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Sentinel Newsletter

April 2020


Self Storage & Access Control Solutions You Can Count On!

Our brand has changed!
from Sentinel Australasia


We have rebranded to align our name and logo to be a more synonymous holistic provider of security services and systems within the self storage industry.

Our new name is Sentinel Storage Security and if you are looking at upgrading security at your facility - we can help you with a FREE Security Inspection! 

Call these phone numbers for more information. 
  • Australia: 1300 852 117
  • New Zealand: 0800 746 311
  • International: +61 3 9988 2025
storagesecurity.com.au
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An update from the General Manager
by Jason Keane


The past few weeks have certainly seen life as we know it change dramatically. Our New Zealand clients are at level four COVID-19 restrictions – “lock-down”  and in Australia we have a combination of level two & three with level four being considered (as @ 16th April 2020). I find myself looking for distractions from the continuous Corona virus news-feeds, but am drawn back often as I am sure you are.

The past three weeks have seen me grounded with interstate travel either not being allowed or discouraged (rightly so), I have been at my desk either at home or work, quoting and generally catching up rather than flying around. Our team are mostly working from home as our internal infrastructure is setup for this to happen. Our support team, operations team and sales department continue to be busy which is excellent news. Customers whom are building either their first stage (new facility) or future stages continue to do so, while customers who are just about to start building have said that the virus cannot go on forever, so, they too are pressing ahead. The support team are fielding above normal levels of support calls and emails, however they are getting through the tickets fairly efficiently. A majority of tickets are customers getting ready to potentially run their sites from home wanting things like mobile phone apps and SMS / email alerts activated. NZ was locked down in late March and we assisted restricting access to non-essential customers.  

Our supply chain for Sentinel products out of America remains unchanged. We typically hold half a million dollars worth of stock at our factory, recent orders have been fulfilled from America although they are too, working from home mostly, with a handful of staff distributing product. CCTV & Alarm products via wholesalers in Australia which are manufactured in China, have also been unaffected mostly. From time to time we might wait an extra week for a special product like a light curtain, but that’s about it at the moment. Our biggest concern at the moment is the Australian Dollar that dropped to 59 cents U.S recently as Sentinel Systems is US based and this is where we get our Sentinel gear. General cost of goods has also risen as is the case in most sectors including groceries as I am sure that you are experiencing.   

On a positive note Sentinel Storage Security (Australia and New Zealand) is set to have its most successful year again. Year on year the business has continued to grow which is excellent news. The growth has seen another new staff member commence. Timm Martin (formally from National Storage & StorMan) started with us in February as operations and sales manager. Within a week it felt like he was part of the furniture. Timm has started reaching out to all customers introducing himself. Timm has twenty years of self storage experience and he is a great addition to our team, he will essentially be doing the jobs that I wasn’t able to get done in a timely manner.

YD and Dallas continue to do great work. YD is our office manager who also looks after level one support. Dallas Wood is our support manager and he supervises our support division.
 
Contact Jason Keane
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New Sites now using Sentinel


I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome the following facilities to the Sentinel family. 
  • J & D Storage Portland VIC
  • Forrestfield Self Storage WA 
  • City West Self Storage Altona VIC
  • Storage King Salamander Bay NSW
  • Cromer Self Storage NSW 
  • Storage King Chirnside Park VIC
  • Storage Plus Kingsgrove NSW 
  • National Storage Bibra Lake WA
  • National Storage Mordialloc VIC
  • National Storage Bibra Lake WA
  • National Storage Mawson Lakes SA
  • National Storage Braeside VIC
  • Extra Space Melton VIC
  • Centre State Self Storage Bendigo VIC
  • Storage King Macquarie Park NSW 
  • Storage King Brookvale NSW 
  • Storage King Pakenham VIC
  • Kennards Self Storage Mile End SA 
  • Able Storage Adelaide Central SA 
  • National Storage Port Kennedy WA 
  • Sovereign Business Park Storage – Ballarat VIC
  • Helensburgh Business Park Storage NSW 
  • Storage King St Lukes - North Island NZ
  • National Storage Hamilton x 4 sites
  • Storage King Marsden Park NSW 
  • National Storage Lisarow NSW 
  • Muswellbrook Self Storage NSW 
Thank you to the above operators.
 
