Aug 12, 2020 – Phoenix, AZ. OpenTech Alliance, the leading developer of innovative smart-connected technology solutions for the self storage industry, announced the installation of INSOMNIACTM CIA access control at Spacious Storage, a Canadian operator among the first to adopt the cloud-based system. Spacious Storage, a 5-story, 100,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility in western British Columbia, opened in May 2020.
With a long and varied career in self storage, Kyle Lawrence, Operating Partner of Spacious Storage on Ellis in Kelowna, BC, knows the keys to creating and maintaining a successful storage operation. Initially trained under the Public Storage USA umbrella before the company split, Lawrence worked for Public Storage Canada for 11 years, ending his tenure as VP of Operations before venturing into ownership himself. Catering to a population that demands top-of-the-line features, Lawrence and his partners knew it was essential to get things right at their Kelowna facility from day one – starting with access control.
“I’ve worked with numerous access control systems,” stated Lawrence. “It’s so important to get it right. I was always told in the storage industry it needs to be safe, secure, dry, clean and pest free – those are the keys. We originally ordered all my access control systems from another company – but the demand for “smarter” storage facilities the industry was gravitating towards and with that gut feeling I had – I knew I needed to research further. I started evaluating other solutions and spent time on the phone with another operator who was using INSOMNIAC CIA. I was also introduced to Robert Chiti, CEO of OpenTech Alliance. I was immediately impressed with his responsiveness, knowledge, and care for us as a single operator. He connected me with his team who patiently answered all my questions and educated me further on the system. When I started to understand OpenTech’s system – the hardware and data capabilities, the fact that it’s made in the USA, that tech support would be super responsive, it’s a high-quality product that would withstand weather situations, a system that operates in the cloud – I knew I needed to make this switch now thinking about the long-term.”
Spacious Storage was one of the first operators in Canada to adopt CIA – a decision they haven’t regretted despite leading the pack. “We purposely built this facility trying to consider the future and its longevity,” stated Lawrence. “I’m always interacting with people in the industry – I believe in the storage business we can put blinders on and convince ourselves our old ways are the only way to do things. I strive to have an open mind, and I rely on others to push me – from small operators to large operators, we always look at what everyone is doing and look for better, more efficient ways to operate. Access was pivotal for us.”
“When the keypads were delivered the quality was evident,” continued Lawrence. “This was before COVID – now I’m counting my blessings. One of the things we will be promoting is contactless access – I wanted to provide that. I believe operators must have this option for their customers.” Storage Genie, the mobile tenant app included with CIA, provides hands-free access at any entry point equipped with a CIA keypad. The HVAC integration that connects to the IoE Control Center will allow Lawrence to control thermostats remotely was an added bonus in a climate that ranges from below zero to over 100°F. “For us, that integration has a big impact on our facility,” stated Lawrence. “We know we’ve got a competitive advantage.”
On top of the benefits of contactless entry and energy management, Spacious Storage explained CIA is the first step in their overall goal to make their facility, and their operations, smart. “As an operator I’m always looking at flow,” stated Lawrence. “Our tenants will be able to rent online, get a gate code online, drive up and access their unit – with no interaction from a manager. And if they don’t pay their rent, the keypad notifies them they are overdue and need to pay online now. They can literally get all the answers from the keypad. If we want our team to be focused on driving sales and providing an exceptional client experience, do we want them to have to give someone their gate code? Take a call from a delinquent tenant? In the past, we would ask a manager – when do you see the most client activity? But it wasn’t based on anything. Now we can data-back our decisions and make business decisions accordingly.”
“At Spacious Storage, we’re always looking to be more efficient and more effective in how we operate each day,” stated Lawrence. “We continually challenge ourselves to think about our clients and how we can create a better client experience. What’s their experience like when they come to the facility? We want to make it easy for people to put their stuff in storage. We are focused on maximizing revenues by making smart business decisions that are honest, ethical and help the growth of our company. That’s my litmus test when I make decisions. We are determined to be the leader in our industry – to do that we need to be able to offer our clients the best products and services, tied into the best technology. I believe we’ve done that with INSOMNIAC CIA.”
To learn more about INSOMNIAC CIA, contact OpenTech Alliance at firstname.lastname@example.org.