Case Study

Smart Locker Proves Cost-Effective for College

Denise Crouch

Denise Crouch

LapSafe® met with John Billington from Hugh Baird College to discuss why they implemented the Diplomat™ Pro Smart Locker and the success they have seen since taking this smart approach.

Customer Profile

With more than 5,000 students, over 300 courses and an extensive range of subject areas and qualifications, Hugh Baird College is one of the largest and leading providers of education and training in Liverpool and Merseyside.


Whilst the IT provisions at Hugh Baird College have always been reasonable, John was tasked with the job of reducing the loss of college laptops whilst making it easy for students to still access a computer as required.

We have used large sturdy laptop charging trolleys for over ten years. You can purchase cheap metal or plastic trolleys to store laptops in for next to nothing these days. However, we have always invested in robust trolleys that could withstand the test of time. In the past, we purchased LapSafe® Mentor™ trolleys, some of which are now ten years old! They were then and still are the strongest and most secure storage and charging trolleys on the market today and they still work really well; we have about 30 of them throughout the college. The challenge we have with the trolleys is that although they are secure, sometimes the keys would go missing or get damaged. The trolleys would be left open whilst being used throughout the day and over time, laptops would go missing, be mislaid or just forgotten to be returned. We also had no means to track who had used them. Therefore, we started to look at self-issuing lockers to reduce the loss of the devices.


A few months back we decided to look around for a solution. To be totally honest, there didn’t seem to be much else that came up to the quality and functionality of the LapSafe® Diplomat™ Pro Self-Service Laptop Loan Lockers.

The Diplomat™ Pro Smart Locker is an all-in-one solution, which offers loaning of assets, drop-off and collect, remote IT break/fix and Hot Lockers convenience. A total locker solution that uses LapSafe®’s cloud-based management software, ONARKEN®.

Diplomat Pro Smart Locker at Hugh Baird College


The college can now safely store, charge, and loan devices to all students, whilst being able to remotely monitor and track the devices, which has minimised the risk of loss and damage and increased student accountability.

Hugh Baird’s motivation to keep a check on the movement of laptops has proved highly successful as figures show that the cost for replacement laptops went right down in the first year, and they haven’t lost a single laptop from the HE department since the new self-service lockers have been installed.

The Diplomat™ pro lockers are a substantial investment, but when you weigh up the staff saving in time and £20,000 worth of laptops lost over the course of an academic year against no loss of laptops since installing, it’s a no-brainer as to why we now love our Diplomat™ self-service laptop loan lockers.

When the first COVID lockdown hit in 2020, the college had been using their self-service lockers for a full academic year; feedback from staff and students was really positive. The staff felt a lot of responsibility had been taken out of their hands, and it was one aspect of their job that they now didn’t need to manage.


Having the units on-site has definitely proved to us that we want to expand this service more and the library is the next project that we will work on. At the moment, the staff still manually loan laptops in there, so installing some new self-service units would free up staff time to spend more time helping and assisting students. My ambition for the library conversion is to create a really nice stop, drop and study space.

The sales process was pretty straightforward. As LapSafe® is a British manufacturer it gave us extra confidence, especially with the difficulties experienced during the last year with the pandemic and Brexit.

Ben, our Account Manager kept us up-to-date throughout the project. My colleague Andy helped with the install and the LapSafe® installation team took him through the process calmly and thoroughly which was really helpful. We also knew that the support team was at the end of the phone if we needed anything and that made a huge difference.

Funnily enough, we found that the most difficult part for us in the process was picking the colours for the lockers. I guess many colleges find that a challenge as there are so many great colours to choose from. We chose blue and grey for our first set of lockers, and our latest units are bright pink!

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