Chairman’s Report – 2016 Mid-year update

I know we say it every year, however 2016 seems to flying past at a rapid rate of knots. Through discussions with various members around Australia and New Zealand, there are mixed reports on the state of their market and the self storage industry. On the whole, sentiments are positive and given the challenges of the wider economy, upcoming federal election in Australia and some negativity in the media around current growth forecasting, the growth of our industry continues to be healthy and buoyant.

From a Self Storage Association of Australasia (SSAA) perspective we have been very busy. Unfortunately our CEO, Simone Hill, resigned from the position in April. Simone was CEO for approximately 18 months and was extremely hard working, dedicated and brought 20+ years of storage industry knowledge to the role. The board extends a big thank you to Simone for all of her help and support over this time. We would also like to congratulate Simone on her new role as the Legal Advisor to the SSAA. Recruitment for a new CEO has commenced and we anticipate that there will be some excellent candidates.

The membership drive that the Association office and Board commenced late last year is in full swing. Through tireless research and verification of storage listings, we have well over 700 potential new members that can now be approached and informed of the benefits that are available to SSAA members. Increasing the number of members in our Association will secure the future financial viability of the SSAA and increase awareness of best practice storage industry standards to operators that aren’t currently members. More members will also assist in the amortisation of SSAA operational expenses and reduce the cost of future events, like annual conventions.

The Board has identified that the current traffic study in Australia is out of date and has commissioned an update to the study. This will be released over the coming months and assist any members that are building new facilities or completing renovations to comply or object to the sometimes onerous car parking requirements handed down from local planning authorities. We would like to thank all of the facilities that have volunteered to be a part of the study and we appreciate that this will help the industry as a whole.

Over the past year the SSAA office has been investigating options to upgrade the current SSAA website. We are happy to announce that the construction of a new website has just been approved and this will see extensive improvements to all facets of the user experience. The ‘Storage Finder’ porthole will be completely upgraded and the ability of SSAA members to update their information and promote their facility will be greatly improved. Integration of the various accounting and management systems used by the SSAA office will be integrated into the site and this will make membership management, reporting and communication more streamlined and efficient. This is a huge project and we are really looking forward to the release of the finished product.

The Bi-annual 2016 Convention at the Park Hyatt in Melbourne is just around the corner. The venue, speaker line up and activities on offer are second to none and this event is not to be missed! If you haven’t booked already, spots are very limited and I really encourage you to get involved. This event now runs every second year, in between the Summit and Staff Retreat, therefore it has been 2 years since the Gold Coast and a long time since we could join together, exchange ideas, socialise and learn. Please contact the SSAA office today to book your spot. I look forward to seeing you there.

In my last Chairman’s report I discussed the high number of board positions that are becoming available at the next election. If you are interested in joining the SSAA board please start to think about the election process, talk to your peers about your intentions and start campaigning for election. It is such a rewarding endeavour and great opportunity to give something back to the SSAA. The Board is currently working on future strategies that will reduce the number of board members vacating at one time, however that will occur in the future and it is important that the positive initiatives and momentum that we are currently experiencing is fostered into the future by a strong Board.

I am looking forward to seeing many of you in Melbourne for the 2016 Convention and hope that 2016 is proving to be a positive and prosperous year for you.

All the best

Guy Wilson

2013 SSAA Demand Study

In 2013 the SSAA, in conjunction with David Blackwell and his team from Urbis, completed the SSAA Demand Study. The fourth edition of its kind it complies previously unavailable empirical evidence as to key drivers of customer demand for self storage use in Australia and New Zealand. Since its inception, the SSAA Demand Study has provided a wealth of useful information to self storage facility operators, investors, financial institutions and developers to assist their understanding of the levels of awareness, knowledge, preferences and satisfaction of both current and potential self storage customers.

The 2013 Demand Study represents responses from its largest survey sample size, with a 6.7% increase in respondents from the general population (3500) and a 22% increase in current users (1692), when compared to those that completed the 2010 Demand Study survey.

Key trends determined include:
– Declines in usage of self storage facilities by the general population (save for a positive trend in Auckland NZ) over the past three years following constrained demand during the post Global Financial Crisis economic slowdown in 2010. The prevalence of price-based competition among facilities in many regions also reinforces the importance of facility operators employing effective sales and marketing campaigns to build loyalty with and retain current customers.

