Electronic parcel lockers are all around us, whether we’ve started using them or not. With the rise of e-commerce, many consumers are looking for a secure, convenient pickup location for their orders. The parcel locker fills that niche.
These units are much more than simple secure storage. They provide a simple way for recipients to pick up orders 24/7, without the need for staff on duty. At its simplest, each compartment in a parcel locker is sealed with an electronic lock, openable by a single-use keycode. With IIoT-enabled smart locks, the options expand to include access through RFID chip, cell phone scanners, and more.
This approach has clear advantages for distributors of industrial materials, including electrical, construction, and manufacturing tools and components. Here are just a few applications that make electronic parcel lockers indespensible for industrial distributors:
- After-hours order retrieval. A Will Call Dropbox outside the distributor facility allows customers to pick up their orders when they need them, regardless of the business’ open hours. This provides a value-added service for construction projects on a tight schedule.
- Online order pick-up. Like business-to-consumer sales, the B2B space is increasingly going online. Market research company Forrester estimates that B2B e-commerce will be worth $1.8 trillion by 2023 in the United States alone. That will be 17 percent of all B2B sales.
With easily accessible parcel lockers, B2B distributors can simplify their customers’ online purchasing experience while saving money on their own workforce requirements. Customers can make their purchases online, distributor staff can fill the orders by placing them in a designated parcel locker container, and send the customer their one-time access code. Then the customer can pick up their order when it’s convenient for them.
- Rental returns. The convenience of a Will Call Dropbox works the other way around, too. Customers who rent or lease equipment can return their rentals after hours simply by entering a code, opening the locker, and leaving their items inside.
- Authorized tool access. Distributors and their customers can also use parcel lockers to give specific workers access to specific tools, and for specific lengths of time. Smart locks can identify employees who check out tools, and verify return times.
- Jobsite deliveries. Distributors of construction materials can set out a Will Call Dropbox at their customers’ jobsites, giving them 24/7 access to a secure storage space for deliveries.
Many of the parcel lockers currently on the market are designed for B2C purposes. They’re built for boxes, shipments of home goods, books, and similar domestic items. The Will Call Dropbox from BHS, Inc. is a parcel locker designed for industrial environments. It’s an all-steel unit with a weatherproof powder coating — the same finish that BHS uses to protect equipment from exposure to chemicals, oils, battery electrolyte, impacts, and abrasions.
As B2B e-commerce becomes a greater and greater share of industrial distributors’ sales, convenient access will grant a powerful competitive edge. Parcel lockers like the Will Call Dropbox can provide this convenience for distributor’s customers.
“US B2B eCommerce Will Hit $1.8 Trillion By 2023.” Forrester. Forrester Research, Inc., 28 Jan. 2019. Web. 13 Nov. 2019.