2015 SSAA Awards for Excellence – Nominations close Monday 6th July

The SSAA believes it is crucial that we recognise excellence in the self storage industry, in order to strengthen the reputation and profile of self storage in the general community, with resultant benefit to all industry stakeholders. With over 50 nominations in 2014 the SSAA hopes that support for this initiative will continue to grow. Nominations for the 2015 Awards for Excellence Program are now open.

The SSAA Awards for Excellence program offers finalists and winners the following benefits:

  • An endorsement of your business that money can’t buy;
  • An opportunity to receive recognition as Australasia’s best at what you do;
  • A fitting reward for years of hard work;
  • A competitive and marketable edge that will generate more business;
  • A boost to team and individual morale;
  • A means to critically examine your business and take pride in your team’s achievements, and
  • The ability to assist in raising the public profile and positive perception of the self storage industry across Australasia.

Nominations are accepted via self nomination from the self storage facility, business or employee whereby they have achieved success in the self storage industry throughout the year or displays a consistently high standard. Alternatively nominations are also accepted from an industry peer e.g. SSAA Service Member, where the nomination is then accepted by the facility owner or manager.

The award categories are:

Best Upgrade or Expansion Award – Proudly sponsored by Highway Frontage

Nominees must be operating a self storage business in Australasia and have built an upgrade or expansion to an existing self storage facility during the SSAA Membership year, or alternatively plan to finish a build during the SSAA membership year (1 Nov – 31 Oct). 

  • What made this expansion special?
  • How did the expansion meet the needs of the business?
  • How has the business benefited from the expansion?
  • How was the impact on existing customers minimised during construction?
  • What has the business done in order to fill up the new spaces?
  • What makes the business deserving of the SSAA Best Expansion or Upgrade Award?

Facility of the Year – Proudly sponsored by Visy Boxes & More

Nominees must be operating a self storage business in Australasia. 

  • What makes this business stand out from the rest?
  • How does the business target the needs of its local market?
  • Is there evidence of marketing initiatives undertaken by the business?
  • How are staff involved in the business?
  • What investments have been made for the future of the business?
  • Does management style promote the facility and the interest of the industry?
  • Do performance measures adequately facilitate professional management?
  • What security features, maintenance policy, office systems are in place and how effective are they?
  • What makes the business deserving of the SSAA Facility of the Year Award

Innovation Award

The Innovation Award is not restricted to a specific service, facility or product. It could be an innovative improvement to a business process or product/service delivery to customers.  The main criterion is that the entry is innovative and provides benefit to the self storage facility, or wider industry.  Innovations available in overseas industries will be considered if they have been adapted in some way to suit Australasian self storage industry market conditions and the applicant was involved in this adaptation.

  • Uniqueness of the innovation.
  • Application across the wider self storage industry.
  • How it makes a particular task easier.
  • How it improves productivity or generates greater profits.
  • Does the innovation improve standards /the image of industry?
  • What impact does it have on the community /environment
  • The cost of implementation vs benefits received

Manager of the Year – Proudly sponsored by AON Risk Solutions

The nominee must have worked for at least 12 months at a self storage business in Australasia.  The manager must not have a significant financial interest in the ownership of the property or business (e.g. greater than 10%).

  • What makes this Manager stand out from the rest?
  • What has this person done to improve the business – e.g. introduction of policies/procedures to improve workflows
  • How does the person interact with customers and other staff?
  • What innovations has this person introduced to the business?
  • How has the person improved the financial performance of the business – occupancy figures and rental rates?
  • What makes the person deserving of the SSAA Manager of the Year Award?

New Entrant of the Year

A “new entrant,” in this instance, is defined as a facility owned or operated by an individual or company that has had twenty-four months or less experience in the self storage industry.

  • What makes this business stand out from the rest?
  • What opportunity the new operator has spotted and how it has been exploited
  • Evidence of due diligence undertaken in the pre-purchase phase
  • Evidence of compliance with regulatory standards – e.g. OHS & fire safety
  • Evidence of a business and marketing plan to ensure future prosperity
  • Evidence of how the operator has transferred previous business acumen, to ensure success in the self storage industry
  • What makes the business deserving of the SSAA New Entrant of the Year Award?

Regional Facility of the Year – Proudly sponsored by Midland Insurance Brokers

Nominees must be operating a self storage business in Australasia. A regional business is considered to operate in a location that is 50km or more from a capital city (such as Brisbane or Wellington).  The judges will decide on each entry’s applicability to the regional category.

  • What makes this business stand out from the rest?
  • How does the business target the needs of its local market?
  • Is there evidence of marketing initiatives undertaken by the business?
  • How are staff involved in the business?
  • What investments have been made for the future of the business?
  • Does management style promote the facility and the interest of the industry?
  • Do performance measures adequately facilitate professional management?
  • What security features, maintenance policy, office systems are in place and how effective are they?
  • What makes the business deserving of the SSAA Regional Facility of the Year Award?