– The internet maintaining its position as the dominant source for both current and potential users to gather information about a self storage facility. This underpins the importance of an interactive website as a central component of marketing activities. Indeed, the internet has now surpassed site visibility as the most common method of finding a facility for current users.

– Social media trends of potential users seeking friends’ opinions are also evident in this study, whereby 12.3% would defer to this information source (up from 3.5% in 2010) prior to making a purchase decision. Personal visitation also ranks highly, whereby 17.4% of users would undertake to view facilities pre-purchase (an increase from 5.3% in 2010). This trend reinforces the importance of facility cleanliness and well trained staff to secure a sale, when int he presence of a potential customer. Perhaps unsurprisingly, existing customers’ traditional methods of considering self storage options (telephone and Yellow Pages) continue to decline in relevance.

– Sales declines in the retail sector seem to be having a positive flow-on effect for the self storage industry. When considering the reason for self storage use by business customers 62.1% nominate a lack of space in their current business as their primary reason for use (up from 29.1% in 2010). It would appear that down scaling from larger warehouse facilities and minimising stock levels help make self storage a flexible and cost effective alternative.

These are a mere fraction of the multitude of the self storage industry trends detailed in the 2013 SSAA Demand Study. To learn more prior to making decisions on future strategic planning initiatives or development for your facility consider purchasing a copy of the Demand Study from the SSAA – +61 3 9466 9699 or admin@selfstorage.com.au

A study of this magnitude would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors:
Platinum
Kennards Self Storage and National Storage
Gold
Rent A Space

The expertise of David Blackwell and his team of consultants at Urbis is also critical to ensure that this document maintains its position as an authoritative information source detailing consumer sentiment in the self storage industry.

2016 Awards for Excellence now open

Enter our 2016 Awards for Excellence Program and go in the draw to win a $500 Coles/Myer voucher or $500 SSAA credit.

It is with great pleasure that the Self Storage Association of Australasia (SSAA) invites you to nominate for the 2016 Awards for Excellence Program. These awards represent the pinnacle of the Australasian self storage industry, and reward our members’ commitment to excellence across a wide range of areas.

If your business or staff has achieved success in the self storage industry throughout the year or displays a consistently high standard, we encourage you to put forward an award nomination. Nominating is FREE and can be completed by returning the enclosed cover sheet along with 1000-2000 words on why you think your facility/business/employee should be considered for the specific award (please include at least one picture in your entry).

All completed nominations should be emailed to membership@selfstorage.com.au or faxed to +61 3 9466 8081. Alternatively nominations can be submitted online at www.selfstorage.org.au/ssaa-awards-excellence-program. All nominations should be submitted no later than close of business Thursday 30th June 2016 (to allow time for the finalists to be mystery shopped).

The SSAA Awards for Excellence category winners will be announced at a gala dinner to be held at the Park Hyatt Melbourne on the evening of Thursday 1st September 2016 (as part of the SSAA Convention). All category finalists are strongly encouraged to attend the event and network with their industry peers.

Can you really afford to allow a competitor to gain a marketing edge over your business? Don’t delay, enter now!

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact our office. We look forward to your nomination in these high profile awards and your subsequent involvement in our upcoming Convention.

Have you ever thought of being on the SSAA Board?

At this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in August, six of the 9 SSAA Board positions will be vacated under the requirements of our constitution. There will be openings in various categories, including a New Zealand representative, which will open the doors for new and dynamic people that may be interested in playing a part on the Board. Given the large turnover of Board members this year, we are currently planning handover strategies to ensure that the knowledge from current members to new members is carefully passed on over several months. This methodology will ensure that the momentum we have on several projects will be maintained through the handover period.

Before I go on further, I should probably let you know what you would be getting yourself in for. The Board convenes for a conference call every 2 months and we have a full day face-to-face meeting at the summit / conference each year and on one other occasion during the year. In between the meetings there can be projects that need to be carried on with, however they usually are not overly time consuming.

The Board positions are split into the following categories:
– 4 x Regular members – A self storage facility operator with a minimum of 5 years’ experience in the self storage industry. Has been a member, or the designated representative of a member, of the Association for more than 2 years. In addition, they must have owned or part owned a business for more than 3 years or been at a senior level of management in a business for more than 5 years.

