Author: Tiffany Liddile

Kiosks become an integral part of business model at Berks Storage

 

Customer Success Story

Kiosks become an integral part of business model at Berks Storage

screen-shot-2017-12-07-at-4-19-39-pmPennsylvania self-sorage operator expands its’ use of technology and discovers multiple benefits to automating its’ facilities.

December 7, 2017 – OpenTech Alliance, the leading technology and automation company in the self-storage industry, has with teamed up with Berks Storage, a Pennsylvania self-storage operator to expand its’ use of automation technology. With a total of 5 locations, including 2 newly constructed facilities, Berks presently has about 2,265 units with roughly 300,000 square feet of rentable space and growing.  The firm has been automating its’ business in order to better serve its customers and to help keep payroll expenses down.

Presently, Berks has self-service kiosks at three of its’ locations, and has two more on order for its’ new facilities. According to Dave Paul, Managing Partner of Berks: “We’ve completely integrated the INSOMNIAC Kiosks into our operation, and the more channels we offer our customers to rent a unit or pay their bills, the better. We want customers to be able to rent or pay online, in-person, through the call center or the kiosk 24/7 – whatever is easier for them.”

Although 2 of the facilities run essentially unmanned, Paul says the kiosks tend to get used even when a manager is available: “Our customers are really into the technology… especially the millennials. Even with staff onsite, they might stop by the kiosk just to buy a lock. There’s a big convenience factor at work here. These days, convenience for our tenants and prospective tenants is paramount. We want to give them the ability to interact with us when and how they want to. The self-service technology from OpenTech has enabled us to do this, and the people at OpenTech have been a big help in getting it all working together.”

 

According to Robert Chiti, President and CEO of OpenTech Alliance, the effect of the kiosks on Berks business model isn’t too surprising: “We’ve seen this many times over with facilities who install our technology… when a company embraces and integrates these systems in their operations to improve service levels and make their business more easily accessible, this tends to lead to other positive outcomes as well, like increased occupancy rates and decreased costs. It’s a classic win-win-win situation.”

Paul says he is especially keen on the reporting available from the kiosk. “For payments and rentals it collects everything there is to know, and makes it really easy to get a clear picture of what’s happening on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. It actually works very well for us. It’s just a part of our everyday business.” Paul also says he appreciates the accuracy and completeness when a customer signs a lease. The kiosk doesn’t forget to collect all the necessary information, deposits and signatures, and it makes everything consistent and easily accessible – I wouldn’t build a new facility without one.”

 

Simply Self Storage and OpenTech Alliance celebrate successfully transitioning 230 facilities to INSOMNIAC™ Live! Call Center

 

simplyss

Simply Self Storage and OpenTech Alliance Celebrate successfully transitioning 230 facilities to the INSOMNIAC™ Live! Call Center

ORLANDO, FL & PHOENIX, AZ
December 06, 2017

Simply Self Storage and OpenTech Alliance are pleased to announce successful transitioning of 230 facilities from their previous provider to the OpenTech INSOMNIAC™ Live! Call Center. The Simply Self Storage and OpenTech teams have worked closely over the past several weeks to complete this important strategic partnership with a focus on mitigating conversion risks while dramatically improving the Simply Self Storage customer’s experience with improved quality and greatly reduced customer hold times.

“We are excited to partner with OpenTech in taking on and expanding our strategic call center capabilities. Their strong experience and flexible technology infrastructure is critical to furthering our customer engagement and supporting our company growth,” says Joe Robinson, SVP, Marketing. Robert A. Chiti, President and CEO of OpenTech added. “We are honored for the trust Simply Self Storage has placed in our organization and team. OpenTech has worked tirelessly to incorporate innovation, passion, and continuous process improvements into our INSOMNIAC™ Live! Call Center Services to ensure we have the tools to support Simply’s mantra to Simplify the Storage Experience for all of their customers.”

About Simply Self Storage
Simply Self Storage is the largest privately owned self-storage company in the United States and Puerto Rico. Founded in 2003 by Kurt O’Brien, Simply Self Storage connects customers with passionate storage experts to help simplify their lives, homes, and businesses by offering clean, safe, and stress-free options for storing their belongings. Knowledgeable team members assist in selecting a flexible solution which is convenient, simple to use, and will provide customers peace of mind knowing their belongings are safe and easily accessible. Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, Simply Self Storage has self-storage facilities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Puerto Rico. Simply Self Storage has over 18 million square feet of storage space with 233 operating self-storage facilities.

About OpenTech Alliance
OpenTech Alliance, Inc. is the leading developer of innovative technology solutions for the self storage industry. The company’s products and services include the INSOMNIAC line of self serve kiosks, INSOMNIAC Live! call center, INSOMNIAC CIA access control system and StorageTreasures.com online storage auctions. OpenTech solutions are designed to improve the customer experience, reduce operating costs and increase revenues for self-storage facilities. OpenTech Alliance, the OpenTech logo and INSOMNIAC are trademarks of OpenTech Alliance, Inc. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

 

OpenTech Alliance Launches Internet of Everything (IoE) Enabled Access Control System

INSOMNIAC CIA Keypad

OpenTech Demonstrates New INSOMNIAC CIA system at Self Storage Association Conference in Las Vegas.