Service Member of the Year – Proudly sponsored by the SSAA

The Service Member of the Year recipient could be an individual or business but they must have provided a product or service to self storage facility operators in Australasia for at least 12 months.  

  • What makes this Service Member stand out from the rest?
  • What has this person done to improve a customer’s business e.g. sales growth figures or risk mitigation strategies?
  • Is there evidence of the Service Member and the facility owner working collaboratively to enhance a product or service?
  • Has the Service Member assisted a self storage business to improve a particular customer process e.g. customer identification process on entry/exit from facility?
  • How has the Service Member assisted the self storage facility  operator to make better informed business decisions e.g. due diligence and feasibility studies?
  • How does the Service Member share their knowledge and expertise to enhance the level of professionalism exhibited by other industry stakeholders?

Small Operator of the Year

Consistent with the SSAA Constitution, a ‘small operator’, in this instance, is defined as an operator who owns or operates four (or less) self storage facilities.

  • What makes this business stand out from the rest?
  • How does the business target the needs of its local market?
  • Is there evidence of marketing initiatives undertaken by the business?
  • How are staff involved in the business?
  • What investments have been made to ensure future prosperity for the business?
  • What makes the business deserving of the best SSAA Small Operator of the Year Award?

Nominees should respond to the criteria and questions for their specific award category in 1000- 2000 words, explaining why they are deserving of the award, and include at least 1 photo in their submission.

All completed nominations should be emailed to admin@selfstorage.com.au or faxed to +61 3 9466 8081 with a cover sheet by no later than close of business Monday 6th July 2015 (to allow time for the finalists to be mystery shopped).

Once the nomination period has closed a judging panel consisting of independent assessors will review the nominations and develop a short list of nominees. These finalists will then be mystery shopped by phone and/or in person. If more information is required at this stage, further clarification will be sought from the applicant.

In making a final determination of a winning entry, judges will consider whether the nominee is worthy of respect from industry colleagues and if bestowing the Award on a particular entry would enhance the professional image and credibility of the industry as a whole. The finalists and overall winners will then be announced at the SSAA Awards Dinner on the final night of the 2015 Owners & Managers Summit.  All nominees are strongly encouraged to attend this event.

Board Profile: Malcolm Collins

1. What is your name and what is your position?

Malcolm Collins, Board Member – Service Member Representative and Director, Collins & Associates

 

2. How/Why did you first become involved in self storage?

I was working at Arthur Andersen in the mid 1990’s and I was asked to value a facility in Box Hill operated by a bloke called Bob Marsh.  He spent two hours telling me about the business before we even inspected the building.  I was hooked by his passion for the industry, his willingness to answer all my questions, and his candid view on the world.  I decided there must be something special about the people in this industry – and I was proved right!

 

3. What do you think has been the biggest change to self storage since you first entered the industry?

It’s changed from being a “mum and dad” industry with bored people on front counters filling in their time baby-sitting “industrial” properties and ignoring customers, to being a much more dynamic, retail-orientated industry based on and around committed service providers, people and service.  Some businesses are much better at this than others!  And let’s not forget about the internet, technology and the digital world – and the owner’s ability to use it for commercial advantage.  Knowledge is value.

 

4. What is your best tip for managing staff in self storage?

From what I’ve seen over more than twenty years – employ good people with a passion for what they do, then empower them to “own the store”, give them concurrent responsibility to make decisions….. and make you redundant.

 

5. What is your message to members of the SSAA?

Be involved with the industry.  Attend regional meetings where you can, go to the conference, use SSAA staff training, give the Board ideas.  Meet other owners and operators, swap ideas and tips.  Trade-off your competitors in an intelligent manner – strong discounting is a great way to financially bleed to death.  Operate your business as if it’s ready to sell – with excellent data, great service, positive ownership, a good story to tell.

 

6. What do you see as the biggest threat to, or competition for, self storage?

Apathy.  If you don’t care, or if people are happy to just commercially survive, it shows.  An inability to learn better ways to operate.  An inability to learn from mistakes.

 

 7. What do you think are the opportunities for growth in self storage?

Keep up with the digital age.  Online and modern business is fundamentally altering our lives.  Many small businesses need storage without leases and adaptable space(s) with easy access.  Post-box and parcel delivery space.  Many older people (like me) need storage to keep our treasures in – or the kids stuff!  Talk to your clients, find out what they need.

 

8. If you could look into the future, what do you see for self storage?

Opportunities to buy, sell, amalgamate, expand – or just do better with the asset you have.  Remember you have a saleable commodity.

 

9. Describe your ideal holiday destination.

The Greek Islands in summer, a large sailing boat, my family and best friends – and a crew!

 

10. Finish this sentence – “Nobody likes a… 

Smart-arse”.  Genuine people attract other genuine people.  I don’t have time to waste on time-wasters.

 

11. What is your favourite meal?

The next one!  I love simple food (see Greek Islands above).

 

12. Are you a dog person or a cat person?

Dog, absolutely.  My kids and I still remember all those bike rides and cliff-races with “our Bess” when they, I and she was young.

