Ensure you’re making the right choice for your facility’s needs by avoiding these common mistakes.
The self storage business is quite unique. Other than keeping your customer’s possessions safe, the service is filled with specific tasks and requirements. Using self storage software is the simplest way of successfully managing all these unique tasks and your facility’s specific needs. After spending so much time researching and perfecting every part of the facility development budget, managers often feel like choosing which self storage management software to use is just a formality or an afterthought.
Choosing the right self storage management software can be a life-saver while making the wrong choice greatly hampers your management efforts. It’s not just about the features or integrations, but about recognizing how the software solves particular problems associated with your facility and the business model.
This post is about the five main mistakes managers make when choosing their self storage software and how to avoid them.
As we said, many managers might treat choosing their self storage software as an afterthought. This takes many forms, such as not having enough knowledge of the technology itself or not looking into the features a specific software solution provides, etc.
Having a strong foundation of technical knowledge significantly helps you know which software should be used and whether it’s suitable for your facility. Without proper comparison you won’t know the complete set of options you can choose from, maybe leading to you paying more than you should and definitely getting 3rd party software that’s usually a hassle to integrate.
Before making any purchase decisions set aside additional time to do your research properly. Getting it done early on and trying out different options reduces the risks of bad purchase decisions (like buying software that’s not packed with the must-have features.
Doing research also entails looking internally at what are your facility and business software needs. Even within the self storage business, every facility potentially has its own practices and its own systems. A software packed with a variety of features might seem like the best buy, but if it doesn’t have the key functions that your facility requires, is essentially useless. Picking out software for small self storage businesses is quite different than getting something for large-scale facilities. Get to know your facility and business model inside out so you can detect key software features and functions that effectively help you implement best practices.
Knowing your needs also means thinking about where your business will go next. If this is a new facility or business, it’s likely your needs will be quite small, but you have to make sure that whichever software solution you choose has space to improve. This usually comes in the form of an advanced plan, and you should check the entirety of their ‘advanced’ features even if you don’t plan on purchasing it currently. Expansion, staff increase, and implementing other technology solutions mean that your software has to be flexible in adapting to these changes.
If you’re doing your research on software correctly, chances are you’ll also be implementing a range of other technology solutions at your site. Whether that be access control gates, cameras, or kiosks, if your software isn’t able to integrate properly with these, it won’t make your business any more efficient. Not only will you not be able to use these vital technologies at your facility, but it might also force you to replace these technologies so that it does integrate with your software. In using more technology solutions, thinking about how everything integrates and works together saves you time and money.
A final key point to make is that you need to be clear on all the terms you’re accepting when choosing software. Make sure that you and whichever software provider you’ve chosen are on the same page about how to implement the software. Some deals usually are too good to be true. Don’t realize this when it’s too late. Prevent any unexpected issues or misunderstandings by thoroughly reading the terms. Keep close attention for anything you might disagree with or that you weren’t expecting.
Some specific things to look out for:
1. Is your data under their ownership, and do you have to pay to have it released?
2. Is the rate they’re offering an introductory rate, or will it be maintained throughout your contract? If it’s being scaled up, how much?
3. If they are offering other services, e.g website development, are there hidden costs involved? Also, make sure to enquire about the ownership of those other products as well
All in all, a software solution drastically helps you and your business become more efficient. However, if you don’t avoid some of the errors listed above, you might implement an extra headache instead of a solution.
Storeganise is built with customization in mind. Our comprehensive settings panel, custom fields, custom web tasks, and open API allow you to cater the self storage software to your specific needs. If you need an extra opinion or a piece of expert advice for your software pick feel free to get in touch.