Here we break down the tangible benefits of an automated self storage facility.
Automation is a hot topic these days. As everyone is waiting out the Covid-19 pandemic at home and social distancing makes close contact difficult/impossible, the economy keeps going. Many self storage operators have looked to their older cousins – warehouses or fulfillment centers for answers. The reply that came echoing back: “automation”.
If you are still wondering, ‘should I automate my facility’ – We have the answer for you.
Available automation solutions and their benefits
Fully automated vs. partly automated
The first question you should decide for yourself: do I want a fully automated facility? In other words, one without human staff? Or, do I want a partially automated facility? One where staff are present during the day, or peak hours, but clients can access the storage off-hours, too. There are advantages to either option and one one-size-fits-all solution. It will depend on your location, costs, and client demographic. For example, on-site staff can help out less tech-savvy clients. Some clients might perceive the presence of a human as a security feature; more about that later. Others will appreciate 24/7 smart lock access or unit management using their smartphone. Irrespective of your degree of automation, every step towards it brings you tangible advantages.
These days automation goes hand in hand with cloud-based software. Manage and operate your facility from anywhere in the world – all you need is a stable internet connection and a big enough screen on your device. Cloud-based software has a more intuitive UI and modern appearance than legacy or custom systems, common in the past decades. This also means shorter training times and a gentler learning curve for yourself and your staff. Integrations with other software, such as your customer relationship management solution, will be easier. Save costs and headaches by avoiding IT problems.
It is not only the interface for the admins but also the front end that becomes easier to use. Empower your customers by allowing them to book and manage their storage independently of a front-desk staff – anytime, anywhere. Supermarkets lead the way with self-checkout, and customers love it.
An automated facility has no office hours and no days off. To achieve customer success, focus on reducing customer effort: Having the option to go to the storage when it works best for the client. With 24/7 access – using smart locks or good old keys – a happy customer is in the making.
Reduce admin costs and overheads
Automation can help free up yourself or your staff by taking over routine tasks such as:
Inventory & delivery/collection tracking
This will improve operational efficiency and free up resources to invest in customer service, user experience improvements, or marketing. Automated billing reduces both the credit risk and management costs for facility operators. With the correct setup, you can run a unmanned self storage anywhere.
This one sounds counterintuitive at first. An unstaffed location should be more prone to break-ins, no? What if there is a fire? In reality, the opposite is true. Automated facilities are equipped with security cameras, alarms, and sensors. Modern facilities collect and control various environmental data about the inside of the unit: Alarms sound when a door is left open or if the temperature rises above a set limit. This improved security comes at a cost, but it is a marketable benefit for the end consumer.
What can Storeganise do for your business
Automating is not as hard as it sounds! Many of our customers fear that the transition will be expensive, time-consuming, and overall a painful experience. However, we can integrate you within a few days. Our customer support team will be with you to answer questions, clarify doubts and provide support where needed.
Related Article: Read our case study on how automation can transform your business