Geert Leemkuil
Product Owner at Nedap Security Management

In June 2022, we launched our new AEOS Locker Management system. If you missed the announcement, you can still read all about it here.  A year on, we’ve obtained lots of feedback from customers and partners. Today, Geert Leemkuil, product owner and member of the partner experience team, answers some questions about feedback from the field and what we’re doing with it.

Last year, we presented our new locker management solution. How was it received?

The solution has been very well received. Partners and customers like it because it’s all new and there are lots of improvements compared to our old solution. The degree of flexibility it offers is also in line with current market demands.

These days, it’s not just about providing a wardrobe compartment. Customers want to use lockers for issuing ICT materials and postal packages, for example. And they want to give a group of people access to the same locker so an entire team can use it. There are all kinds of applications that are broader than just a locker functioning as a mini wardrobe.

Alongside positive comments, I’ve also received critical feedback on our new system. And this is important because it helps us make the product better. One critical note I received, for example, is that there are only two user roles. So we’re currently adding a third user role. What customers are very happy about is that, with AEOS Locker Management, there are no limits to the number of lockers you can install per Locker Info Point. For customers with a large number of lockers, this makes it more financially attractive and also easier to install and maintain. With AEOS LoXS, in fact, you could only link 124 lockers to one terminal.

We’re seeing that convenience plays an increasingly important role for both customers and partners. They want a secure system, of course – but it should also be easy for the user and the installer.

What makes you think AEOS Locker Management is better suited to the current market than AEOS LoXS?

AEOS Locker Management matches customer demand much better – it’s much more flexible than AEOS LoXS. With AEOS LoXS, a locker can only be linked to one user. But, with AEOS Locker Management, you can group users and assign a locker to a whole group.

From the requests we’re getting from customers, I see that we’ve developed the right system. A typical customer request used to be a locker system where every employee is linked to a fixed locker. As time went on, customers adjusted their criteria and started looking for a locker system that enables more flexibility in how lockers are used.

Many customers, for example, want employees to be able to switch lockers when their workplace location changes. Meanwhile, these same customers started using their locker management system to create secure filing cabinets for storing documents and other items. Initially, this wasn’t the customer’s request or intention. But, because so much more is possible with AEOS Locker Management, they were able to set it up.

Another reason our new solution fits the current market better is that it’s more futureproof. With the AEOS Locker Management app, you can open a locker with your mobile phone. This question is often included in tenders – customers want to know if the option is there, even if they don’t want to use it right away. It highlights that customers are thinking about the future. They’re considering whether the solution they’re interested in is modern and futureproof. At the moment, it’s mainly cards that are used as identifiers. But I expect the smartphone will be used more and more as an identifier, and so will definitely play a role.

Ultimately, we see that AEOS Locker Management is connecting with the current market because we’re now back on the radar for all kinds of customers. Whereas, with our old product, AEOS LoXS, we weren’t making the shortlist.

How has AEOS Locker Management developed further since the launch?

Before the official launch of AEOS Locker Management, I collected a lot of feedback from visiting partners. And I incorporated that initial feedback – even before the launch. The developments we’ve made based on feedback we’ve collected over the past year will be available soon.

One example is the new user role we’re adding. There are already roles such as ‘locker user’ and ‘supervisor’. A locker user is someone using a locker and a supervisor is someone helping locker users by opening, blocking, or releasing lockers.

We’re now adding the role of ‘guard’. This role lets you help other people, just like a supervisor, but you have fewer rights – as a guard, you can only open a locker. This is necessary because some places need someone who can open a locker, but not block or release it. This new role will be available in the AEOS 2023.1 release.

Are there any developments on sustainability?

In the context of sustainability, I’ve been thinking about how we can make our locker solution more sustainable. I thought: why don’t we just turn off locker locks’ LEDs at times when they don’t need to light up? When an office is closed and you can still see a blur of green/red LEDs, you naturally ask yourself: can’t they be turned off?

Despite a locker lock only consuming a small amount of power, this change still means a 75% reduction in power used on the Locker Unit Smart and a 25% reduction on the Locker Unit Mifare. The Locker Unit Mifare isn’t yet designed to enable the built-in reader to be turned off. But, for the Smart locker unit, it was a quick win as the modifications don’t affect the production process. With the Locker Unit Smart, it was different as it required a modification in the product design. In the future, we want to redesign this locker so the reduction can be increased.

With these developments to AEOS Locker Management, we’re sending a signal to the rest of the market. Sustainability is an important issue across Nedap. And, as a market group, we’re looking at how we can contribute to a better world. Some adjustments can’t be made in the short term. But there are quick wins, such as with the locker unit LEDs, where we can save energy with a small adjustment without impacting the production process. We’re currently looking at whether we can also make a big impact with small adjustments in other AEOS products.

What are you especially busy with now?

I’m now mainly busy with knowledge transfer. By this, I mean training our people at the support desk: I’m training the trainers. I believe that, in training courses, it’s important to re-enact scenarios and cases and complete assignments based on how things actually work in the real world.

You must also be able to convert customers’ questions into action. On many training courses, you learn what different components are for, but not how to use them in practice. An example of an assignment from my training is ‘Issue IT material via a locker’. Those on the course then need to look at the workflow for the locker user and the IT worker. It’s not complicated, but you need to know how the system works and reacts. In the training I give, three assignments cover all the facets of AEOS Locker Management, so you learn how the system works and reacts and can answer any customer question.

What can we expect in terms of future developments?

There are some great developments on the market regarding OSDP-enabled locks. A lock manufacturer will implement the OSDP protocol and will be available in Q1 2024. And there exist wireless locker locks with OSDP that can be managed, in the short term, via AEOS locker management.

We welcome everyone to do their own research, starting with our free, quick, 6-step guide to choosing the right locker management system for you. And be sure to check back for more updates from us!

More news