Hide-Away Storage based in Manatee County, Fla., is finding ways to reduce operational expenses and increase revenue, incorporating self-storage kiosks into its facilities and “going green” to save money on energy costs.
Owner Steve Wilson, who, like many self-storage operators, has had to downsize his staff in recent years, is installing self-serve kiosks at each of his 10 facilities. Next month, he opens a new facility in Sarasota, Fla., that will be solely operated via kiosk. The ATM-like units have already been installed at his Bradenton and Ellenton, Fla., locations. Those facilities still have a manager on site during regular business hours.
In the past three years, Wilson’s staff has been minimized from about 70 to 45 employees, Wilson told the Bradenton Herald. From 2008 to 2009, revenue declined $1.1 million, but Hide-Away saved $1.4 million in operation expenses.
In addition to using kiosks, which minimize the need for onsite staff and allow tenants to rent units at any hour of the day, Wilson is converting his facilities’ exterior lighting from metal halide bulbs to compact fluorescent lights. He estimates the change will save about $40 per bulb per year. With about 40 bulbs at each Hide-Away facility, that will mean a savings of about 75 percent on lighting costs.
Hide-Away will also participate in a Florida Power & Light program that involves applying a heat-reflecting coating on the roofs of air-conditioned buildings. Wilson hopes to save approximately 20 percent on annual air-conditioning costs this way.
Source: Bradenton Herald, Manatee storage owner learning to run a 'smarter' business
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