iLockerz Provides Smart Storage Solution For Students At University College London

iLockerz has worked with UCL for four years, building up a strong relationship focused on providing the university with intelligent storage solutions. With an impressive track record working with educational establishments, iLockerz became the partner of choice for the London institution. Beating off stiff competition, the business won a tender to provide an initial pilot locker system with 44 locker doors at UCL’s Cruciform Hub. The pilot was so successful, it has so far led to the university ordering 10 additional locker systems to use across its London campus.

Students seek storage solution

UCL is London's leading multidisciplinary university, with around 38,000 students from 150 different countries. These students have to carry books, laptops and other equipment across the city to help them with their studies and keeping everything safe and secure is a major challenge.

As an education provider UCL sets high standards and by 2034 plans to become the world’s most student friendly university. That requires the university to cater for the whole spectrum of student requirements. One of the issues students had highlighted was the need for easy-access secure lockers to store their possessions on campus.

The university has 18 libraries across the capital and their users require reliable storage. The university identified that existing locker provision was not proving adequate and UCL recognised the need to offer a new service, available at the touch of a student’s ID card.

UCL’s Director of Operations, Ben Meunier, says: “This is a service which UCL students have been requesting for some time, via surveys and ad hoc requests. We have a small number of banks of key-controlled lockers at some sites, however it has been challenging to manage.”

User-friendly service

iLockerz won a tender to pilot the new service at UCL’s Cruciform Hub which, if successful, would serve as the template that could then be rolled out across the university’s other library and student sites.

Launched in May 2018, the service gives students access to 44 metal intelligent lockers for short a term-loan of one day or over the weekend. The key-less system is accessed via the user’s UCL ID, and they then follow the on-screen instructions.

Users can then store and leave their items, safe in the knowledge that they are securely stowed away. Many of the lockers can also incorporate USB fast-charging so that electronics are charged and ready to use on collection.

Students no longer need to worry about hauling heavy books, laptops and study equipment across the city-wide campus and busy streets of London. This not only removes the physical burden of carrying bags but provides peace of mind so that they can focus on their studies.

iLockerz Business Development Manager, Ryan Slaney, says: “Our system uses powerful software that not only allows administrators to monitor the lockers via the web, but that will also allow students to check where there is locker storage availability right across the London estate once the roll out is complete.”

Added benefits

The project is allowing UCL to take much greater control of their storage services and ensure that they meet the requirements of their users. The touch screen control panel on the front of the iLockerz informs users of how long they can loan a locker before sanctions are put in place. For UCL, that means much of the day-to-day management is automated whilst the software ensures that staff can monitor usage as and when required.

UCL’s Ben Meunier says: “This new system is easy to use for students and it ensures that we can easily monitor whether lockers are being emptied as necessary.”

Further orders

The pilot has proved so successful that UCL has asked iLockerz to extend it beyond the Cruciform Hub.

Slaney says: “There were naturally a few teething issues due to the size of the project and user database, but we’ve been able to overcome them through close collaboration with UCL technical staff and the pilot has proved so popular that we’re now starting to roll it out across the university. UCL is currently constructing its new Student Centre which will incorporate 8 of our intelligent locker systems- one on each floor. We are also discussing installing two extra systems in the university’s science library, the Wilkins Building.”