Thursday, August 1, 2013

Implementing Self Storage Software At Your Self-Storage Facility

When purchasing a software program for your facility, the main thing to focus on is “How can my software make my business better”?  It’s funny; there are a lot of people that think that purchasing a software program is the answer to all of their problems.  Well, I have some bad news…it is not…Industry expert Michael Menard says that 90% of the results you get from your software depend on the operator of the software, the other 10% of the results hinge on the program itself.
Michael states that 70% of new software implementations fail!  That statistic is super high seeing as how most software conversions cost a couple thousand dollars to implement.
So, why is that statistic so high?  The problem lies in the organization of the business. 
1. Make sure your self-storage software matches your way of doing business
A lot of companies miss this step and they forget to establish a “process” or a special way of doing things. The key to establishing a great process and making sure it sticks in your business is by repeating it over and over again. 
Prior to any software implementation, map out your business processes and define such things as:
  • What do we want the software to do?
  • How will this software be used every day for our storage facility?
  • Who will be using the software?
  • Who will be responsible for posting payments and entering in data & making sure it is accurate?
2. Choose the program that fits your needs
As a company, it is impossible to perform tasks without some sort of technology.  All of us need some sort of a tool to manage our business. Analyze your software options and choose the one that complements your business processes and will deliver the results you are looking for.
3. Implementation
Implementing your self-storage software is the most important part of the equation. We all know that change is hard and most people do not like to do it. In regards to changes in a business process, human factors pose the greatest risks to long-term profitability.
Why is change so difficult? The majority of us like to be comfortable. People complain about having routines, but most of us secretly like it. Why change when the odds of successfully implementing new software are not very good? The answer is: All businesses must constantly change or they will die. Marketing efforts demand change; customers demand change. Thus, you either look for change or it will happen to you. David Nielson, a leading authority on organizational change, says to better prepare your team for change and have a successful implementation, be sure you do the following:
  • Communicate the business case for the change
  • Identify internal change agents (allies) and engage with them
  • Educate and support the change agents
  • Assess adoption readiness
  • Define and support effective behavior
  • Execute a communication plan about the change
Technology is not the answer. It is an important piece of the puzzle, but it’s not the “solve-all” solution we all believe in. Focus on the business, the self-storage software and the people that work for you and you’ll be the person who not only uses technology effectively but who also sees great gains in sales and profit.
The ideas and principles of this article were based on comments made by Michael Menard