OpenTech Alliance Launches Internet of Everything (IoE) Enabled Access Control System

 

locksSeptember 5th, 2017 Phoenix, AZ – OpenTech Alliance, Inc. is introducing the first of a new generation of products developed for their Internet of Everything (IoE) platform.

The first component of the platform is a Centralized Intelligent Access system –  INSOMNIAC CIA . According to Jon Loftin, Vice President and IoE Product Owner for OpenTech Alliance: “The product was designed to address the largest pain points self storage operators have with existing solutions, including: reliance on old school PC technology, skyrocketing pricing, lack of centralized data and control, limited technical support and no long term hardware warranty. We know the industry is anxious to move off their old technology, so we are offering customers the ability to  pre-order their systems with a 100% refundable deposit. We are planning to have product available Feb. 2018.”

Robert A. Chiti, President and CEO of OpenTech added. “We are very lucky to have Jon leading our IoE platform effort. He has over 25 years of experience in the access and control arena and it is his experience and leadership that have made it possible for OpenTech to deliver such a dramatically advanced solution. We are all excited to see what he comes up with next.”

INSOMNIAC CIA KeypadINSOMNIAC CIA is the first cloud-based access control system designed specifically for the Self Storage industry. It does not require a PC at the facility. The system gives operators total control of one to thousands of facilities with a mobile friendly administration portal using any Internet connected device including PC, Mac, tablets or smartphones. The portal provides secure, real-time diagnostics, data visualization and reporting insights into what is happening at the facility at all times from anywhere in the world.

The IoE platform is designed based on an open architecture allowing operators and other technology vendors to develop their own integrations. OpenTech will be integrating the system with their LiveAgent! call center application, allowing their storage counselors to better assist tenants on the property. INSOMNIAC CIA comes with a Lifetime Protection program that includes; software subscription, hardware warranty, unlimited telephone support, and the Storage Genie mobile app. Storage Genie comes with the “No Touch” feature that allows self storage tenants to quickly access the property without having to even reach for their smartphones.

INSOMNIAC CIA hardware is built to last and has undergone surge/lightning testing of 20,000V at 10,000Amps for the power inputs and 16,000V at 380Amps for the RS485 communications. In addition, it is also listed to Underwriters Laboratory (UL) specification UL294 for access control systems

To learn more, visit www.opentechalliance.com/cia/ or call us at 602.749.9370.

 

Northwest Self Storage Selects StorageTreasures.com for Online Lien Auctions

 

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Northwest Self Storage Selects  StorageTreasures.com for Online Lien Auctions

OpenTech Alliance, Inc., managers of StorageTreasures.com, announced today that Northwest Self Storage has transitioned a majority of their storage lien auctions to StorageTreasures.com. Northwest is an industry leading self storage operator, and a National Storage Affiliates (NSA) Participating Regional Operator (PRO).

Northwest operates 80 self storage properties throughout Oregon and Washington. In the past, Northwest has traditionally held live, onsite auctions at their facilities, but has recently started testing online auctions. According to Nate Schwalbach, Northwest’s VP of Operations: “We are very happy with StorageTreasures features, the number of bidders that view and bid on our auctions, the final sale prices, as well as the customer service and training team at OpenTech.” Other National Storage Affiliates PROs currently using StorageTreasures.com include; Move It Self Storage, Hide-Away Storage, Personal Mini Storage, and Optivest Properties.

StorageTreasures.com is the world’s largest online self storage lien auction platform, currently serving over 6,000 self storage facilities in the US and Canada. The website hosts over 12,000 online auctions per month, and advertises over 1,000 live auctions as well. In 2017, StorageTreasures.com has averaged over 225 viewers, and 14 or more bids for every auction held. With an average sales price of over $196, and many auctions topping out at $1,000 or more (some as high as $5,000+), StorageTreasures.com offers storage operators a compelling alternative to traditional onsite lien auctions. StorageTreasures.com is managed by OpenTech Alliance, Inc.

 

OpenTech Alliance Brings Self Storage Robot to North America

 

OpenTech Alliance, Inc., a leading technology solutions provider for the self storage industry, announced they have signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Wyca, a robotics engineering company headquartered in Toulouse, France, to sell and support their Keylo robot in North America. OpenTech demonstrated the robot at the Inside Self Storage World Expo in Las Vegas last month.

 

Self Storage Robot PHOENIX, ARIZONA (PRWEB) MAY 10, 2017

The robot is designed to assist self storage customers rent a unit, make a payment, purchase a lock and it will even escort them to their unit. The robot will also connect the consumer with a live storage counselor who can assist them and answer any questions they may have about the facility.

“We are engineers, and our passion is integrating Robotics with Artificial Intelligence technologies to solve business problems. We are very pleased to be partnering with OpenTech Alliance to be our sales and service partner in North America. Their reputation and track record for developing innovative self storage solutions is impressive, and fits perfectly with our strategic plan to bring automation to the industry”, stated Matthieu Besozzi, Wyca Co-Founder.

