Providing a management software solution for multifacility owners
With a focus on supporting the needs of multifacility owners, Centershift Inc. was the first company in the self-storage industry to provide a centralized, web-based, rental-management and point-of-sale software solution. Software vendors that provide their solutions via the web are referred to as application service providers (ASPs) and, as other industries have found, they can provide many distinct advantages over traditional software solutions, including:
- Web-based integration to websites, vendors and partners
- Centralized security and backup
- Lower start-up costs
- Access to state-of-the-art data-center capabilities
- Faster and centralized enhancements and upgrades
Since its inception in late 2001, Centershift has leveraged the ASP model, providing leadership to the self-storage industry through innovation and new market standards. “Centershift realized years ago that with the growth of the self-storage industry—and, more specifically, individual self-storage companies—a robust, centralized, enterprise-class software solution was needed,” states Bill Hoban, president and CEO. “Centershift’s STORE solution was specifically developed to support the requirements of the multifacility self-storage company.”
If you are a multifacility self-storage owner or executive, you are constantly faced with choices that have a significant impact on your company and its success. Having timely and accurate information in today’s competitive environment is critical to making insightful and successful business decisions.
“When reviewing the needs of multifacility self-storage companies, we consistently hear a similar set of issues and problems that face them on a daily basis,” says Terry Bagley, senior vice president of sales and marketing. “These issues include obtaining timely, consolidated financial and operational reports; maintaining the financial integrity of the system; providing fraud protection and detection; enhancing credit-card and ACH (checking account) processing; reducing the close-of-day process; improving how software enhancements and updates are performed; doing away with manual letter processing; and providing automated rental-rate changes, as well as forecasting, trending, demand and competitive analysis.”
Growth in Customers and Facilities
In the past two years, Centershift has experienced constant growth in terms of its customer base and the number of facilities supported by its STORE application. More significantly, the company will more than double the number of facilities that use STORE in the next three months, confirming the self-storage industry’s acceptance and support of the centralized, webbased model.
Centershift has continually proven its leadership, innovation and vision to the self-storage community by introducing these industry firsts and solutions:
- Proven web-based, thin-client technology
- Consolidated, real-time, multisite reporting (financial, operational and marketing)
- Strong financial audit, control and security capabilities
- Internet-based credit-card and ACH processing
- Business-to-consumer e-commerce integration with websites (online creditcard payments, account management, unit availability, rates, reservations and rentals)
- Real-time business-to-business e-commerce integration with call centers and tenant-insurance providers
- Centralized mail processing for tenant correspondence
- Automated, centralized rental rate and yield management, forecasting, trending, demand and competitive analysis
- Real-time call-center integration
- Online support and documentation
- Web-based training
- Fully integrated company and facility website creation and hosting
In the Future?
Centershift constantly seeks ways to provide innovative features that will benefit customers’ current and future requirements. James Hafen, chief technical officer, recently provided some insight to the company’s future plans, addressing Centershift’s efforts in the area of rent and yield management.
“Centershift will continue to enhance its customers’ management and analysis capabilities by providing tools that allow them to unleash the power of an enterprise-class database. Today, this allows our customers to use their own data to easily put together models that forecast the impact of rental-rate changes using historical attrition data, and review-trend and demand data. They can also track competitive information and automate rental-rate changes. In the future, we will continue to tap into the database to provide more information and automation power to customers.”
In addition to rent and yield management, Centershift is developing and/or planning for the future in the following areas:
- Customer-demographic integration
- Tenant credit-scoring integration
- Collection-agency integration
- Certified-letter mail processing
- GSM (mobile phone) wirelessremote access
- Point-of-sale kiosk integration
With continued focus on innovation using self-storage experience and technology expertise, Centershift will continue to provide multifacility owners the right solution to make informed decisions and keep ahead of competition. For more information, visit www.centershift.com or call 877.927.4438.