Technology plays a huge role in most businesses these days, but one area that has seen a major growth cycle is the self storage industry.
The self storage industry used to run through primitive processes which would take up too much of the customers and business owner’s time. Signing up to a storage unit used to require paper forms being filled out and sent to the bank so payments could be made and contracts are agreed upon.
This primitive process would continue when the customer would need access to their unit. Storage units would be secured with a key and lock and access to the entire warehouse or location would need to be granted by around the clock security. This process has many bottlenecks.
Firstly customers would lose their keys often. Scott from Pink Storage Newport had this to say “Replacing lost and stolen keys would eat into our profits as a business and would also delay how quickly we could get users in and out of our storage containers.”
If the storage industry would have stuck to these processes I don’t think it would have grown as much as it has today.
Granting access around the clock to storage customers is something they all need, especially business owners who rely on it for stock inventory, keeping their tax information secure, and everything else a small business owner could need.
The only way to grant access 24/7 in the past was to hire staff who would let the customers in and out. However, if you run multiple locations this becomes an expensive option for the business owner. Using biometric technology allows the storage owner to grant access to the storage facility without having to hire teams of people.
Biometric technology can also cut down on the costs when it comes to customers losing their keys or having to spend time chasing up customers whose contracts have ended and you need the keys back from them.
The internet and mobile applications
The internet and mobile applications have also played a huge role in the growth of self-storage companies as they allow potential customers to sign up with ease. Instead of filling out paper forms and waiting for the bank to approve your direct debit you can simply sign up online and have access to a storage unit within minutes.
Mobile applications have helped the industry as you can set up automatic billing, hire more storage, and even cancel your contract without having to speak to anyone. In a world where everyone is rushing this is vital as people expect signup processes to be quick and painless otherwise they will go to a competitor.
Robots are being used in high-end storage facilities where they can greet customers, help them sign up, and even offer them a guided tour of the facility.
They can also be used to connect the customer to a live customer service agent if there is ever a problem. This saves the business owner money as they don’t need to employ a customer service agent for every location, they can however use one or two customer service agents for multiple locations.
Mobile storage units
Taking your items into storage can be difficult especially if you live in a bigger city and don’t drive. Lugging your items along public transport isn’t practical for some and that’s where mobile storage units can come into play and help the user.
Mobile storage units can be booked through a mobile app and the storage business will then send out a small portable storage unit in which you fill and then use the app again to arrange delivery.
This process is simple and convenient which technology is supposed to be.
Self-storage companies are popping up in most major cities all around the world and it’s clear to see that they are here to stay. With homes getting smaller and prices getting higher people will always need somewhere to store their goods. In the future, we may see self-storage businesses being 100% automated and the cost of storage could go down as a result, if this happens I can see there being another boom in the growth of the self storage industry.