Robert Chiti, OpenTech President and CEO added: “We are super impressed with the Wyca team. As an industry, we are fortunate they have decided to invest their brainpower, money and resources to help put self storage operators in a position to leverage the latest in technology to operate their businesses. Typically, the aerospace and healthcare industries get to have all the cool technology first. Over the next year we will be demonstrating the robot and collaborating with self storage operators to learn more about how they feel it can help their business.”

About OpenTech Alliance
OpenTech Alliance, Inc. is the leading developer of innovative technology solutions for the self storage industry. The company’s products and services include the INSOMNIAC line of self serve Kiosks, INSOMNIAC Live! call center services, technology for online storage reservations, and the StorageTreasures.com online storage auctions website. OpenTech solutions are designed to improve the customer experience, reduce operating costs and increase revenues for self-storage facilities

About Wyca
Wyca develops Keylo, the first service robot specifically designed for self-storage industry. By combining human interactions and Artificial Intelligence, Keylo robot helps self-storage owners to receive clients remotely, lower operational expenditures and strengthen security. Wyca is headquartered in Toulouse, France.

This technology is part of a larger trend towards unattended or unmanned self storage. A video of the Self Storage Robot in action can be seen here: https://vimeo.com/opentech

 

OpenTech Voted Best Self Storage Call Center for 2016

 

iss-award-2017Congratulations to the entire OpenTech team for another job well-done:

Winner – ISS Best Self Storage Call Center Services 2016!

iss-bob-logo-2016-best-call-center-services

 

More proof that hard work and dedication pays off….

The Inside Self-Storage “Best of Business” reader-choice poll, launched in 2011, solicits online votes from industry professionals who elect their favorite suppliers in approximately 30 categories. Awards include Best Builder, Best Management Software, Most Innovative Product and Best Customer Service among many others. Winners are honored through profile pages in ISS magazine as well as during a special ceremony at the Inside Self-Storage World Expo in Las Vegas. The results are published online year-round for ISS readers to access.

Awesome job, everyone!

 

OpenTech Alliance Makes Significant Donation to SSA Legislative Fund

 

ssa-legislative-fundPHOENIX, ARIZONA – Jan. 23, 2017

OpenTech Alliance, Inc., a leading technology partner for self-storage operators looking to improve the financial performance of their portfolio through the use of innovative technology, has announced they have made a significant donation to the national Self Storage Association’s legislative fund. The donation was on behalf of StorageTreasures.com, in support of the 2017 plan to update 11 state lien laws to explicitly include online auctions as a recognized method of holding a commercially reasonable lien sale.

PrintStorageTreasures.com is the industry’s leading online auction site with a base of auction buyers larger than all other sites combined. The site was created by veteran self-storage operators and was supported by attorneys from the Self Storage Legal Network – D. Carlos Kaslow and Scott Zucker, all who believed that there had to be a better way to hold self storage lien sales. Their goal was to create a process where operators could expand the audience for lien sales to thousands of buyers and reduce the expense, risk and overhead of holding live auctions at self-storage properties.

According to SSA President & CEO Tim Dietz, “The Self Storage Association annually assesses adjustments to statute that can assist our members keep pace with the evolving practices of our sector. While we believe that online auctions currently represent an acceptable, commercially reasonably lien sale, providing comfort through clarity in laws that govern our industry is just one more way we work to protect our members. We appreciate that OpenTech, a longtime supporter of the SSA, has stepped-up to encourage our efforts,” he said.

“The team at the SSA does a fantastic job of protecting our industry and we are very happy to be able to support them with a meaningful donation. Next year we hope to be supporting a full court press to eliminate the requirement to poste lien notices in newspapers”, commented Robert A. Chiti, OpenTech Alliance President and CEO as well as past member of the SSA Board of Directors.

 

OpenTech Labs Cuts the Ribbon on New Software Development Space

 

OpenTech Labs
CEO Robert Chiti (left), and Joe Arnone, Vice President of Product Management cut the ribbon on the new OpenTech Labs.

OpenTech Alliance cut the ribbon on it’s new software development center dubbed “OpenTech Labs” today. Presiding over the festivities is OpenTech Alliance President and CEO Robert Chiti, and Joe Arnone, Vice President of Product Management, who provided the impetus to make this a reality. The new OpenTech Labs is a part of OpenTech’s push into new products and services geared towards adding value to it’s core technologies in the self storage rentals market. OpenTech Alliance provides a line of integrated hardware, software and solutions that improve customer service, efficiency, and profitability for self storage facilities nationwide.

OpenTech Labs designed the new space in a bid to attract up and coming developers to it’s growing operation. “With the market for tightening, we need to compete more aggressively to find and keep high quality talent” according to Chiti. “what has worked in the past has to make way for new realities”. With growth coming in a range of SaaS (software as a service) products, along with OpenTech’s “StorageTreasures.com” online auctions website, the need for high quality programmers and product developers is continuing to increase. By providing a fresh and open workspace, OpenTech Labs aims to improve internal collaboration while better offering a more inviting work environment for it’s development teams.

OpenTech Labs

 

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