The self storage industry has evolved tremendously during the past decade. One of the more recent changes has been for the self-storage industry to adapt to the "do it yourself" mentality that is the standard today. In a world where we can check out our own groceries at the market, have access to cash without speaking to a bank teller, and can get acne medicine from a dispenser at the mall, self storage also offers this technology.
One of the largest vendors today for self-service kiosks is OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Their INSOMNIAC kiosks allow customers to rent units, make payments, buy insurance, purchase locks, and update their accounts whether an employee is onsite or not. In addition, the platform offers a live call center counselor to support customers at the kiosks, through their INSOMNIAC AssistantManager program.
"Self-storage operators add the INSOMNIAC kiosk to help rent units outside of office hours," said Larry Rolando, Vice President with OpenTech Alliance, Inc. "And while a few consumers may not use kiosks, self-storage operators find that there are many clients who would prefer to utilize a kiosk." In fact, usage of the INSOMNIAC platform reached 53.6% during business hours, higher than the after-hours usage for 2010.
Kiosk usage in the self storage industry has increased annually since its inception. In 2010, the actual number of rental transactions per facility increased to 3.4 rentals per month compared to 2.7 in 2009. "Self-storage operators are also utilizing the kiosks to off-load routine payment processing or the rental process itself," Rolando explained.
"By adding the live call center option to work in conjunction with the kiosk, self storage owners and operators are improving the NOI [net operating income] of the facility by catching their fair share of after-hours rentals and reducing staffing costs."
This do-it-yourself rental kiosk offers a plethora of options for the self-storage owner. Among the various options available on the 7 different models are:, integrated speaker phone to speak with a live person, fingerprint scanner, digital camera, dual stereo speakers for voice prompts, 15-inch touch screen, proximity sensor, full size printer, credit card scanner, bill acceptor, full size keyboard and trackball all enclosed in a weather resistant cabinet. It also displays multimedia presentations and gives virtual facility tours.
INSOMNIAC is full-service and fully integrated. Customers can make rentals and payments at their convenience, regardless of whether a manager is available. One of the bonuses of this system is that is integrates with all major self storage management software systems, so INSOMNIAC applies payments immediately, updates reports, and knows current inventory automatically.
"The kiosk integration with an operators existing software can free up your manager to do more value added activities, such as marketing or collection calls," Rolando said. "Larger facilities can reduce costs and smaller facilities can improve their profitability by leveraging this technology.
To learn more about these self-service kiosks, visit their website at www.opentechalliance.com.