When the Municipal Council of Arnhem needed secure and flexible lockers to safeguard employees' personal possessions, electronic lockers from Nedap were considered as a safe option.

“In 2005, the Municipal Council of Arnhem decided to combine seven different locations into two locations, with 1400 flexible workplaces for 1800 civil servants. In order to save space and costs, drawer units were banned and ‘flex cases’ were introduced. This meant that we needed secure and flexible lockers, in which the employees could store their personal possessions. We are still benefiting today from the decision to introduce electronic lockers.” Willem Waltmann, space manager at the Municipal Council of Arnhem.

Nedap' electronic lockers - safe option

“We went from seven different locations down to two locations; the existing City Hall and a city office which was in part newly built and partly renovated. At the same time, in order to save space and money, flexible working was introduced. Almost 1400 workplaces were realised for approximately 1800 civil servants. Drawer units were replaced with flex cases, which had to be able to be stored securely in lockers. The original plans were for lockers to be installed with mechanical keys,” explains Waltman. “But when we sat down and made some calculations, we could see that electronic lockers from Nedap would be a better option. This is because we would be able to manage them much better.”

The end of key management

“An extra advantage was that, with the access cards, we were able to grant the employees access to both the building and the lockers. We were also able to use the card for making company-owned cars and bicycles available. The fact that we spend less time on key management was a practical benefit,” explains Waltmann.

The electronic locks of Nedap are wired in, so they can be managed centrally by means of a simple online application. The status of each lock, at whichever location, can be accessed at any moment via the web browser, without the manager having to walk to the lock. Using the application, one or more lockers can be allocated to the employees on a flexible or permanent basis. As the authorisations are linked to a user rather than to a card, it is also extra secure. If a user loses his or her card, it can be deactivated with a couple of mouse clicks. A new card can be created easily for the employee in the same way. The changes are implemented immediately in the system and the locks are then updated automatically within a couple of seconds. There is no need to replace locks or cut new keys.

Getting used to flexible working

When asked about the introduction of the lockers, Waltmann explains: “When all the various municipal departments had put the two remaining locations into use, they had to first get used to flexible working, of course. As desks no longer belonged to one specific person, each person was given a personal flex case in which they could store their items at the end of the working day. They could then place these in the lockers intended for them in the service square. Apart from lockers, the service square also has central facilities, such as printers. There is also a coffee corner and a separate open space where employees can have lunch, or meet. In the beginning, we let the departments themselves decide how they wanted to allocate the lockers to their employees. One department allocated fixed lockers to their employees, for example, while another worked with flexible lockers.”

The electronic locks of Nedap are wired in, so they can be managed centrally by means of a simple online application

Flexible deployment of lockers

“Nowadays, however, almost all the lockers are allocated flexibly to our employees. As there are often internal relocations, we let the employees themselves choose which floor they want to have their locker on. We can easily set which locker can be claimed by whom using the software.

In this way, we can also allocate multiple lockers to a single person, for example if an employee is working in both buildings.”

Multiple applications at various sites

When asked whether there were more uses for the lockers, Waldman continued: “We also have special extra-wide clothing lockers for our uniformed departments, such as town guards. They store their uniforms for the various seasons here. Using the Nedap software, we can create the appropriate authorisations for each person. As the system has been a success and is easy to expand, we have also had clothing lockers with Nedap locks installed at the showers in City Hall.”

User experiences

When asked about user experiences during the past years, Waltmann is extremely positive. “Early on, employees would sometimes leave their items in the flex lockers after use, by accident. Thanks to the usage history, it was easy to find where the items of that person had been left. Why did this happen? The employees first had to get used to the situation, it was not a problem with the system. Now the employees are used to it, we don’t have this problem anymore. A network cable has also occasionally been pulled out, as a result of which the lockers and users could no longer be managed via the software. Luckily our employees could continue to use the lockers, as they also work when network connection is lost. It therefore did not have any far-reaching consequences. All things considered, it is a very user-friendly system and we are happy we opted for electronic locker management when we did. It has provided us with a great deal of benefits up till now.”

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