The LockCheck System

CONDUCTING UNIT INVENTORIES AT MOST SELF-STORAGE STORES HAS ALWAYS BEEN A PAPER-AND-PEN TASK FOR MANAGERS. But now the entire process has been automated with the introduction of the LockCheckTM system by CheckMate Technology Corp., headed by self-storage industry veteran Jim Chiswell.

"We have combined state-of-the-art bar-code data-collection technology with the convenience of a hand-held personal data assistant (PDA) to fully automate this vital but time-consuming management task of determining the status of each rental unit. The LockCheck system is the result of more than a year of development and testing, but it is the management tool I have been envisioning for years," Chiswell explains.

LockCheck is designed to benefit owners and managers. From the manager's perspective, it is a system any employee can successfully implement. Once the bar-code labels have been placed on the individual units and the database created in the office computer, the PDA allows an employee to simply scan the bar code on the unit door, quickly scan the status sheet and proceed to the next unit. The data can be collected as quickly as a person can walk or ride in a golf cart. Owners are attracted to the LockCheck system because once the PDA has been "hot-synced" with the office computer, a permanent internal-date and time-stamp function proves the data was collected by the staff.

Symbol Palm Unit

Apply Bar Code Label

Scan the Bar Code
PDA in Cradle

Chiswell selected the symbol-enhanced PDA for data collection because of its reputation for performance and reliability. LockCheck's proprietary software is at the heart of the collection and reporting system. All the necessary software is loaded from a single disk. The docking station/cradle is attached to the office computer using an available serial port. (The cradle also charges the unit's batteries when not in use.)

In addition to the LockCheck software, the device also contains all of the traditional PDA operating-system functionality, such as a to-do list, contact information, calendar, etc. There are literally hundreds of other programs that can be installed onto the PDA to professionalize the day-to-day management of self-storage stores.

Chiswell reports a major development in the rollout of the new product. "The LockCheck system was designed to provide a standalone application, but many owners and managers were asking for a link with their office software programs. I am very excited HI-Tech Smart Systems has already created a software interface for its popular RentPlus® program."

RentPlus uses the LockCheck data collected by an employee and compares it to a rental unit's status within the management program. It then creates an "Exception Report" for the manager's follow-up. For example, if unit 306 did not have a lock on it when the LockCheck data was collected, but RentPlus shows the unit is rented, the unit will be identified on the report and the manager can resolve the conflict. The integration of the two programs further automates the procedures. For information about the RentPlus/LockCheck interface, visit

The LockCheck system comes complete with the PDA, a slip case to hold the device on a belt, a hot-sync cradle, all necessary cables, LockCheck software and PDA operating system, complete installation and operating instructions, and the necessary quantity of metal bar-code labels. For more information, call 434.589.4446 or visit

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