What to look for in a storage management company: A step-by-step guide
Storage and warehousing are requirements almost every business has. However, building and managing a warehouse is expensive and not worth it for most businesses. Therefore, many choose to outsource their storage needs to a storage management company. If you are considering the same, this article is here to help you. Here, we will offer you a step-by-step guide on how to pick the right storage management company.
Assessing Your Storage Needs
Before you start searching for a storage management company, take some time to assess your storage needs. Think about what kind of goods you need to store, how much space you'll need, and any specific requirements you may have. For example, do you need climate-controlled storage for delicate items? Do you require a certain level of security for your goods?
Global Newswire reports that the storage and warehousing industry was valued at $648 billion in 2021 and is expected to increase rapidly to $1.26 trillion by 2030. But not all of these businesses will be fit for you. By understanding your needs, you'll be better equipped to find a storage management company that can meet your specific requirements and provide you with the right storage solution for your business.
Types of Storage Services Offered
When searching for a storage management company, it's important to consider the types of storage services they offer. Not all storage companies are created equal, and some may specialize in certain types of storage solutions. For example, some companies may offer warehouse storage, while others may provide portable storage solutions.
You may also want to consider whether the company offers specialized storage solutions for certain industries or goods, such as hazardous materials or vehicles. Understanding the types of storage services offered by a company can help you determine if they are the right fit for your business needs.
For example, Copper Storage Management is a company that specializes in managing self-storage facilities but also offers some other services. If you run an online business and need your store managers also to do deliveries or if you need someone to manage a large-scale warehouse, they might not be the one for you. The right storage management company will entirely depend on your specific needs.
Experience & Expertise
According to IBISWorld, there are over 180,000 storage and warehouse leasing businesses operating in the US. Therefore, when choosing a storage management company, it's important to consider their experience and expertise in the industry. Look for a company with a proven track record in storage management and a team of experienced professionals who can offer expert advice and support.
You may want to research the company's history and read reviews from past clients to get a better understanding of their experience and reputation. An experienced storage management company will not only provide you with a quality storage solution but can also offer valuable insights into optimizing your storage operations and improving your overall business efficiency.
Safety and Security
Ensuring the security and safety of your goods should be a top priority when choosing a storage management company. SpareFoot recommends that even though different storage facilities offer different security features, there are some you should always look out for, such as electric gates, manned entrances, security cameras, unit alarms, and well-lit facilities.
Additionally, a reputable storage management company should have safety measures in place to protect your goods from damage, such as fire prevention systems and climate-controlled storage options. Also, be sure to check if they have insurance coverage for lost or damaged goods.
Facility & Location
The facility and location of a storage management company are important factors to consider when choosing the right storage solution for your business. The facility should be well-maintained and equipped with the necessary infrastructure, such as loading docks and forklifts, to support efficient storage operations.
The location of the facility should also be easily accessible, whether you need to transport goods to and from the facility or access them regularly for inventory management. Additionally, you may want to consider the proximity of the storage facility to your business or customers, as this can impact shipping and transportation costs.
By evaluating the facility and location of a storage management company, you can ensure that they are equipped to meet your storage needs and provide you with a convenient and cost-effective storage solution.
Pricing & Contracts
Understanding a storage management company's pricing and contract terms is crucial when selecting the right storage solution for your business. Be sure to ask about pricing models, including whether the company charges per unit or based on space utilized and whether there are any additional fees for services like loading and unloading.
If you are using storage services for the first time, you need to be extra careful that someone doesn’t rip you off. Forbes reports that the average cost of a storage unit is $185 per month but can go up to $300 based on size. But these costs may vary depending on your industry and your specific needs. Therefore, make sure to ask your peers and do the proper research before settling on a price.
Additionally, carefully review the contract terms, including the length of the contract, cancellation policies, and any penalties for early termination. Make sure you fully understand the pricing and contract terms before committing to a storage management company to avoid any unexpected fees or issues.