Enquire to get your site on to Sentinel
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Sentinel Client Profile
by Jon Larkin – CEO Wilson Storage


My professional career over some 40+ years has mostly been involved with the delivery of exceptional customer service in highly competitive marketplaces. This commenced for me in the 1980’s by way of being employed in the airline industry where I gained a fantastic learning curve in a highly competitive industry.

Deregulation of the airline industry in the late 1980’s provided me with the unique opportunity to assume a senior role in the commencement of a new airline from the ground up. It required the identification and the execution of real “points of difference” to take to market.
We literally started with a blank canvas and successfully took to the air within 14 months of start-up. I learnt so much from those heady days and continue to apply some of those great learnings to this very day.   

I have since been employed in the Wilson Group since 1993 and introduced many new aspects of leading edge customer service and operational efficiencies to the Group over time.

After leading a significant uplift in the performance of our Parking division I then led our Group’s desire to diversify into industries that were countercyclically affected in times of economic headwinds. My time in this role included the introduction of Wilson Security, Wilson Patient Transport and Wilson Technology Solutions to our Group. We now employ more than 9,000 staff in our diverse operations throughout Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia. 

At an executive leadership level in 2011 we agreed to investigate the self-storage industry, given some alignment to this industry with our facility management and digital marketing expertise. After three years of research we commenced operations by way of a small acquisition in 2013 located in Cheltenham Melbourne.

Our operational and marketing strategy is based on four key pillars.
  • Provide state of the art and highly maintained self-storage facilities to market
  • Deliver exceptional service via our business invested front line storage professionals
  • Develop, evolve and maintain an agile, responsive digital platform for customer use
  • Directly engage and provide meaningful support to the communities in which we serve 
Today we have ten fantastic facilities located across the more affluent and densely populated inner south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne which is in line with our initial entry to market strategy. Our current portfolio includes wholly owned or long term leased facilities and we will be adding a storage management solution to market from 2020 on wards.             

We cater for all types of storage users including residential, commercial, e-commerce and product distributors. Our current offering also includes climate controlled wine-storage, undercover and open-air boat and vehicle storage, receipt and dispatch services and pick and pack logistical support.

While we strategically focused our commencement to the storage industry to be in Melbourne, we are now sufficiently experienced to enter other marketplaces and, to this end, we will be opening a brand-new facility in Sydney NSW in late 2020. 

Where do you see the industry now? 

Since entering the industry in 2013 all storage providers and the markets in which they serve have experienced a significant shift towards the use and reliance of digital platforms by customers. This has led to a relatively uneducated audience to be mainly focused on the price rather than the product.

As the reliance on mobile and portable devices for shopping will continue to grow the challenge for all operators is to achieve getting a customer to visit a facility for them to better understand the range of units and services on offer.      

Where do you see the industry in 5 years? 

The industry continues to consolidate via acquisitions by the current two major Australasian players. With the rise in logistic / distribution demand as well as the shift away from brick and mortar retail investments self-storage is now considered to be a well sought-after asset class driving further attention and deeper financial analysis by investors.

The challenge for all operators, big or small, is to extract as much efficiency from their portfolios to offset the continued rise in discounting and resulting yield erosion. This will ultimately lead to the rise in fully automated facilities over time and the higher reliance upon both robust and cutting-edge access control / security systems specifically designed for the self-storage industry such as those currently provided by Sentinel Security.        
 
Wilson Storage adopts and relies upon these types of systems to future proof our portfolio for the medium to longer term.

 

Jon Larkin's Personal Questions


What was the best holiday that you every had?

Back in 1979 Riding a motorcycle, with my girlfriend of the day as pillion passenger, covering 30,000 km around Europe (including many communist countries) when we were 19 years olds!

Looking back, I shudder to think how we did it but can attest to the fact that having a clear vision and dogged perseverance certainly pays off.   

Where will your first holiday be post COVID-19?

New York City 

What car do you drive?

I currently drive a 2019 Mercedes C63 Estate, and is the last of their V8’s going forward.  

What’s your dream car? 

I’m driving it today!

Do you have a personal 5-year plan? 

Health, wealth and happiness. And health!

I’m new and raring to go!
by Timm Martin


My name is Timm Martin, that’s right two m’s. Like Jason Keane, I have been involved in the self storage industry for the better part of twenty years. I started with Sentinel Storage Security in early February and have hit the ground running, having already attended many existing Sentinel customer sites in Victoria and future sites under construction. Jason suggested early in the piece, that it was his intention to have me understand all the facets of the business and he wasn’t kidding. Thus far I have worked with our Victorian installer group on a retro fitting unit alarm installation and have started quoting and auditing sites. I am happy to concede there is plenty more to learn, however as I am willing and able, I am confident that this will not take long.
 
