Yard Self-Storage:
Growing With Kinnovis

Yard Self-Storage Logo

Nicholas Bellwood

Map Pin Icon United Kingdom

Company overview

With a background in shipping containers and some customers in the self-storage industry, Nick saw the potential of this growing industry and decided to set up his own self-storage business. In 2023, along with two business partners, Nick opened Yard Self-Storage in the North of England. Working exclusively with outdoor, 20ft container storage units, there are big plans to quickly expand the business to 6-8 locations across the UK.

Yard Self-Storage director in front of their facility's sign.

How Kinnovis has helped Yard Self-Storage

Yard is set up to be as automated as possible. For this to work, we needed a partner who could help us to automate the whole customer experience. Letting the customer do everything online: make their booking, manage their account and (most importantly!) take their payments automatically.

As a start-up, we’re looking to grow quickly and keep costs down. Staffing costs can be an obstacle before we reach that optimum occupancy level at our facility. As we’ve been able to automate so much of the operational side of the business, it means we haven’t had to invest in multiple staff members as we can do everything through the software. That’s the key advantage of Kinnovis.

Yard Self-Storage container park

Feature spotlight: unit allocation

While the automation is fantastic, we’re also looking to generate a positive customer experience. The flexibility of the Kinnovis software has been extremely useful for this, as it feels like multiple scenarios have been considered when tools are built.

For example, a great feature is the ability to assign customers to particular units within our facilities. We had a recent customer that handles furniture storage, they’d specifically requested a container on the end of a row of units for ease of access when they’re shifting large furniture. Because the map layout in Kinnovis is so easy to use, we can fulfil requests like these with no trouble. The customer was incredibly happy and it only took us one click.

“We’d looked at several software suppliers before deciding Kinnovis was the best fit.”

Onboarding support

Considering we don’t have a large Tech Team behind us, and I’d consider myself to have a typical knowledge of IT, being able to get started with a sophisticated product like Kinnovis wasn’t as hard as you might expect.

Any questions or concerns we had during the onboarding process were resolved quickly, by speaking directly to your team either on the phone or through the online chat function – as well as the occasional email. I could choose how and when I wanted to speak with you.

The original demo call we had was also very comprehensive (there was a lot to take in!). With that introduction, along with the video call with my allocated Project Manager, it meant that I’ve hardly needed to speak with anyone at Kinnovis since pressing the green light. It all just works how it was shown to me.

Yard Self-Storage trailers

Who could benefit from using Kinnovis?

Any self-storage operator! As we were starting from scratch, we’d looked at several software suppliers before deciding Kinnovis was the best fit – with the features and the support that was offered. I think if all self-storage companies did the same research as we did, they’d reach the same conclusion.

I don’t think it matters which size of self-storage business you are, either. Having previously been a commercial director at a large enterprise, I can see how Kinnovis can help larger, multi-site facilities as well as smaller start-ups.

The clincher for us was that Kinnovis had a very flexible approach to working with us. You know where we are now and where we are going to be in a few year’s time, so we needed that flexibility from the start. That’s both in terms of how your pricing moves with our facility growth and the quality of the features Kinnovis offers. I can see how the features we use today for our one site will work as we open more and more facilities.

Most importantly, we also have confidence in the Kinnovis Team to deliver and to continue building more solutions to help businesses like ours. The feature roadmap we’ve been shown is exciting and that’s why we were happy to commit to Kinnovis – we’re looking forward to both businesses growing together!

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