– 1 x Large Member – A regular member who has over 4 self storage centres but less than 21 each of which has over 100 self storage spaces and no less than 500 square metres of undercover storage space per centre.

– 1 x Major Operator – A regular member who has over 20 self storage centres each of which has over 100 self storage spaces and no less than 500 square metres of undercover storage space per centre.

– 1 x New Zealand Member – A regular member who has any self storage centres located in New Zealand totaling over 250 square metres of undercover storage space shall be known as a “New Zealand Operator”. To be elected by New Zealand Members.

– 1 x Service Member – Must hold current membership of the Association as a Service Member and be elected by Service Members.

– 1 x Chairman – The Board appoint by simple majority one of their body as Chair.

We are currently working on various strategic projects to ensure the future stability, viability and continual success of the SSAA. For a more detailed summary, please go to the new ‘Board Matters’ section of the Insider Magazine.

Being a part of the SSAA Board allows you to really make a difference in the strategic future of our association. As a member of a dynamic Board team you have an opportunity to share your opinion, comment on policy and assist to mold the direction of our ever changing industry and association.

The Board positions are all volunteer and you are reimbursed for approved Board related travel and expenses. Some of your time, outside of conference calls and face-to-face meetings is expected, however it is limited as most people are likely to have another business to manage.

Elections will be held prior to the AGM in August this year and all members will be notified via email. If you are interested to join the SSAA Board you will need to see which category you are eligible for and check to see if that position is up for election. To be elected, you need to be nominated by 2 of your peers, who are in the same category. If you are interested in joining, I would suggest that you let all of your peers know your intentions and ask for them to endorse your nomination and vote for you. Some of the categories do create significant interest and a little bit of campaigning will not hurt.

Being a part of the SSAA Board is an extremely interesting, exciting and satisfying endeavour. Personally, I have been in the storage industry for over 17 years and to be able to give something back to an industry has been extremely rewarding.

Guy Wilson, SSAA Chairman

Member Profile: Jim’s Self Storage

Since Jim’s Self Storage began in 1996, owners Jim Morgan and wife Barbara (OAM) have worked hard to ensure their
business kept growing and evolving to meet the changing needs of customers.

Their son Ivor, as Manager, helps keep their vision on track and each is committed to forward planning, an attribute that has contributed to their success. And Assistant Manager, Rosemary Angyasy, who has been with the outfit for nine years, believes their customer service gives them the edge.

“Not only is the company always planning and keeping abreast of the market,” Rosemary said, “but we also have a
fantastic product. State-of-the-art security ensures customer peace of mind, and we also have showrooms with demo units.

“It really is a whole-package experience for customers, with free trailer usage, removalist or truck bookings, packing
supplies and much more.”

As the 2012 winner in the Transport and Logistics category, Jim’s Self Storage may have been tempted to rest on its laurels. Not so, said Rosemary.

“Since then, not only have we set a new in-house record in meeting our stated goals, we’ve also submitted plans to
Council for a new building, adding even more units to our mix. This shows our confidence in the future and confirms
the belief we’re heading in the right direction: on and up.”

www.jimsstorage.com.au

Gobox expands with new Dandenong facility

Mobile storage provider Gobox is growing its presence in Victoria, the company has just constructed a brand new warehouse in Dandenong.

The new state warehouse can accommodate 400 of Gobox’s storage containers, making it one of the largest self storage facilities in the state. The purpose-built facility took six months to construct from steel and concrete, and includes some innovative features. A wash bay with its own canopy and silt pit filter allows storage units to be cleaned easily and quickly using recycled water that is stored in on-site tanks.

20151218_124739

A network of security cameras and sensors around the entire site keeps the facility secure 24/7, with continuous back-to-base monitoring.

With customers able to access their storage boxes on site, it was also important that the facility be pleasant to visit and work in, so a dedicated customer viewing and inspection point was also constructed.

20151218_124857

Gobox Sales Manager Renee Wainwright says:

“The new Gobox warehouse is great for our customers. When they come down to visit us, they are super impressed with the modern design and how well looked after and protected their items are.”

“The warehouse’s modern and professional design was purpose built and specifically tailored to be as functional as possible. I think it gives us a real edge on the competition and makes us stand out.”

