The average U.S. employee prints six pages per day. If your business is open five days a week, that adds up to 1,560 pages per year. An individual piece of paper costs $0.06 on average.

Need me to do the math for you? That doesn’t even include the cost of ink, which is ridiculously expensive. If you were to fill up an Olympic size swimming pool with ink, it would cost $5.9 billion. And it would be pretty gross to swim in.

Do you think your facility’s printing costs are over or under the average of six pages per day? If you’re trying to go paperless, getting facility management software that works across multiple devices and offers integrated functionality is key. A big factor that goes into picking a facility management software is the quality (and usefulness) of the software’s facility map.

If you're trying to go paperless, a facility map is essential.

Image by Mirandala via Flickr.

What’s the big deal with facility maps?

So you’ve heard the buzz lately about interactive facility maps. Maybe you’ve even seen people walk through their self storage facility carrying around an iPad and tapping away. The digital facility map has come a long way since the era of Windows ‘97. Having a modern, interactive map can do a lot for your business.

5 benefits of an interactive facility map:

  1. It’s color-coded and super easy to use. Color coding makes it easy to view a unit’s status, track leads, and complete actions like move-ins, move-outs, and transfers with rapid speed. For example, in the storEDGE software, occupied units are blue, unoccupied units are green, reserved units are yellow, delinquent units are red, and unrentable units are grey.

  2. It’s paperless and multi-functional. You can reduce your paper consumption, view your facility at a glance, from anywhere, anytime, and complete actions like overlock, move-in, and move-out, right from the facility map.

  3. It’s an at a glance view of your business. If you own more than one facility, you can easily flip from one facility to another and quickly assess your property’s occupancy and delinquency rates with one glance at your facility map.

  4. It’s optimized for users. If your facility has many unit sizes, you can easily sort and filter by unit size, status, type (like locker, mailbox, or parking space), and amenities (like climate controlled or drive-up access). If a new customer calls and says they only want a unit on the first floor of your multi level facility, you can sort and view the facility map floor by floor.

  5. It’s a powerhouse of (actionable) information. The facility map packs a ton of information in a simple, at-a-glance map view - and you can complete important actions from it. You can complete tenant move-ins or move-outs, take a payment, complete delinquency stages, leave notes on a unit or tenant, or schedule unit cleaning and maintenance without ever leaving the storEDGE facility map.

If you're trying to go paperless, a facility map is essential.

Image by Omar Bárcena via Flickr.

The storEDGE Facility Map

Full disclosure: The rest of this blog post is dedicated to talking about features of the storEDGE facility map. I don’t usually dive into detailed how-to’s of the storEDGE software, but users are frequently asking us how they can get more out of their facility map. If you’re already on the storEDGE software and you want to take your facility map experience to the next level, or if you’re just shopping around for software and want to learn a little more in-depth information about the storEDGE facility map, read on!

If you're trying to go paperless, a facility map is essential.

Image by Ian Collins via Flickr.

How to make the most of the storEDGE facility map

If you’re already using a self storage management software like storEDGE and you’re ready to build your facility map, check out these tips to make the experience easy and get the most out of your software.

1. Do your homework.

Before you jump in and start building your new facility map, watch the help videos and read a little about how to build up your facility map before you start. There are plenty of tips and tricks to speed up the process and make the integration of your facility map seamless for your business.

2. Make setup painless.

When you're ready to start setting up your facility map using the facility map builder in the storEDGE software, make sure you’re not overcomplicating it. Here are some tools you probably didn’t know about that can make setting up the facility map even easier:

  • Put your units into the order that you’ll pass them while walking through your facility (walk thru order) and drag and drop blocks onto the map. If you want to change this after you’re done building your map, you can always come back and re-organize your walk thru order later. After setting up your walk thru order, you can print the walk thru report or reference it on your device as you walk through your facility.

  • Instead of selecting one unit at a time and adding it to the map, you can also mass select to move or rotate sections of units. Click to select or deselect units by holding down shift to select many units in a row, then drag the highlighted units to the map.

  • Add objects and labels to your facility map to make it more lifelike - block out your office, restrooms, hallways, entrances, etc. Name the buildings or floors whatever you want - organize your facility map to make it work for your needs.

  • Create as many floors as you have to create a realistic representation of what’s where at your facility. If your facility is all one level, you can still utilize floors by using them to group and name similar units for fast filtering. The floor you’re currently viewing and building on has a darkened icon (just like an elevator!) so you always know what floor you’re on.

3. Use the finished map to the fullest.

After you get your facility map built, make sure you’re using it to it’s full potential. storEDGE has built in several features to make the facility map more useful for self storage owners and managers. Check out these ways you can simplify your business using the facility map:

  • Visit the facility map regularly to understand the state of your business. Utilize the color codes to see a quick overview of your facility’s occupancy and delinquency. View your units in groups and filter by unit status to dig deeper.

  • Use the walk thru report (from step 2) to take your smartphone or iPad out on your facility walks. By having your software at your fingertips during your walk throughs, you’ll be able to update the status of a unit or tenant immediately - and you’ll have one less thing to print. You can also leave notes on units from the facility map during your walk through. Simply click on any unit in the facility map to leave a note for later.

  • Complete delinquency actions right from the facility map. You don’t need to switch from the facility map to a tenant profile to complete delinquency actions like cut lock or overlock. Click on units on the map as you pass them and complete those tasks from the facility map, without having to hop from tenant page to tenant page.

If you're trying to go paperless, a facility map is essential.

Image by Michael Krappel via Flickr.

Check out more educational tools.

If you’re thinking about upgrading your outdated map to the interactive facility map on storEDGE’s modern self storage management software, check out some of these resources:

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to like us on Facebook to receive updates every time one of my awesome new posts goes live. If you liked this article, you may also like: What You Need to Know About the Google Possum Algorithm Update, 5 Key Lessons for Smooth Tenant Move-ins, and Why You Need to Introduce Mobile Technology at Your Facility.