Case Study

Weston College’s Device Management Success

Elliot Bibby

Elliot Bibby

Marketing Executive, Elliot Bibby met with Weston College’s IT Customer Service Manager, Andrew Johnstone, to discuss how and why they chose the LapSafe® Diplomat™ Pro Smart Locker to streamline their device management.

Customer Profile

Weston College is an award-winning institution, based in Weston-Super-Mare and is proud to be regarded as one of the top FE colleges in the UK. With an array of courses and a diverse range of qualifications, Weston College welcomes hundreds of students each year.


Weston College would loan devices to students by manually deploying them through a Tech Desk within the library, where two full-time staff would hand out devices to students, this also meant the team was responsible for ensuring devices were charged and safely secured away. This setup meant devices would often go missing, get damaged, or left unused.

"We would probably find that five laptops would go missing, and we wouldn’t even know where they were, so that’s £3k-£5k worth of kit gone straight away."

Another method the college had in place was for each department to manage their devices, some of these departments chose Storage & Charging Trolleys, whereas other departments decided to manually hand devices out and find somewhere safe to securely charge the devices.

With no centralised system for device management, these two approaches proved to be inefficient as the demand for technology grew. Manually handing out devices was becoming too time-consuming, lost and damaged items were becoming costly, and storage and charging were taking up valuable space.

In addition, the college's desktop PCs were often left switched on when not in use, which wasted energy and added to the expenses.


Weston College created a learning and working hub for each campus, known as LibraryPlus.

"We decided about fifteen years ago, that students could borrow all sorts of equipment/books etc from the library, and that this was the go-to place for all equipment loaning. The library became the centre for every campus.”

To provide the extra level of functionality required to manage their various sites, the college opted to use LapSafe®’s Diploma™ Pro self-service Smart Lockers. Providing students with a self-service solution allows them to loan devices at their convenience. This significantly reduced the impact on staff time and admin tasks.

Weston College Smart Locker

The Diploma™ Pro easily integrated with the college's Library Management System (LMS), allowing a streamlined service with minimal staff interaction. IT admins can now remotely manage and monitor device loaning, providing a more direct approach, which takes the pressure away from the individual departments.

"Introducing self-service was a massive benefit to us. There is less staff involvement in terms of admin, they are self-sufficient, once students are familiar with how it works, they don’t need to find staff for assistance.”

The accountability offered by the Smart Locker software has provided an extra level of security and decreased the amount spent on lost or damaged devices.

“That’s the biggest one for us, the accountability factor.”

Weston College has now grown to sixteen installations, with a total of 504 bays.

Weston College Smart Locker


The next step for Weston College is to increase the level of data control by updating to LapSafe®’s software management platform, ONARKEN®, which provides even more control and loaning options.

"With more granular control we can move away from our LMS towards our active directory. We will be able to create groups, whether this be student or staff, and it will give us much better control.”

The functions of ONARKEN® will extend service desk availability, providing learners with access to technology 24/7 without staff interaction.

“The drop-off and collect functions will really help. The LibraryPlus and Learning Technologists are not always available, laptops can be pre-booked and made available outside of the staffed help desk hours.”

“We are really going down the mobile route, we are removing desktops in so many places and both students and staff are increasingly hot desking.”

The decrease in desktop PCs has led to a more “mobile workspace” giving students more freedom to work in a way which suits them best. The added benefit of this new flexible work style is being able to make better use of the space available and a reduction in energy and running costs.

Weston College Smart Locker

Why Lapsafe®

Weston College has a long-standing relationship with LapSafe® and the two have been able to grow alongside one another for many years. This longevity has led to a strong partnership, with a proven history, backed up by trusted support from LapSafe®.

Weston College ordered its first Diplomat Pro™ Self-Service Lockers in 2016, since then they have grown to over five hundred loaning bays across sixteen installations. With LapSafe®’s Diplomat™ Pro in mind for future expansions, it is no wonder the college is one of LapSafe®’s largest self-service sites.

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