 

13. What ‘life advice’ would you give to a younger version of yourself?

Enjoy life, see the silver linings and don’t worry about what you can’t control.  This is a big world, there’s always something new to find and someone new to meet.

Member Profile: Osborne Park Ezi Storage

Situated on Scarborough Beach Road, Osborne Park Ezi Storage is easily accessible to customers from both North and South of Perth, due to the nearby Mitchell Freeway.  The facility is situated on a 3500m2 site, conveniently situated off busy Scarborough Beach Road, providing easy access and privacy.

Osborne Park Ezi Storage (3)

Despite the site’s unobtrusive entrance, customers’ goods are protected around the clock with a PTI security system and CCTV cameras. Featuring a saw tooth roof, the space helps protect goods from weather, dust and temperature fluctuations. Overall the facility is made up of over 230 units comprised of 15 different sizes.

Osborne Park Ezi Storage (6)

Previously the Ezi storage site had a life as a timber storage yard and the conversion of the old warehouse was relatively straight forward as there was little that needed to be done to adapt the building for self storage. One section of the warehouse has been converted into a goods area rather than split into individual units and is ideal for hardstand storage.

Osborne Park Ezi Storage (9)

With a focus on flexibility, service and exceptional security Ezi Storage Osborne Park is a valuable participant in Perth’s burgeoning self storage industry.

Kennards New Headquarters Open for Inspection

As one of the major players in the self storage industry, it’s always interesting to see what Kennards Self Storage are up to. Last year the Association and its members had the pleasure of ‘having a poke around’ Kennard’s brand new headquarters which had just been relocated from Homebush to Macquarie Park in Sydney.

The ground floor of the main building consists of self storage units and a box shop with the Kennards Self Storage “Size It” room to make it easy for customers to determine just how much space they need without walking all over the property. The orange and blue Kennards livery is clearly displayed in the shop and naturally on the exterior of the building.

Kennards 4

In the centre of the downstairs level is perhaps what some would view as the piece de resistance; their very own on premise restaurant and café; Verace Pizzeria, run by the effervescent Stefano. He and his award winning pizza chefs imported everything from Italy (including their large selection of trophies) and are only too happy to whip up a feast for hungry Kennards staff as well as the casual passer-by.

Kennards 14

The upstairs of the main building is comprised of an open plan office space, kitchen, lounge area and meeting rooms. The minimal stylish interior is designed to encourage creativity, innovation and the flow of ideas between staff, unlike the traditional office space. It features corrugated-cardboard (wiggle) chairs by Frank Gehry, a polished concrete floor, natural light and a custom-designed rug by Fiona Lynch.

Kennards 13

The office has won the Australian Interior Design Awards for Workplace Design and it is not hard to see why. The office was designed by SJB who were tasked to reflect the Kennards brand and values in a contemporary and relaxed way. The adaptive re-use of an existing building is typical of Kennards many self storage buildings, and the deliberately raw yet refined design says much of the Kennards open, candid yet professional culture.

Kennards 8

Despite the modern feel, there are special touches scattered throughout the facility that speak to the Kennards team and sense of family.

One such example is the concrete hand prints that line one of the gardens at the front of the building; team members that have been with the company for 10 or more years literally have their hard work and commitment cemented.

Kennards 19

Another historical touch is an old metal sign – a remnant of Neville Kennards roof rack business from the 1950’s.

Kennards 12

In addition to the ingenuity the space invokes, the building is also extremely practical, currently with 272 units, state of the art security and self storage technology. After a successful battle in the Land & Environment Court with Ryde Council, Kennards also now have approval for a second building of five levels, and approximately 600 additional spaces. The completed storage centre will have over 900 storage units.

While the site appears almost brand new it was actually converted from an existing warehouse, no easy task for building company CIC.

Benefits of Using Self Storage Facilities

Many of us will have a need for storage at different points in our lives whether it is to store delicate items, sports equipment, documents or in the process of moving house. There are various benefits in using self storage including:

Complimentary move in trailer or truck
Many facilities offer this service nowadays which can make transporting your goods more ‘stress-free’.

Same day move in
When you need storage in a hurry, this can be an excellent solution since you can move into your storage unit the same day you make your payment with no hassle.

Easy access to your belongings
A lot of storage facilities provide drive up access to units as well extended access hours so you can reach your belongings and use your equipment easily and when you need to.

Packing materials
A lot of self storage companies sell packing supplies such as bubble wrap, boxes and more. This is very handy if you are moving house, or need to protect your goods.

Flexible sizing options
You can make sure that you only pay for the amount of space you need as most facilities have different sized units. If your storage needs grow unexpectedly you also have the option of renting another unit.

Excellent security for the given price range
CCTV cameras, access control, sometimes even electric fences and on-site managers – storage facilities are much more secure than self storage alternatives.

Ella Andrews
Ella Andrews is blogger and freelance writer, who is very passionate about home improvement, remodelling, interior and exterior design ideas. She’s been writing about similar topics for a long time, but is also constantly searching for new sources of inspiration. For more helpful tips and advice click here.

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