“With Gobox continuing to grow at such rapid rate, establishing the new warehouse at our Dandenong site was a natural yet necessary progression of the business.”

Chairman’s Report – 2016 Wrap Up

This year’s AGM signifies the end of my first year in the Chairman’s seat and 3rd year of involvement at board level.

My review of Gary Vick’s 2014 AGM Chairman’s address reminded me of the significant challenges that the SSAA office had faced in the months prior to the 2014 AGM. The SSAA board and office, for various reasons, were confronted with some tough decisions and, fortunately, as I speak to you today, our situation couldn’t be more different. I am very happy to report that our situation has vastly improved over the past 12 months and, in my opinion, the SSAA is in an extremely strong position and looking towards a very positive future.

The foundation and strength of this position can be quantified by the direct member benefits offered by the SSAA so far in 2015.

Some of these include:
• An extensive update to the Standard Self Storage agreement.

• Updated OH&S manuals.

• An update to the employment handbook, including updated modern awards.

• In terms of advice & training, the SSAA office has received and given advice on over 1000 legal queries.

• Simone has held over 72 hours of legal training in major cities across Australia.

• In addition to this, over 100 hours of face to face training has been carried out.

• The SSAA insider blog has posted over 200 articles and had over 200,000 hits to the content displayed. This success has promoted to the SSAA website onto the front page of most google searches and we are working on ways to leverage this high ranking into additional enquiry opportunities for our members.

• In terms of major networking and events. 2015 saw the 1st ever Staff in Storage Training & development retreat. More than 90 people attended and many of them had never experienced a SSAA event in the past. Recently, the Uluru Owners and Managers summit reeived over 140 people and was hugely successful. Planning is in full swing for the 2016 Melbourne convention and registrations are already coming through. The success of these events has underpinned the strategy for alternating years of the summit / retreat and major convention schedule.

• The list goes on… exclusive insurance was negotiated for NZ members, more than 8,000 searches were completed on Storer Check, the mystery shopping service continued and the recent Awards for Excellent program received over 30 nominations. Attendance to regional meetings has never being as strong and positive.

I think that we can all agree that the new look SSAA office and Association is working extremely well.

I would like to acknowledge Simone Hill for her tireless efforts over the past 14 months in the CEO position. Simone lives and breathes the Association and her extensive industry expertise, sound advice, unwavering determination and steady hand has transformed the SSAA office and association. Simone has earnt great respect within our membership community and we couldn’t ask for a better CEO and ambassador for our industry.

Rachel Muir, our Membership Services Officer, has shone over the past 12 months and absolutely excelled in the MSO role. Rachel’s ability to go above and beyond for the members and Association attributes directly to the fantastic benefits that our members receive on a daily basis. Rachel’s organisational skills are exceptional and we are all extremely thankful for her efforts and lucky to have her as an integral part of the team.

I would also like to acknowledge Jeannette Jones, Kate Ruhl and Melinda Wyper for all of their support and hard work in the administration, paralegal and accounts payable roles.

Behind the scenes, your board has also worked very hard. On behalf of the association I would like to thank all of them. It is a voluntary role and we appreciate all of the time and knowledge they donate.

Recent nominations saw the election of Andrew Eastwood to the Large Operator position. This is Andrew’s 2nd tour of duty and we are looking forward to working with him. I would also like to congratulate Sally Steele on her election to the regular member position after stepping down from the Large Operator position. Thanks also to Darren Marshall for his continued commitment and re-election to the Major operator position.

This 2015 AGM sees Lee Cameron finishing in the regular member position. On behalf of all members, I would like to extend a big thank you for all of his hard work, advice and support to the board over the past 3 years. We wish him all the best in the future.

Finally, I would like to congratulate Keith Edwards on his election to the role of Vice Chairman. Keith is a passionate board member and his hard work, especially with our NZ members, is extensive and dedicated.

Looking to the future and 2016…
The office and board is working on many initiatives. First and foremost we want to continue with the momentum seen over the past 12 months in relation to direct quantifiable benefits available to our members. We also want to continue with the extensive promotion of these benefits to current members and potential members, that we would like to attract to the association.

2016 is certainly looking very bright and the SSAA office and board will continue to build on the strong foundation that has been demonstrated over the past 12 months.

Thank you and all the best.

Guy Wilson

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