Originally Posted at TheRalDeal
More apartment and multifamily owners are turning to the latest innovative technology to handle package management growth, away from traditional locker systems that can’t scale for the future. Property managers, residents, and couriers are raving about Smart Package Room’s convenience and time-saving features.
With Position Imaging’s Smart Package Room, computer vision technology watches each package until residents scan their QR Codes, received via text or email, at the intelligent kiosk showing package location within the package room. Once residents enter the package room, a laser guidance system provides visual and audio prompts to ensure the correct item is picked up. Then a sound notification is used if the wrong package is selected.
Tucked away in a cozy corner of Manhattan, 210-220 E. 22nd Street offers spacious studios, one, two, and three-bedroom apartments, and duplexes in the Gramercy Park neighborhood. Modern style blends with a nod to the building’s historical past to serve a one-of-a-kind living experience. In addition, the property consists of two buildings that connect through a common corridor on the ground level. The way the building is constructed, there is a concierge service on both ends to support the daily package deliveries. To better manage and process the volume of packages, 210-220 selected Position Image’s Smart Package Room.
“Since we implemented the Smart Package Room, there have been quite a few changes,” said Vincent Cricco, Property General Manager, 210-220. “The staff has had more time to do their day-to-day activities, and as a result, the length of time spent by residents picking up packages has been reduced. In addition, the clutter in the lobbies has disappeared. Previously, the larger packages overflowed into the halls because of limited package space–it was unsightly.”
When a delivery person enters the lobby with a cart full of packages, immediately the doorman is asked to be in two places at once, e.g., storing boxes in a back room and attending the door. Multiply the time a doorman allocates for one courier times multiple couriers per day, and the hours consumed by package management quickly add up.
“With the Smart Package Room, staff productivity improves substantially and gives staff members the ability to take on different responsibilities that make the community shine. That’s where we see a lot of value,” Cricco added.
A similar staff productivity experience occurs at Country Club Towers in Denver, Colorado. With views from downtown overlooking the Rocky Mountains via floor-to-ceiling windows that run the entire length of each apartment, Country Club Towers is one of the most desirable locations in Denver. Each studio or one and two-bedroom apartment home, makes the most of a towering high-rise perspective. With two interior design schemes to choose from, quartz or granite countertops, plank wood flooring, and the finest quality finishes, each apartment becomes a statement in style.
Constructed in 2017, Country Club Towers contains 558 units with 850 residents. Once the buildings reached a hundred percent occupancy, they received 520 packages per day. Four hundred to five hundred boxes would be tossed on the floor by the courier, and it took the concierge team three to four hours to manage them all.
Some apartment or multifamily housing managers have considered lockers as a means to the package mess, but figuring out the right formula for lockers needed in apartment buildings is often flawed. In addition, lockers cannot account for seasonality or increasing deliveries every day. Unfortunately, the overflow of packages that don’t fit into lockers is given to the concierge by the courier, leaving courier/concierge issues unresolved.
“The back hallway was the overflow for packages. Anything that did not fit into our former package system would overflow into the hallway, creating a mess with people walking into items– it was not a secure location,” said Dane Groteluschen, Concierge, Country Club Towers. “Things will get misplaced, and it would be tough to find the package. Smart Package Room was step-by-step and explanatory. It made storing packages twice as easy. Now you can scan a package, place it on the shelf, and the system registers it.”
The Smart Package Room eliminates the concierge interaction to manage items. In addition, couriers simply scan package labels at the entry kiosk to automatically assign and notify applicable residents immediately. Scanning package labels at the Smart Package Room complements a courier’s daily requirements to track items being delivered digitally—if they can work a cell phone, they can use this system. It’s the missing link in the courier logistics chain for last-mile apartment drop-off confirmation.
“It didn’t take long to get the hang of it. Of all the apartment buildings I have delivered to for the past few years, this is the fastest and the highest volume. I get it done faster than any locker system I have used in other buildings,” said John Duffy, FedEx courier at Country Club Towers.
Perhaps the most notable benefit of the Smart Package Room is the time returned to staff to conduct their daily assignments. Timothy Colgan, Regional Property Manager and General Club Manager at Country Club Towers, explains more, “The biggest difference is the labor hours my team has gotten back. The couriers are held accountable for putting the packages into the room. The ease of use in the training makes it extremely simple for the couriers and the employees.”
However, the biggest test of any new amenity is how residents embrace it–and once residents use Smart Package Room, they cannot live without it.
“In my experience, picking up packages is really easy. I don’t have to bother the front desk because they’re so busy,” said Kelly Forrister, resident at Country Club Towers. “I just flash my phone, and the Smart Package Room’s lights tell me where to go inside the room. I can go any time of day, 24/7, at 5 a.m. or 10 p.m., and it doesn’t matter; it’s super easy.”
“I can go in at 11 p.m. or 6 a.m. It’s super simple and organized. It only takes me three to five seconds to get my package. Then, I’m out, and I’m done,” said Alex, resident, 210/220, New York.