Facilities Management Trends: The Role Smart Lockers Play in Inventory Control

Facilities management is at the forefront of the changing workplace. Technology is changing how businesses structure themselves and how staff operate. It is important that facilities management teams embrace this technology to ensure they do not fall behind competitors. 

 

As technology continues to become smarter and its effect on our workplaces increases, it is no surprise that technology is also changing the way we manage facilities. 

 

In a recent survey, the Facilities Management Journal reports that while almost 75% of facilities managers consider themselves Tech Savvy, 60% do not understand how smart tech can integrate with their systems. 

Smart lockers are revolutionising inventory control and asset management. In this article, we will explore what smart lockers are, how they work, and the benefits they offer for facilities management.

Facilities Management Trends - Smart inventory control lockers

Introduction to Smart Lockers for Facility Management

Smart asset control lockers are automated storage units that manage assets and inventory with more accuracy. Using a variety of technologies, such as sensors, cameras, and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags, coupled with the analytics and tracking data of our market leading locker management system allows FM teams to track assets use and location with absolute certainty. 


They can be used in a variety of settings such as warehouses , schools and healthcare facilities, to name just a few. Not only do they simplify facilities management tasks, but they offer many a forward step in technology and a good return on investment when compared with existing inventory management methods.

How Smart Lockers Work

Smart lockers work alongside locker management software to control access. The access control, tracking, and analytics provided by the software lead to a simpler process of managing your inventory. You can read more about this in our how smart locker systems work blog post, however a basic overview of how they work is as follows:

 

  1. Items are placed inside the locker and assigned an RFID tag or barcode.
  2. The locker system detects the item and records its location within the software.
  3. The user requesting the item scans their ID or badge at the locker, and the locker’s software verifies their identity.
  4. The locker’s software checks the user’s access level and verifies that they have the authority to access the item.
  5. If the user has access rights, the locker unlocks and they can retrieve the item.
  6. The locker’s sensors detect that the item has been removed and update its inventory records accordingly with who and when.

Smart Lockers for Facilities Managers

Inventory control for facilities management

Smart lockers offer a number of benefits over traditional asset management methods. Here are just a few of them:


 

Increased Efficiency

Because smart lockers automate the process of managing inventory, they significantly improve your efficiency. Assets are accessed by approved users quickly and easily without the need for any other staff to give approval or physically supply the inventory. 

 

 This clearly provides considerable efficiency benefits as well as cost savings while reducing frustration for staff not having to search for the equipment they need.


 

Improved Security

This is one of the reasons that asset management lockers are one of the main facilities management trends for the future. 

 

Smart lockers offer improved security over traditional asset and device management methods. They can be configured to require specific forms of identification, such as ID cards, codes or specific apps, to access items. This helps prevent uncontrolled access and can reduce the risk of theft or loss.


 

Real-Time Tracking

Smart lockers also offer real-time tracking of all assets, whether it is power tools, IT devices or critical consumables. This means that facilities management teams can quickly and easily see what items are available, how often they are in use, who has accessed them, and when they were accessed. 

 

Not only does this help with inventory management, it also identifies assets that may no longer be required, or equipment that should be moved to more convenient locations ensuring they are accessible by those most likely to need them.


 

Custom Workflows

eLocker’s smart locker software can be used in unlimited workflows, so can be custom made to your needs for specific facilities. They can be configured to accept different types of items and have a range of built in utilities.

 

You can specify the features of smart lockers to suit your needs, such as units with or without charging points for equipment such as laptops, radios, and power tools for instance, while others may be created to fit specific spaces, such as small offices or large warehouses. 

 

Additionally, they can be set up to be completely wireless, making use of existing dead space without the need for power or other infrastructure.


 

Facilities Management Trends

The future of facilities management will see more smart technology being implemented in many areas. The continued adoption of smart lockers is one of the facilities management trends that are making a big impact across all areas of FM. Here are a few ways that smart lockers are shaping the future of facilities management:

Increased Automation

As smart lockers become more widespread, we can expect to see increased automation in facilities management. Smart lockers software is able to be integrated with other systems, such as internal inventory and security systems, to create a fully automated and streamlined process.

 

Improved Accuracy

Smart lockers can also improve the accuracy of inventory control. Traditionally, most existing methods are prone to human error, resulting in wasted time tracking down discrepancies. 

 

Using smart lockers in asset control also cuts costs associated with asset loss, cutting out device losses means spending less replacing them unnecessarily. 

 

The use of advanced technology ensures that inventory counts are accurately and instantly updated as events happen, streamlining the inventory management process and removing the possibility of human error when staff are busy or overstretched.

 

Improved Sustainability

Future facilities management trends are already here, one such trend is sustainability. All businesses, including FM teams are tasked with improving sustainability credentials. Sustainable business practices can change the way a business is perceived by customers. Smart Tech like ours can help to meet your sustainability goals and play a big part in a business eco transformation.

 

 

As our smart technology can be retrofitted to existing hardware without the need to purchase new lockers, you see real cost saving and sustainability benefits. Repurposing current assets rather than disposing of them and having to buy replacements is key to improving sustainability.

 

 

Smart lockers can also contribute to improved sustainability in facilities management by cutting energy use by reducing the need for staff members to retrieve and restock items. The reduction in energy use and carbon emissions enhances your business eco credentials.

 

Better Security

Another key benefit of smart lockers is their ability to improve and fortify your security. With secure access control systems in place, only personnel with the appropriate authority can access the lockers. This significantly reduces the risk of theft or loss of valuable inventory. 

 

Furthermore, these systems can track who has accessed each locker, providing a clear audit trail and increased accountability.

 

Cost Savings

Implementing smart lockers in inventory control can lead to significant cost savings. By automating many tasks associated with inventory management, businesses can reduce labour costs and save valuable time. Why not Check out our savings calculator here for your use case.

 

Smart lockers can ensure storage space is utilised as efficiently as possible, in some cases eLocker has reduced the usage ratio by up to 95% resulting in massive space saving and promoting more efficient use of available space.

 

Future Smart Locker Facilities Management Trends

As technology continues to advance, it is likely that smart lockers will play an increasingly important role in facilities management. With the potential to improve efficiency, security, cost savings, and accuracy, smart lockers will undoubtedly play a significant role in shaping the future of asset and inventory control.

aditya