Fear of the Future

Posted by Poppy Behrens on Nov 20, 2018 12:00:00 AM

We are all comfortable doing things the way we have always done them.  However, this comfort with tradition can make us vulnerable to falling behind the competition.  We see this throughout history. We all remember the yellow pages, right?  Those that fail to adapt to market and societal changes due to their comfort level with tradition are left behind, while those who can adapt, benefit from the changing landscape.


Businesses in every industry have always needed to adapt to changing market conditions or fall by the wayside.  In today’s hypercompetitive and ever-changing landscape, adaptability and agility are more important than ever. Not that long ago, when we needed a book, we would hop in our cars and drive to the local bookstore.  Enter Amazon.  It became incredibly easy to download a book at home in minutes, or have the book delivered to our doorsteps. Traditional bookstores like Borders failed to see what was coming with online shopping and digital downloads. When they finally did, it was too late and the once giant in the industry went bankrupt. But Amazon did not stop at books. Today, Amazon is an all-encompassing online juggernaut that has played a hand in the failure of companies from countless industries.  Amazon saw the changing tide, and rode it to being one of the most powerful companies of the 21st century.


Examples of companies losing market share to new players bringing innovative new products and platforms to industries is the most polarizing example of companies being too entrenched in tradition to adequately adapt to modern advances, but it is not the most applicable to the self-storage industry. The vast majority of companies who fall behind others due to their inability to adapt do so by failing to implement time saving and cost cutting systems. Modern technology can automate processes so your employees can focus on more important matters. When companies are able to leverage technology to improve efficiency, they gain a competitive advantage in their market. Companies clinging to their legacy systems instead of choosing to adapt to the changing environment are left fighting from behind. Wouldn’t it be great if your manager could focus on growing the business instead of walking across your facility to overlock a tenant’s unit?


While clinging to tradition can be comfortable and pain free in the short term, there are serious long term detriments. In addition to falling behind your competition from a cost and service perspective, outdated technology is expensive to maintain. Take the Pentagon for example. The cost of overhauling their outdated systems was deemed too high and too much of a hassle. Fast forward a few years, they spend $90 billion per year maintaining their floppy disk based systems. This does not even count the cost savings that could be gained from improved efficiencies they could see by upgrading their systems. As we all know, short term decisions impact the long term success of companies. Whether considering the cost of a door replacement, upgrading access control and security systems, or investing in new technologies, we often look at the price tag and forget the cost savings these projects will provide down the line. A door replacement can add value to your facility and attract more customers, an upgraded security system can increase operational efficiency, and other new technologies can increase efficiency while bringing added security to your facility. The long term impacts far outweigh the short term pain.


Today’s technology is revolutionizing every industry from automotive to waste management to hospitality, and self-storage is no different. Smart products are now helping storage operators across the globe automate their facilities, secure units, and providing tenant facing interfaces and apps which lead to a better customer experience. Utilizing Bluetooth entry systems integrated with property management software, operators are gaining insight into the habits of their customers, providing easier and more secure access to their tenants, and automating the overlock process.   While sticking with tradition seems like the safe choice, investing in new, smart products can lead to cost savings, a more efficient operation, and ultimately, happier customers.


To learn more about new technology for your self storage facility, check out this video: