Category: Blog

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

 

OpenTech Helps Storage Managers Rent over 130,000 Units in 2015

 

PHOENIX, Arizona – September 6th, 2016 – OpenTech Alliance, Inc. announced the release of the 2016 Self Storage Technology White Paper.  According to the report, storage unit rentals through the INSOMNIAC™ platform eclipsed 130,000 units in 2015.

A total of 49,966 move-ins were completed thru INSOMNIAC self-service kiosks.  Also, a total of 76,832 move-ins were completed thru the OpenTech Call Center (INSOMNIAC Live!), and finally, a total of 5,682 rentals were captured via INSOMNIAC Online.

OpenTech’s portfolio of customers yielded an estimated $140 million in new sales over 2015 using the company’s automated solutions.  In addition, the kiosk, call center and online solutions assisted store managers in collecting a grand total of 609,649 customer payments, while conducting over 1.9 million self storage transactions in 2015.

This is the 8th year OpenTech will be demonstrating their core value of transparency by sharing their transaction data with the industry. The White Paper includes ongoing self storage business trends, customer case studies, and several valuable illustrations used to highlight key points for consideration.

What you’ll learn from this research:

  • Analyze the objectives storage owners are able to achieve by integrating self-service sales & service channels into their operation.
  • Kiosk comparisons for benchmarking individual results to all kiosks installed provides an in-depth look at how your onsite technology is performing.
  • Data on the AASR (Average Annual Sales Return) of OpenTech products will reveal how self storage owners can evaluate efficiencies and returns on investing in self-service technology.
  • Comprehensive call center data and the conversion rates of store managers.
  • Case Studies about operators who are bundling INSOMNIAC solutions to impact facility valuation.
  • Discover the strategies other storage businesses have put in place to attract new renters and see just how far their business processes have evolved.

Jim Chiswell, President of Chiswell & Associates said, “Since the start-up of Open Tech Alliance, Robert and his team of technology professionals have used their annual Self Storage Technology White Paper to share statistical and data insights on facility achievements, sales tactics, manager performance, asset management and customer analytics that they have measured across their various platforms during the past year.  I want to acknowledge their contribution to our industry’s growing understanding of the positive impact properly implemented technologies can have on our bottom-line results.”

The complete 2016 Self Service Technology White Paper is available for download at the company website or by clicking here.

Why We Do What We Do: Every day, OpenTech Alliance connects thousands of tenants with storage companies around the world. With over 4,000 daily transactions, the companies automated products and services helped Storage Managers move-in over 130,000 tenants in 2015, generating over 140 million dollars in new sales revenue alone. OpenTech also owns a majority stake in Storage Treasures, LLC and operates www.storagetreasures.com, the largest online and onsite self-storage auction market place in the industry with over 900,000 bidders, 6,500 self-storage facilities and over 140,000 auctions held in 2015. OpenTech, Making Self-Storage Easier, So More People will Use It. For additional information, please visit www.opentechalliance.com or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

Press Contact:
Mike Sawyer, Director of Marketing
OpenTech Alliance, Inc.
602.324.8655
msawyer@opentechalliance.com

NOTE TO EDITORS: 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. INSOMNIAC kiosks are protected by U.S. patent number 5,946,660.

 

OpenTech Acquires eTRACKER for Self and Mobile Storage

 

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – Sept. 5th, 2016 – Today, OpenTech Alliance Inc. announced they have reached an agreement with eTRACKER, LLC to acquire the eTRACKER software system for the self and mobile storage markets. eTRACKER, LLC will exit the self storage market and retain a customized version of the software to sell into the commercial real estate market. The transition is projected to be completed by the end of 2016.

eTRACKER has been available and used by self storage operators for several years. Operators have been enjoying the benefits of streamlining their operation, reducing costs, going paperless, as well as improving communications internally and externally with vendors.  The solution has a cloud based corporate module called “HQ” and a mobile app.  The system has benefits for managers, district managers, owners and even third party vendors – everyone knows what is happening at the facility without having to be there.

OpenTech will be renaming the operations management solution to StoreTracker. StoreTracker features include:

  • Property Audit
  • Incident Report Management
  • Task Management Module
  • Unit Inventory Management and Lock Checks
  • Auction Management
  • Preventative Maintenance
  • Operations Management Optimization

“We have been using eTRACKER for several months and it has made a very positive impact on our operation.  Our managers love it and use it to track and share information in ways we never thought about.  We have been a customer of OpenTech’s for many years.  We have kiosks at all our properties and trust them to handle all our incoming phone calls thru their call center.   In addition, we use their collections tool and StorageTreasures.com to handle our auctions.  So we are very happy OpenTech has picked up this product, it is a great addition to their platform of solutions,” stated Margaret Martin, EVP Property Management for Pegasus Group/Central Self Storage.

Jon Loftin, OpenTech Vice President and Product Owner said, “StoreTracker fits nicely into our IoE strategy and we plan to open it up for use by other vendors in the self storage industry.  Storage operators including managers, DMs and corporate staff will be able to use one tool to communicate with all of the vendors they use to operate their facility.  This will allow operators to track everything that is going on at a facility with one easy to use tool.”

Contact OpenTech if you are interested in learning more about how StoreTracker can save you money, simiplfy your operation and always keep you the loop.

Why We Do What We Do: Every day, OpenTech Alliance connects thousands of tenants with storage companies around the world. With over 4,000 daily transactions, the company’s automated products and services helped Storage Managers move-in over 100,000 tenants in 2015, generating over 100 million dollars in new sales revenue alone. OpenTech also owns a majority stake in StorageTreasures, LLC and operates www.storagetreasures.com, the largest online and onsite self-storage auction market place in the industry with over 950,000 bidders, 7,500 self-storage facilities and over 140,000 auctions held in 2015. OpenTech, Making Self-Storage Easier, So More People will Use It. For additional information, please visit www.opentechalliance.com or call an OpenTech Business Development Manager at (602) 749-9370.

Press Contact:
Mike Sawyer, Director of Marketing
OpenTech Alliance, Inc.
602.324.8655
msawyer@opentechalliance.com

NOTE TO EDITORS: 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. INSOMNIAC kiosks are protected by U.S. patent number 5,946,660.

 

Moving on Labor Day: Good Idea or Not So Much?

 

sparefootblog

Everyone knows that Labor Day is supposed to be a time for rest and reflection, but some people prefer to use the holiday to accomplish the time-consuming task of moving.  Each year the first Monday in September is set aside as a national tribute to America’s workers. The resulting three-day weekend can give movers time to relocate without taking time away from their jobs, said Carol Miller Fradkin author of “Moving Gracefully: A Guide to Relocating Yourself & Your Family.”

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Does your storage facility have a backup plan?

 

backup

Does your storage facility have a backup plan? 

In a recent SBOA webinar (link), an independent study by SSMC (Self Storage Management of California) found that the average storage manager misses the opportunity to convert about twenty (20) sales calls monthly.

  • Sales calls are missed during the workday when a manager is on the telephone.
  • Sales calls are missed when a manager is with a customer at the counter.
  • Sales calls are missed when a manager is away from the counter.
  • Sales calls are also missed in the evenings, and on the weekends when the office is closed.

The study found that by using INSOMNIAC™ Live! Rollover, SSMC reported a monthly increase of 20 additional sales calls (per store) for their portfolio of 17 properties.  In turn, storage managers at SSMC converted an average of four (4) additional rentals monthly by using the backup plan.  At an industry average of $1,100 per rental, the service drove an additional $60,000.00 in revenue (per facility).

“Remember, if you miss the call, the chance of converting it to a rental is ZERO.  In 2015, INSOMNIAC™ Live! Rollover is estimated to have driven over $1.0 million in added rental revenue for our portfolio of properties.”

Mark Yandow – Partner & Co-Founder at Self Storage Management of California

 

Uncle Sam Increases Savings to Self Storage Owners on Kiosk Purchases

OpenTech Alliance reminds self storage owners that INSOMNIAC™ Kiosks now qualify for increased tax deductions under the new PATH Act (Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act). The tax act notably reduces the cost of a kiosk purchase by 35% percent, resulting in a savings of up to $6,300 per kiosk. Taking advantage of this tax savings may just be the best financial decision you make in 2016.

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The Rise of Storage Manager Technology

The introduction of task based technologies is actually being championed by store managers as a routine treatment to eliminate lots of storage tasks. If you are looking for ways to reduce the effort you invest in collection calls & manual payment transactions; these tools will offload a large amount of your efforts. The application of these devices is now being recognized as a cure-all for managing accounts payable while steering a busy storage business.

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Customer Behaviors You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Because of technology, customers have changed their purchasing behaviors, and carrying out business online has become a widespread practice. By offering customers the convenience of renting online, hundreds of self storage facilities (big and small) have seen dramatic effects on customer engagement, bottom-line growth, and or their capacity to increase market radius by attracting more customers from further distances.

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