1 Jun 2010

A new breed of self-storage facility has emerged, designed explicitly to meet the needs of smaller businesses

For companies in the process of making warehousing and storage decisions, there is a broad spectrum of options that should be considered. For those in need of large-scale complex materials handling, the warehousing function is often better left to a third party specialist. On the other end of the spectrum are unserviced spaces, which offer little more than 3 walls and a loading door (if you’re lucky).

Between the extremes lies a unique option which is proving to be highly effective for a growing number of companies. A new breed of self-storage facility has emerged, designed explicitly to meet the needs of businesses. With a range of basic services including internet connectivity, security, climate-controlled warehouses, meeting space, and parcel reception and handling, many companies are finding that their needs can be met without the costs of renting traditional warehousing space and services.

Robin Moore and his wife Anita discovered the self-storage option over three years ago. From their home in Barrie, the Moores operate Favourite British Imports Ltd., a company that imports and distributes British confections and groceries.

With a delivery area stretching from Sarnia to north of Barrie, they needed a centralized storage facility, one that could accommodate the company’s unique needs.

“We have a fluctuating business in which our inventory needs are much higher at certain times than others, so we needed a facility that could offer us flexibility throughout the year, as well as the opportunity to grow if necessary,” explains Moore. The Moores found what they needed at Jiffy Storage for Business, a self-storage facility located in Toronto.

There they discovered that space could be rented on a monthly basis, allowing them to take only the space the company required at different points throughout the year. While entrepreneurs like the Moores make up much of the tenant base at such facilities, there are also benefits for larger companies, according to Allan Barkin, president of Jiffy Storage. “The key here is that it is not necessary for a company- of any size- to invest in a large space based on what they think they may need in the future,” says Barkin. Despite the numerous advantages, Barkin and Moore agree that the self-storage route is not for everyone. For most companies, however, it is one more option that should be considered in the quest for the perfect space.

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