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Understanding the 3 Types of Self-Storage Management-Software Platforms

Self-storage management software helps facility operators handle the strain of day-to-day operation. To choose the right package, they must understand the difference between standalone, Web-enabled and Web-based platforms.

February 13, 2016

3 Min Read
Understanding the 3 Types of Self-Storage Management-Software Platforms

By Kevin Kerr

Management software is a necessity for self-storage operators today. Providing solutions to efficiently handle the strain of day-to-day operation, programs help streamline the responsibilities faced by facility owners and managers. That said, it’s critical that an owner choose the right software for his particular business.

There are three platforms available for self-storage operations: standalone, Web-enabled and Web-based. All are perfectly viable, but figuring out which is right for your needs depends on your feature requirements, available budget and Internet capabilities. Let’s delve into each of the platforms to help you form a clearer picture of which of the three might be best for you.

Standalone Software

Standalone software is installed and runs directly on the computer you use at your self-storage facility. Data is saved locally on your computer or backed up onto external drives for safe keeping in case of theft or computer damage. While you can perform all of the essential tasks of running a successful facility with standalone software, it lacks the ability to take online payments or reservations or to pull reports in real time from any Web browser.

Standalone is undisputedly the most cost-efficient platform for the simple fact that purchasing the software outright relieves you from having to pay a monthly usage fee. Cost aside, other benefits of this platform are its speed (it funs faster than other platforms) and the fact that you can maintain your own data.

Web-Enabled Software

Web-enabled software is basically an enhancement to standalone. Simply put, the software provider developed an application that resides on your computer and runs in the background, syncing the information stored on your computer with the provider’s servers. This gives you the ability to take online payments and reservations. It also enables access to online reporting while essentially still running the program as a standalone platform.

Web-enabled software is perfect for storage facilities that have poor Internet connection but still want some of the benefits of a Web-based platform. The system creates an online backup, but it isn’t reliant on a constant Internet connection. There’s a minimal monthly cost.

Web-Based Software

Web- or cloud-based software solutions can be further divided into browser- and client-based platforms. Browser-based software has the inherent benefit of being accessible directly through any device with a Web browser, but also typically suffers on speed and lacks in areas of utility. Client-based software, on the other hand, must be installed on a laptop or desktop computer, but has much faster processing speeds and generally provides a more feature-rich and robust experience for the user.

With both Web-based platforms, you can rest assured in the event of computer theft or damage, knowing your data is securely stored on the provider’s hosted cloud servers. Web-based software can also be a great solution for owners and management groups that would like to tie multiple facilities into their software, allowing access to several sites at the click of a button.

Web-based isn’t a good choice for anyone with a poor Internet connection. In addition, you may pay more over time for a Web-based solution, but the monthly charges are typically very manageable.

Self-Storage Management Software***

Which Is Best for You?

Your choice of software platform will depend on your specific business needs and resources. Consider all of the variables to ensure your manager will be able to address facility needs in a timely and efficient manner. Have a solid idea of what you’re looking for before evaluating specific products, and always purchase from a reputable provider whose software will continue to develop and evolve with changing technologies and business needs.

Kevin Kerr is marketing and sales coordinator for Storage Commander, a Murrieta, Calif.-based supplier of self-storage management software. To reach him, e-mail [email protected]; visit www.storagecommander.com.

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