One of the double-edged swords of the Digital Age is our sudden reliance on speed. It wasn’t long ago that fax machines were cutting-edge technology. E-mail quickly supplanted facsimile communications in business and didn’t take long to encroach on telecommunications in many instances. As the Internet moved from excruciatingly slow dial-up to ridiculously high speeds, we also changed our consumer habits. It’s become prevalent in some markets to have same-day delivery available on physical items purchased online. In some cases, concerts and other events can be purchased and downloaded on the same day they occur.
While these are all incredible achievements, they also tend to skew our perceptions. It’s easy to lose patience when we’re told we have to wait for anything. While there is truth under certain circumstances that anticipation can heighten an experience, for the most part, patience as a virtue has become increasingly difficult to embrace.
Instant gratification rules the day if you’re in the retail and service sectors, but logistics routinely can clog the system. Since launching large-scale video production at the Inside Self-Storage World Expo in 2014, our challenge with the ISS Store has been the speed to fulfill pre-orders. The production process of reviewing and editing nearly 40 hours of education material each year is tedious, not to mention time for art production, DVD burning, package assembly and so on. I’m extremely fortunate to ride shotgun with a small-but-dedicated team that whips into action when we return from Las Vegas each year. Believe it or not, we fight tooth and nail to complete production in about 90 days.
That doesn’t seem like much when you hear it, but when you’ve prepaid for a DVD package, those three months of waiting can feel like an eternity. I’d like to thank our customers who have largely embraced this process and grown accustomed to exhibiting great patience in the few weeks after the ISS Expo while we dig our heels in to deliver you the industry’s best education, packaged for posterity. Last week, the last of our DVD pre-orders made their way to you.
Today, we released all 45 education sessions from the 2018 ISS World Expo in on-demand video format. This is where we’re able to satisfy that craving for instant gratification. If you’ve got a need for professional development or want to learn the latest industry best practices and trends related to self-storage building, finance, investing, management, marketing, ownership, technology and more, our video-streaming solution delivers expert insight straight to your PC, phone or tablet as soon as you’ve completed your purchase. The recordings include video of each speaker as well as his PowerPoint presentation, embedded for user convenience. Customers can view their on-demand video from an embedded player inside their ISS Store account.
The recordings are viewable anywhere, on any device with an Internet connection, which means your video collection goes anywhere you do. For training purposes across multiple self-storage locations, cities or states, the convenience of having instant access to a library of videos no matter where a facility owner, manager or staff member may be offers tremendous flexibility. For our international customers, on-demand video offers tremendous savings from costly shipping charges.
Though DVD sales have historically dwarfed our on-demand video purchases, I suspect that may begin to change. During the ISS Expo in April, more than one attendee mentioned that DVDs seemed outdated. DVD players are no longer standard with many PCs and laptops, and as Web-connected cellphones, tablets and smart TVs become the first option as viewing devices, the immediacy of clickable, digital products becomes much more attractive.
As technology continues to develop at the highest levels of major corporations and entertainment giants, delivery platforms that may be unattainable for many of us today will likely become commonplace in the near future. We’ll continue to examine ways to speed the initial video production process to shorten wait times, but for those who thirst for industry knowledge and want it now, it’s just a click away.