is the implementation of intelligent locker systems for the secure and convenient storage of packages and personal items. Solenoid locks are an essential element of many smart locker solutions as they allow for the electronically-controlled locking and unlocking of doors. Here, we will discuss the many benefits associated with upgrading from traditional lockers to smart lockers.
While smart locks are a relatively recent technology, most people are familiar with the various forms of traditional locks. These locks are fairly straightforward in design and require manual engagement to activate or disengage the locking mechanism. Operating these locks typically involves turning a key or merely pressing a button.
Conventional lockers rely on traditional locking mechanisms, typically in the form of combination locks, padlocks, or keys. These storage solutions are often attractive due to their relatively low upfront costs when compared with smart lockers. However, they lack many of the benefits that come with more technologically-advanced options and might actually become a more expensive investment in the long run.
Some of the main drawbacks of conventional locker systems include:
In contrast to conventional lockers, smart lockers employ locking mechanisms that can be engaged electronically or remotely rather than manually. The electronically-controlled locks on smart lockers are engineered to lock or unlock upon receiving instructions from a keycard, barcode, or device such as a smartphone. One example of an electronic lock used in smart lockers is a solenoid lock, which relies on electromagnetism to perform the locking/unlocking function.
Smart locker systems offer the following advantages:
In the retail environment, smart lockers provide countless benefits for both customers and retailers by automating the package notification and distribution process involved with “buy online, pickup in store” (BOPIS) services. After a package is delivered to a smart locker, the consumer receives an automatic notification of package availability along with access instructions. The consumer can then retrieve the item at their own convenience by simply scanning or entering the provided access code. In addition to increased convenience, the use of in-store smart lockers for package delivery also offers an element of security for the consumer. As doorstep package theft becomes more prevalent, smart lockers are viewed as a more secure way to have items delivered.
As BOPIS services continue to expand in popularity, the ability to use self-service smart lockers becomes increasingly important to the retailer as well. Smart locker systems streamline delivery logistics and also provide valuable real-time analytics regarding the final stages of order fulfillment. Furthermore, since smart lockers are self-service, less staffing and planning are required to facilitate store pickup. This reduces operating expenses for the retailer and makes the overall BOPIS experience much more efficient and convenient.
In offices and other workplace environments, managing traditional locker systems can be a significant challenge for administrators. Smart locker systems simplify the management process by allowing locker access in the form of electronic “keys”, eliminating the hassles associated with physical key maintenance and replacement. Having a secure, easy-to-manage locker system also provides a sense of comfort to the employee as they can be assured that any security issues will be quickly resolved.
The digital management enabled by smart lockers also provides employers with easy-to-access information showing which lockers are in use, how frequently they are used, and who is using them. An administrator can use this information to remotely assign and manage lockers among employees. This simplified allocation strategy is especially important for companies with frequent staffing changes.
The enhanced security and efficiency provided by electronically-controlled smart locker solutions make them well worth their initial investment. Solenoid-driven smart lockers, in particular, are revolutionizing the way secured storage units are managed in both retail and workspaces. In the retail world, the convenience of smart locker systems benefits both the vendor and the consumer by simplifying the in-store pickup process. In the workplace, they simplify office management and provide a safe, secure place for employees to store their belongings.
At Johnson Electric, we supply a wide range of rotary and linear solenoids for use in smart lockers as well as custom locking assemblies to fit your specifications. With our diverse portfolio of unique, high-quality solenoid options, our engineering team can work with you to find the perfect solution for your specific application. To learn more about our standard and custom-engineered solenoid solutions for smart lockers and other high-precision applications, please contact us today.