My career in storage began with National Storage almost twenty years ago. The humble beginnings at National Storage in 2001 saw me observe three stores become one hundred and eighty over time. I have also worked in the U.S. for a year with StorMan Software and was also involved in setting up a two-store portfolio in Melbourne called AustPac located in Richmond and South Melbourne (now Wilson Storage). It has been an unreal twenty years and now I find myself with my feet firmly under the desk at Sentinel and having a ball. The storage industry is like a huge family, as I am sure most of you know and this is no different at Sentinel. I have been made to feel very welcome, while settling into my new role. My skill set is operational management with a passion for sales and customer service. I am a self-storage tragic so feel free to call me about any operational question you may have, as well as anything Sentinel Storage Security related.

It is refreshing to be working in a team that focuses on the same core values and passion that I have. I am confident that I can further enhance the already strong team. My initial observations of Sentinel is that the Sentinel team quickly turn around any problem thrown at them. The network Jason has built, is available to all staff and customers and we all get to benefit from the knowledge base that Jason has built over the past years. We are now a true "one stop security shop" with not just the core Sentinel products, now we cater for everything from gates and fencing to CCTV, office alarms, monitoring, a guard service, even a breakdown service throughout Australia and New Zealand and beyond.  

Part of my new role is to promote Tapplock. Sentinel has secured the distribution rights to TappLock which I am having fun promoting. If you don’t yet know about TappLock, drop me a line and I will tell you all about it. TappLock is a Bluetooth enabled, fingerprint and Morse code padlock that enables multiple users and user logs. We have 3 models from the TappLock Lite at $99 which is a luggage lock and stores about 100 fingerprints through to the 2 big players, the Tapplock One which is a solid robust padlock that can store up to 500 different fingerprints, can have users added and subtracted via a mobile app and even open using morse code if external access is required. The TappLock One not only gives you a time the padlock was opened but can even tell who opened it, and in the case of being on a rental truck can tell you where it was opened. The TappLock one retails for $149. 

The granddaddy of the however is the TappLock One Plus which is everything previously mentioned rolled into an all-weather outdoor model specifically designed for hardstand yards and external functions, whilst still holding 500 fingerprints and all the accessibility of the TappLock one.

These are a great addition for anyone wanting to restrict access to certain areas but not wanting to carry yet another key or a million great uses we are hearing more and more about daily. My favourite use so far has been  one facility that had the idea of restricting its public restroom use to customers only, and if they have an incident where the toilets are left messy they know who the last person in there was. This has saved them countless hours in cleaning anonymous mess issues as their customers are accountable now. Loved it.

Thanks for reading and feel free to reach out for solutions to any problem as the Sentinel team will point you in the right directions always.
 
Contact Timm Martin
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Order or Enquire Now!

The Best Support within an Industry
by Dallas Wood


Having now been at Sentinel for the better part of four years, this article has been a good opportunity to reflect upon where the journey began and where we are today.  

One of the cornerstones of that success has been the delivery of our support model. The growth of Sentinel has really been benchmarked on this support, as its an essential part of our business. 
 
Originally realised through our owner & General Manager, Jason Keane, and his own frustrations managing a network of self-storage facilities. The lack of timely and efficient support to resolve security and access control incidents was a persistent annoyance.

Seeing the opportunity to close this gap with strong support offering, Jason and our Storage Security Support team have quickly become something of a ‘staple’ for our clients, not just for the fact that incidents are now resolved quickly & efficiently, but for that peace of mind knowing that there’s someone there to help when they’re needed the most.

A Sentinel Storage Security Support client gets to enjoy...
  • Unlimited, around the clock access via phone and email, to trained consultants to help diagnose and resolve issues relating to security, access control, CCTV & gates
     
  • Unlimited remote-control support through ‘TeamViewer’, to help get to the bottom of any unforeseen software issues and conflicts 
     
  • Unlimited access to a helpdesk portal to lodge priority tickets and to self-service through an expansive knowledgebase of self-help articles
     
  • Rapid response to critical site-down issues on weekends & public holidays
     
  • Weekly “tech tips” to help build managers capabilities in using our hardware & software, as well as dealing with day to day technology challenges 
     
  • Access to exclusively vetted & trained contractors to respond to issues that require on-site attention
     
Together with response times ‘within the hour’ for site-down scenarios, and a consistent average initial response time during business hours between 2 to 3 hours for general / non urgent enquiries. This is all delivered with relatively insignificant subscription fee, and new sites automatically get their first 6 months access for free. After using the service just a handful of times, very few walk away from it.

