Inside Self-Storage

NOV 2018

Inside Self-Storage (ISS) is an information source for industry owners, managers, developers and investors covering news, trends, facility operation, finance, real estate, construction, development, marketing, technology, insurance and legality.

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W hether you're servicing your security system or resurfacing your parking lot, regular maintenance is part and parcel of a self-storage facility's success. After all, delaying repair and maintenance can end up costing much more in the long run. Not only can expenses escalate when work is postponed, but customers who want to store their belongings in a clean, safe environment may choose to do business with another provider if they believe that site is better-run. That said, keeping up with maintenance can be a challenge. While most self-storage operators recognize the importance of facility upkeep, they're understandably looking for ways to reduce spending. The problem is managing work orders manually is a bit like piloting a plane without instrumentation or even a windshield— you're flying blind. Take a walk outside and review the maintenance status of your self-storage facility. Ask yourself: • What maintenance items need to be addressed? • What projects are vital to promoting your facility to customers? • How are these items to be reported and to whom? • What budget will be allocated to addressing these projects? • Who's responsible for hiring vendors, and what's the procedure? • What's the invoice amount that can be approved by frontline staff? What's the procedure if the invoice will be higher than that amount? • Are there any bottlenecks in your operation that stall approval for maintenance and repairs? If you don't have a maintenance schedule, it's time to create one. Make sure you're using the plan and addressing tasks in a timely manner. Source: insideselfstorage.com, "Back to Self-Storage Basics: 5 Operation Areas on Which You Need to Focus," by Matthew Van Horn The good news is modern facilities-management (FM) technologies and service automation are making it possible to manage repairs and maintenance in a way that provides unprecedented levels of visibility, data and control. These tools also make it possible to track all work orders centrally in real time, regardless of where in the field they were created. Let's look at some of the innovations in FM technology and the benefits they can yield for self-storage operations. Workflow Mobility Mobile technology is one of the easiest ways to add efficiency to FM processes at self-storage facilities. Nearly everyone has a smartphone, so it makes sense to use that tool or an equally portable tablet. Here are three ways to leverage mobility: Wor k-o rder management. This is normally a time-consuming and detail-oriented task, but mobile technology means you can manage work orders from anywhere. Facility managers can create new orders while walking the property, schedule or assign orders with detailed service requests, and easily identify duplicate orders. A bonus is the ability to add photos for vendors that illustrate and effectively communicate issues. Asset management. Self-storage managers need to keep detailed equipment records including warranties, repair histories and maintenance costs. As they walk the property, they can scan tagged assets such as light fixtures, unit doors or HVAC systems, and upload their notes. The ability to record standardized facilities-condition data in real time on a smartphone increases accuracy and efficiency. Another benefit is corralling all this information about key assets in one place, ensuring accessibility and continuity. Contractor management. Security is paramount for self-storage facilities. Managers need to know who's on the property conducting repairs or maintenance at all times. From an accountability perspective, it's important to know a contractor or technician spent the appropriate amount of time to address a work order. Mobile tools provide visibility into the comings and goings of service providers at your properties. In addition, Mobile-based identification requires them to prove their identity, purpose and qualifications before entering a worksite. Managers can view this information from anywhere, at any time. Actionable Intelligence Business profitability requires close attention to detail, reduced inefficiencies and informed spending decisions. Self-storage operators can gain insight to all Using Technology to Streamline Site Maintenance By Tom Buiocchi Back to Basics TECH TIME 10 ISS I November 2018 www.insideselfstorage.com

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