How to compare self-storage facility management software?
Facility management software is a necessity if you wish to run a warehouse or a storage business. It is that tool that helps you manage and organize all the units. However, there is an array of different software apps on the market. Knowing how to compare self-storage facility management software and pick the right one for your business is easier with the right type of guidance. With that in mind, we wish to show you how to recognize the strengths of the best software for you and make an informed decision.
The difference in platforms
When choosing a self-storage management software, the first step is to decide whether you want to use a desktop platform or a web-based app. Both of these have advantages and disadvantages.
With desktop-based platforms, you have more security because the app is in a closed system. Even if the internet goes down for some reason, you can still operate without issues. However, you will need a lot more hardware. Desktop-based apps require an installation, and they also need storage if you want to keep a lot of data stored.
TIP: Web-based platforms offer more flexibility and mobility when it comes to managing a business.
With a web-based platform, you can access your software from wherever you want. Furthermore, everything is stored in the Cloud, so you don't have to purchase additional hardware and storage space. However, it does depend on the internet connection, so have a backup in case your network goes down.
Comparing the cost between the two
From the perspective of payment, web-based software is usually sold as a subscription. Your price changes depending on the usage, the number of accounts, and the features you pick. That's why the total cost may change depending on the needs of your company.
For a desktop platform, it is often a one-time fee, and you have the full right to the app. However, keep in mind that this is not set in stone. Companies are massively moving to the subscription-as-a-service business model, so you can expect both scenarios.
Let's examine the features you might need
One of the most common problems storage owners face is not modernizing their approach to running a business. That means not using the latest storage software technologies with a whole array of features. You can have a set of powerful tools at your disposal to help you run your business, manage interactions with customers, and increase your revenue.
TIP: When choosing the features, always think about what your business needs. You can always upgrade to a more complex plan, but it is best to start with a basic package and see if it delivers.
The most common features you will need
- Dynamic reporting: one of the most versatile features of good storage management software is dynamic reporting. You can quickly pull any customized reports and create a detailed analysis of your business;
- Dashboard for tracking leads: the idea of getting storage management software is to help you in tracking leads. Thoroughly examine and compare dashboards and see which one gives you more options;
- CRM services: you also need customer relations management services. This part of the software allows you to create customer accounts, split your clients into groups, and track all purchases and customer interactions;
- Manage multiple facilities: are you expanding and opening new facilities? Do you already own a couple of storage locations across the town? Your software must allow you to easily switch between facilities and manage each separately;
- Electronic signatures: another way to provide more safety and flexibility for your clients is to purchase software that supports electronic signatures and leases;
- Mobile support: it is always best to buy software that has access from a mobile app. This gives mobility both to you, your clients, and employees;
- Text messaging and call monitoring: you want a good text messaging system if you wish to inform all of your clients of new offers. If they decide to call for any reason or contact customer support, it is best to use a call monitoring software and keep a record of the calls so you can improve customer service;
Features particularly beneficial for eCommerce businesses
- Contactless scheduling and payments: due to COVID-19, all companies are implementing contactless technology in their businesses. What you want is to provide your clients with an option to do reservations, payments, and rentals without any contact;
- Multiple payment options: check out the financial side of the software. Does it offer multiple payment processing options that include a variety of choices and options? This is crucial because not all customers will want to pay in the same way. You also want an automated invoicing feature. Sending invoices manually requires a considerable amount of time and work;
- Website and eCommerce integration: if you manage to integrate storage management software with your website, you open a whole new world of possibilities. You can analyze customer visits to your website, feed the data into the system, and use it to improve customer satisfaction and your services;
As you can see, the main reason why storage management software is so essential is that it allows you to fully manage your business and communication with customers.
Which vendor to pick?
When purchasing storage management software, you don't want to be reckless with your investment. It is especially important if you are running a small business and want to buy the self-storage facility management software. Create a plan, understand what your business needs, and spend money wisely. Depending on the vendor, you will get different deals. You don't need to purchase all the features just because they can do so many different things.
Besides comparing the features, you also want to compare the options each vendor gives you. Is there a trial period you can use to see if the software is what you need? Do they provide any training for the employees? If you already have older storage management software, what will the migration process look like?
Everything is important. Check how much the vendor is in the business, ask to see testimonials from previous customers, and check if there is an option to get a basic plan and upgrade later.
Always compare self-storage facility management software before purchase
The key takeaway for today is not to rush with this decision. Compare self-storage facility management software, and see which one works best for your company's needs. Think smart and always have a plan because the future of your business depends on it!