The 20th placeB location has opened: a total of 1600 m3 storage space in Lenzburg, directly on the motorway! Fabio was project manager and had previously been involved in the realisation of all the other Self Storage Centers in which space seekers can rent storage room. An old hand, if this designation is appropriate in a young company like placeB.
In an interview, Fabio explains what makes a good location and what challenges he faces in his job.
Fabio, at placeB you are responsible for the realisation of new self storage locations. What makes a placeB location?
Fabio: It is important to us that our storage facilities are central and easily accessible by car or public transport. In contrast to our competitors, who are mainly present in the suburbs with large warehouses, we are building up a network of smaller self storages in the city centres. We want to be as close as possible to our customers. We can do this thanks to our technology and digital business processes: we do not have to be personally present in the storages.
What is the challenge in the projects?
The biggest challenge is to identify central locations that meet placeB's requirements. Not only the infrastructure is relevant, but also many other factors such as accessibility, visibility or attractiveness. For each project, we weight the criteria individually and sometimes have to make compromises. At the end of the day, the design of a positive customer experience is decisive.
How do you proceed with the realisation of a new location?
As a first step, we examine the real estate market and assess the potential in terms of self storage. Once we have found a suitable property, we evaluate its feasibility with regard to economic and legal aspects and whether the internal requirements have been met. If a location is feasible, we start with detailed planning. This includes spatial and electrical planning as well as clarifications with government institutions in order to comply with the laws. Once we have the building permit, we start the implementation: We order the materials and award contracts to the construction companies and tradesmen. The storage rooms are set up, lighting and control systems are integrated and the final building inspection is carried out. To open the site, we still have to activate the new storage boxes on the website and in the app so that they can be booked by the customer.
How long does such a project take?
The course of the project depends on various factors that we cannot influence and is therefore difficult to predict. If there are no unexpected problems, a project can be completed in three months from the first contact and viewing to the opening!
Can you tell us what other storage locations will be realized this year?
We are currently working on very exciting projects in German-speaking Switzerland. In the process, we will open up further regions in which we have not yet placed our offer. Projects in Schaffhausen and Seefeld in Zurich are already underway! I am looking forward to the reactions and to many new placeBeeler!
Fabio has been on board since the founding of placeB in 2015 and, according to his own statement, he is the best squash player in the team. He is also in charge of location development and is responsible for the realisation of new storage centres. The challenges in an extremely dynamic environment demand a lot of creativity from Fabio. Full of verve, he helps to ensure that the processes and procedures become even better and faster with every new project. At the same time, he always keeps an eye on the customer's perspective: he responds to feedback and incorporates it into new projects.
Fabio's declared goal is to establish placeB strongly in Switzerland in the medium term and to set up storage space wherever space is needed. The aim is not only to open up all major cities. The specially developed technology is to be used for further services and placeB is to make the leap from the conventional self storage provider possible.