What have you accomplished since 2012? For Columbia Storage Group, the list includes the launch of their self storage development company and the acquisition of twelve storage facilities on the eastern seaboard - and counting.
Averaging three facilities per year since the company’s inception in 2012, Columbia Storage Group is growing at supersonic speed. Currently all of their facilities are located in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, with the majority near the New Jersey coastline and the northernmost property in Middletown, New York. The company also has over 25 field employees, with a small staff working at the corporate office in the borough of Florham Park, New Jersey.
Ryan Mosca, Director of Finance and Administration at Columbia Storage Group, says consistency is the key to managing the company’s rapid growth. “We’re pretty set by the books in how we run our business and that seems to work well for us. We have a checklist of everything that we do starting from day one. When we purchase a new site, we really take the time to make improvements, get all operating systems switched over, and have all employees on board with how we operate.”
Their first facility opened in March 2012 in Vineland, New Jersey, about an hour inland from Atlantic City. The Vineland facility offers 73,000 square feet of storage with 562 units as well as drive-up access and RV, boat, and vehicle parking. When the Vineland facility took off, Columbia Storage Group looked to open up two more properties: a 418 unit, 70,000 square foot facility in Mullica Hill, New Jersey and a modern storage building in Wayne, New Jersey with 604 units and 68,000 square feet. The Wayne facility features temperature controlled units, as well as drive-up ground floor units and elevator access for upstairs units.
Mosca says they began using storEDGE after encountering inconsistencies with facilities operating on different self storage software programs. “When we switched to storEDGE, we had nine sites. They were being managed across a few different software programs, which was inconvenient for us,” said Mosca. “We were looking for a software company that had online capabilities where we can manage all of our sites under one platform. In addition, the software program needed to work well with Apple products, Google Chrome, and be accessible across more devices so we were able to easily use the software whether we were at the corporate office or working remotely.”
“I really think that storEDGE has helped us manage the business from the corporate office. What’s even more important, is that it’s helped our customers, as well. storEDGE has made it more convenient for our customers who are now able to perform several functions online, including paying bills, reserving/renting units, and checking/updating records. This saves time for everyone.”
In addition to utilizing storEDGE for their software and websites, Columbia Storage Group recently started using e-sign on iPads and tablets at several of their facilities. “We’re definitely looking to use e-sign at all of our sites. It creates less clutter in our office and provides convenience to our customers by being able to sign documents from a mobile device. In addition, we are saving money on paper and ink by focusing on the paperless approach,” said Mosca.
“I think the customers really appreciate the improvements we’re making. With e-sign, it’s easier to verify that we have the correct information on file, whether it’s the correct email addresses, mailing addresses, or phone number. We need to have their proper information on file in case of defaults. It’s helped us contact customers easier and collect money before units go to auction.”
Their latest facility just opened in Hamburg, New Jersey in November 2016. The facility features 43,000 square feet and 328 units as well as temperature controlled storage and RV, boat, and vehicle parking.
Up next on the list? Mosca says continued growth and facility improvements are in the plans for 2017, as well as the process of rebranding all of the facilities under the Columbia Self Storage name.
“Right now, we have 12 locations with a majority of them being at or close to fully occupied,” said Mosca. “Going into the new year, we’re looking forward to the changes that we’ve put in place. We have new employees at a few of our locations and have plans to upgrade or expand where necessary. We’re excited to see those improvements come to life in 2017."
Thank you Columbia Storage Group! At storEDGE, we are proud to work with clients who excel at what they do, care about their customers, and lead the industry in technology. If you liked this article, you may also like: Client Spotlight: Castlerock Interests, LLC, Client Spotlight: Beyond Self Storage, and Client Spotlight: Smithville Self Storage.