Facility Automation

Automating Your Self-Storage Facility: Top Concerns Debunked

April 4, 2023
7 minutes

From streamlining day-to-day tasks to improving renter experiences, automation can revolutionize the way self-storage facilities operate. Despite the immense benefits of automation, many self-storage operators are still hesitant to embrace it.

This article will explore self-storage operators’ concerns about automation and debunk them one by one. Many operators are leaving money on the table by failing to embrace automated solutions. Let’s dive straight into some myth-busting.

Automating A Self-Storage Facility (#1 Concern For Operators)

The biggest concern for self-storage operators is often whether automation is actually worth the investment. Many operators believe that automation solutions are expensive and may not yield a significant return on investment. However, with no shortage of cost-effective automation tools entering the market, it’s never been easier to automate your facility without breaking the bank.

Automating tasks like reservations, rentals, and payments can save operators significant time during a work week. This enables operators to pour their time and effort into high-value tasks. From providing 24/7 access to storage units seamlessly to reducing the need for staff to be physically present on-site, automation can streamline many aspects of your business.

Self-Storage Facility Automation (5 Concerns For Operators)

1 - Security Concerns

As you would expect, security is a major concern for self-storage operators. Many operators fear that automation may compromise the security of their facility. In fact, the opposite is true. Automation can enhance security by providing real-time monitoring, access control, and alarm systems. When deployed correctly, it can leave operators with peace of mind.

2 - Technical Issues

Technical issues are another concern for self-storage operators. If you are heavily reliant on automation technology to power the renter experience, what happens when glitches and downtime inevitably occur? Most automated systems come with user-friendly interfaces and require minimal technical knowledge to operate. The chances of downtime are relatively slim.

3 - Customer Service

Some self-storage operators worry that automation may result in a loss of personal touch and a decline in the renter experience. Automation actually has the potential to tighten up weaker areas of your customer service and bake consistency into your processes. With no room left for error, operators can have confidence in renters receiving standardized experiences.

4 - Staff Reduction

Naturally, operators worry that automation may lead to staff reduction, resulting in job losses. Rather than reducing staff, operators can simply reallocate employees and get them to focus on more high-value tasks. With automation taking care of tedious and repetitive tasks to power the renter experience, team members can focus on tasks that align with their unique skill sets.

5 - Integration With Existing Systems

Is there anything more terrifying than a disjointed workflow? This is a fear for many operators that are hesitant about exploring the possibilities of automation. Fortunately, many automation tools and platforms can neatly integrate with your existing technology stack. This is ideal for those who already have a well-oiled operation that could benefit from automation.

Self-Storage Automation (5 Tips For Getting Started)

1 - Identify Areas For Automation

How can your self-storage facility reap the rewards of automation? The first step in automating your self-storage facility is to identify areas where automation can bring the most benefits.

2 - Choose The Right Automation System

Picking the right automation system is crucial to the success of your self-storage facility. This will inevitably come in the form of several different tools that you utilize at different points in your workflows. You should think about the current inefficiencies in your workflows and consider how automation can address some of these challenges.

3 - Train Staff On The Automation Tools

To ensure everyone is on the same page, training your staff on how to use the automation tools is a must. This will support a smooth transition and enable them to begin focusing on tasks that are uniquely aligned with their skill sets.

4 - Communicate With Customers

When you begin making changes to your workflows, you can tell unit renters about some of the changes they can expect. For instance, if you are automating the distribution of access codes, it’s important to provide renters with information on the new system, to prevent disorientation.

5 - Monitor & Evaluate The Automation Tools

Are the automation tools making a measurable difference in customer experiences? From occupancy rates and revenue to customer satisfaction, you can use a range of performance indicators to measure the benefits of automation tools in your workflows.

Self-Storage Facility Automation (Closing Thoughts)

While automation can revolutionize the way self-storage facilities operate, many operators are still hesitant to embrace it. Through debunking the top concerns of self-storage operators and providing tips for getting started with automation, we hope operators can see the benefits and take advantage of the technology on the market to streamline operations.

We have produced an Operator’s BluePrint to “Building an Unmanned Facility” — the all-in-one resource of all the tools accessible to an operator to run their self-storage business with greater efficiency.

To find out more about the self-storage technology landscape and how you can utilize automation solutions in your self-storage business, get your hands on the PDF blueprint today.

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