For more than two decades, the driving philosophy behind BETCO Inc. has been meeting the customer’s needs. Over the years, the company has evolved into a single-source supplier for self-storage structures and components. With world headquarters in Statesville, N.C., BETCO built a second plant in Bryan, Texas, in 1999 to reduce shipping time and lower costs for customers in the Southwest. The company also added roll-up doors and hallways to its product line, making it a go-to source for self-storage developers.
Inside Self-Storagespoke with Terry Campbell, who began his career with BETCO 13 years ago as a drafter. He also worked as an estimator before landing in BETCO’s sales department, where he’s now the vice president of sales and marketing. Campbell shares his thoughts on trends in the self-storage industry, the company's goals, and what we can expect in the future of self-storage construction.
ISS: What’s changed in building design in the last five years?
Campbell: Everyone is trying to make their buildings less expensive but add more value. Land in many areas is scarce and expensive so we’re seeing a lot more multi-story buildings. There are more requests for climate control as well.
ISS: There’s been a shortage in raw materials for several years now. How has this affected construction in the self-storage industry?
Campbell: In 2004, when the cost of steel shot up and it caused shortages, we expected the demand to slow down. But it was the opposite. We had record sales that year. It’s happening again right now. In the last couple of months, the cost of steel has gone up about 30 percent. But we’ve had a large amount of orders coming in over the last several weeks. We have been in a position to lock in prices for our customers five to six months out, so we’re able to give them a delivery date. If they don’t take delivery by that time, they have to pay a surcharge if the price of steel has increased. And with the volatility of the fuel market, we’ve had to build fuel surcharges into our contracts.
ISS: BETCO manufactures boat and RV storage. What features are in demand for this growing segment of the industry?
Campbell:We offer fully enclosed boat and RV storage. One of things that we’re seeing that is interesting is the condo concept. Instead of renting the unit, the owner sells the unit. Where a unit may cost several hundred dollars to rent, they sell these units for several thousand and the customer owns it.