As increasingly more companies move to hybrid working, hotdesking and flexible working, lockers are becoming a must-have in workspaces to provide safe storage in lieu of traditional desk space. And lockers aren’t only being used to store personal items in offices, schools, gyms, public buildings and more. They’re used, for example, to securely store equipment and documents, for drop off and pick up services and to control the use of assets like handheld scanners or construction tools.
Which all means that a locker management system is becoming a considered investment for many organisations. If that’s you, what should you look for to ensure your system is secure, and smart enough to give all the functionalities and flexibility you need?
6 essential characteristics for locker management systems today
1. Makes it easy to manage thousands of lockers
Whether you’re managing hundreds or thousands of lockers, it can become complicated and time consuming without the right locker management system. To ease the process, look for a system that’s straightforward to use and lets you manage lockers remotely – ideally from a mobile device for ultimate flexibly.
It’s also valuable if your locker management system provides data that’s easy to access and interpret to help you make well-informed decisions about your storage.
2. Ensures convenience for locker users
As well as your system being easy for administrators to use, it needs to make using lockers convenient too. People don’t want to be queuing at terminals or following complicated instructions. So choose a system that makes lockers simple to access and provides information points to help users if they need support.
Keys can also cause all kinds of problems for both users and administrators as they’re prone to getting lost and breaking. It’s best if your system allows people to lock and unlock lockers using an alternative method such as an access badge, QR code, virtual credential on their smartphone or biometric characteristic such as fingerprint or facial recognition.
Not only can organisations enjoy true flexibility by combining these methods with the use of card readers, but the user experience can be enhanced as well.
3. Unites locker management with access control
It helps to increase both efficiency and security if your locker management system is linked to your physical access control system. This allows you to extend your access control principles to your lockers. If, for example, someone’s only allowed access to a building during their shift, you can set your system so they can only use a locker during their shift too.
Combining locker management with physical access control also means that people can use the same identifier (such as a badge) to open doors, barriers, lockers and more.
4. Integrates locker management with other systems
It’s also really valuable if your locker management system integrates easily with other systems, such as HR or visitor management, as well as your access control system. This means you can then easily assign access to lockers and other lockable storage according to role, department, shift pattern and more.
It also allows you to save time and reduce errors by centralising tasks and avoiding duplication.
5. Helps you save space and money
Look for a locker management system that enables you to use lockers dynamically – so people choose a locker that’s free and use it for however long they need it (or for however long you stipulate they can use it). You then need fewer lockers overall because you don’t need to provide a personal locker for everyone, which saves both space and money.
For more ways to save money, look for a system that’s low maintenance with no batteries or keys to manage or replace. And has a low power consumption to help minimise your energy costs.
6. Enables high levels of security
It is, of course, crucial that your locker management system ensures the right level of security for your needs. Especially if you’ll be using it to manage lockable storage for high-value items. Make sure the system you choose has tamper-proof locks. And, if it’s an IP-based system (which the best locker management systems are), check that it’s cybersecure to prevent it being overridden by hackers.
It’s also helpful if your locker management system enables easy tracking and reporting so that, if there is an incident, you can easily see who used which locker and when.