Enabling self-service in a secure way
In 2012, the University of Salford library decided that they needed a unique selling point to draw potential students, and also to continue the brilliant services they were providing to their existing ones. At the time, the university library was using key based lockers to store and charge their laptops. These laptops where meant for students to borrow and were issued manually by the library employees. Whilst it was the right solution for the university library initially, staff began to realise this current system of loaning out laptops manually from the laptop lockers had become ineffective. This is when the university library made the decision to upgrade their existing LapSafe® Diplomat™ lockers to a self-service solution by integrating it with Nedap’s electronic locker management solution LoXS.
Access control on a micro-level
The University decided to equip the existing lockers in the libraries with Nedap’s electronic locker management solution LoXS. This access control solution on a micro-level solution provides students to operate the lockers themselves, by simply holding their existing student badge at the reader. Because students already use this same badge to enter the university and to pay in the universities’ restaurant, this was a very convenient solution for the university.
Today, the University of Salford has around 240 laptops spread over three different sites. Because these laptops are valuable, the university sought for a trustworthy solution. Dominic states: "The solution is not only convenient, but also very secure. Because the electronic locks are wired and connected all together to a web-based software program, I can easily see which student has accessed the lockers at what time."
Moreover, management of the lockers had to be convenient. Via the simple web-based software Dominic could easily manage the lockers on the three different sites of University of Salford from his central office. "On one of our sites students can access the laptops 24 hours a day. I can easily give access rights to the selected students via the software without the need to go over to the site. Also, the solution enables me to manage the lockers from a handheld device, so I can easily check the status of the lockers via my tablet computer, in case I’m out of the office."
A truly user-friendly solution
Dominic concluded: ‘This integrated solution has changed the way the students work. They now have much more freedom to work when they want and need to. Having the self-service aspect also means that staff time is used more effectively. Hundreds of students across the University of Salford sites use the lockers. They really like them, and the flexibility of borrowing a laptop when they need one, with no need to queue. Moreover they can easily check the status of the lockers. If the lock’s built-in LED light is red that means the laptop is not available. If it’s green, they can simply borrow the laptop by presenting their student badge at the locker door. It couldn’t be easier.’
Prepared for future growth
Domic states: "The decision to install our lockers with Nedap LoXS was initially made because the need for laptops increased quickly. If we face this same increase again, we would like to have the possibility to easily expand the system. That’s why we chose Nedap LoXS. The system’s scalability and open standards allow us to easily integrate extra locks."
University of Salford
The University of Salford is located near to the city of Manchester, and boasts a 20,000 strong student population. The campus is part of a £650m regeneration scheme to transform the campus environment, delivering an excellent and modern teaching and learning environment.