Software and Services subscriptions have become commonplace in technology now, from your Property Management software, to Microsoft 365 (even your Xbox or PlayStation at home). They are a convenient way for businesses to gain immediate access to thousands of dollars of value with a full-time support team driving it... but without the sting of an up-front cost. We firmly believe we’ve built one of the best offerings of this kind, and hope that you, the reader, are the next to take full advantage of it and put us to the test!
 
Contact Dallas Wood
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Smith Family Charity Sponsorship


Sentinel Australasia is a supporter and sponsor of The Smith Family children’s charity.

The Smith Family is a children’s charity helping disadvantaged children to get the most of out of their education, and have helped thousands of kids get back on the path to a brighter future.
 
thesmithfamily.com.au
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Platinum Property Manager
by YD


The Sentinel brand for years has been synonymous with Access control and other security solutions. A little-known fact is that we have a property management software as we all as part of our product offerings. The old war horse Winsen 3.42 is about to be put to pasture and we have a young new colt Platinum Property Manager (PPM) ready to step in. 

We have around 25 clients who are using Winsen property management software and we are progressively working on migrating them on to the new management software over the next few weeks. Property Management Software, or PPM for short, in addition to being a desktop application is also a cloud-based application. 



Access the online application using the Sentinel Anywhere application which your Sentinel Team can set up for you. The facility manager only needs the Sentinel Anywhere application as it seamlessly integrates the PPM and the Access Control Systems. This application is compatible to all mobile platforms and devices. This means that Sentinel’s bouquet of products become your one stop solution for managing and securing your self-storage facility.

You can rely on PPM to help you monitor and manage multiple facilities from a single interface. We have worked to ensure that the data security in the software is world class and complies with Australian and New Zealand regulations. You can customise the communication method for each tenant and choose from regular mail, emails or text message or all three. 

The inventory module within the application allows managers to track merchandise inventory and optimise sales, which in turn helps you control you cost of goods sold and allows easy solutions for your customers. 

The Site Graphics add-on allows you to have a graphical view of the facility and in one window show you the facilities occupancy, onsite tenants, overdue accounts and even those who have just left their door open (individual door alarms needed as well). Sentinel simplifies life with clear cut reporting, and concise access to the information essential in operating your business. All our product offerings are backed by our support team which understand self-storage as a business and an industry, and support is a 24x7 business and just an email/call away to provide any kind of support. 



Let us be your one-stop solution for Self-Storage Management, Access Control, Unit Alarming and all other security. Get in touch with us and we can organise a demo version of the software for you. We can introduce you to the software and then leave you to use the software at your leisure and get some hands-on experience to make an informed decision or just provide us with some feedback if there is something missing you need, or something you’d like as an add-on. 
 
Contact YD
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Tech Tips Corner
by Dallas Wood


Dallas Wood the Sentinel support manager is always working towards delivering a better customer experience, and has started distributing a weekly ‘Tech Tips’ digest to all of our Platinum Support clients. These can help to streamline your day to day usage of Sentinel, or help you quickly narrow down solutions to issues when they arise.
 
In case you have missed the last tech tips email, all of the content can be accessed by our Platinum Support clients by logging into your Sentinel Helpdesk account at support.storagesecurity.com.au and clicking on “Solutions”. We’re growing and improving our knowledgebase regularly so check back in anytime you have an issue or just wish to explore more about how to use your Sentinel access control system. 
 
If you’re logging in for the first time or you’re the first at your facility to use it, remember that the username is your facility email address, and you can use the “Forgot your password” feature to create a new password.
 
Sentinel Support Dashboard
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We are here to help!

We are always available to help if you have technical issues, but remember the quickest way to reach us is by raising a ticket through the help desk at support.storagesecurity.com.au

We also have support options for non-sentinel customers, so give us a call on these phone numbers for more information.

  • Australia: 1300 852 117
  • New Zealand: 0800 746 311
  • International: +61 3 9988 2025
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