Should the mini storage industry transforming its business? How can business transformation help Hongkong Storage turn crisis into opportunity? Mini storage service has been a core business of Hongkong Storage since 1997. Initially, Hongkong Storage was just a small mini storage operator established in Kwai Chung. How did we transform through continuous business transformation to become a mini storage enterprise with professional management? Next, I will deconstruct the 5-step process of Hongkong Storage’s business transformation, share our business transformation opportunities, strategies, and examples, and let everyone understand our determination in developing the mini storage industry in Hong Kong.
How can Business Transformation Help Hongkong Storage Succeed?
Business transformation helps us reshape the competitive advantage of mini storage and move towards a new form. We make use of the original resources of Hongkong Storage to make overall digital transformation in business direction, operation mode, organizational structure, and digital technology, in order to create new business models and control transformation variables. We create successful cases of business transformation, allowing us to lead the forefront of mini storage operations!
The Opportunity for Business Transformation Accelerates the Progress of Hongkong Storage Transformation
The first opportunity for business transformation for Hongkong Storage appeared in 2016 when a major fire broke out in one of the mini storage operators in Hong Kong. Since then, the government has strictly regulated the safety of mini storage and has also introduced three new measures, including inspecting mini storage throughout Hong Kong, contacting the industry to formulate short-term measures, and researching how to strengthen the safety of mini storage. All mini storage operators in Hong Kong need to strictly comply with these measures. This incident has brought about earth-shaking changes in the Hong Kong mini storage industry, entering an era of survival of the fittest and also bringing an opportunity for business transformation for Hongkong Storage in the future.
At that time, Hongkong Storage had developed into a large-scale Hong Kong mini storage operator with over 30 branches. We needed to completely redesign and comply with the new mini storage fire safety regulations and Buildings Department regulations within a specified time. In addition, most of the mini storage branches were defined by the Buildings Department as illegal structures, and banks would not provide mortgages for illegal properties, so many owners were forced to terminate their leases with mini storage operators.
Business Transformation Strategy Formulated to Meet the Development Goals of Mini Storage
While facing new regulations for mini storage facilities, Hong Kong Storage is reflecting on its operating model. In addition to transitioning from leasing properties to owning them, mini storage users are now paying attention to safety, environmental, and reputational issues, beyond just price and location. Therefore, Hongkong Storage has recognized that effectively monitoring various safety and environmental indicators of mini storage units will make customers feel more at ease. On one hand, they have greatly optimized various mini storage management processes, and in 2019, became the first mini storage company in the industry to receive ISO:9001, ISO/IEC:27001, and Q Mark professional quality management certifications. They have also introduced Proptech intelligent technology to manage facilities at each mini storage branch, striving to transform into the most advanced mini storage company.
Corporate Transformation Strategy 1: Finding Investors
Facing the operational challenges of the mini-storage business at the time, Hongkong Storage began looking for institutional investors for business investment to transform the company. Given that Hongkong Storage had already invested resources in introducing the SAP Enterprise Resource Planning system in 2012, becoming the first mini-storage operator in Hong Kong to use a professional technology system to manage mini-storage, governance and operational efficiency were improved through information technology to enhance business scalability, thus better meeting market needs and making accurate business decisions. Investors believed that Hongkong Storage had forward-thinking ideas, and that technology management was also a future trend. If the company continued to focus on operating mini storage with innovative technology, it was expected that the investment return would be considerable, so they joined us in developing multiple new Hong Kong mini-storage projects.
Corporate Transformation Strategy 2: Enterprise Digital Transformation
After much discussion, Hongkong Storage and investors finally reached an agreement in 2018, initiating the first digital enterprise transformation cooperation project. During the digital transformation process, there were many design, approval, and financial issues to be resolved. It took more than a year to communicate with various government departments. Finally, the over 20,000-square-foot flagship store in Sha Tin officially opened in 2019!
Today, Hongkong Storage’s mini-storage branches cover many major areas in Hong Kong, Kowloon, and the New Territories, managing storage volumes exceeding 300,000 square feet. Hongkong Storage has made good use of precise ERP systems to operate the company in the following areas:
- Managing finances and accounting
- Improving operational process automation and simplification
- Providing employees with tools and data necessary to perform their duties and assist in improving team productivity.
- Providing powerful and forward-looking reporting and forecasting tools to make more informed decisions about the company’s future.
- Safeguarding data security to ensure continuous business operation.
Corporate Transformation Strategy 3: Utilizing AI Technology to Better Manage Mini-Storage
In the face of competition from peers, to protect all customers and ensure customer quality, Hongkong Storage still insists that new customers must be Hong Kong residents aged 18 or above and provide proof of address. They also need to meet with the customer to confirm their identity before confirming the rental process. To cater to future trends and provide more convenience for customers, they are currently studying the introduction of AI identity verification, hoping that customers can successfully rent mini-storage units without leaving their homes in the future.
Corporate Transformation Strategy 4: Greater Focus on Ensuring Mini-Storage User Safety
The strategy places greater emphasis on the security of mini-storage usage. In response to customers’ higher security requirements for mini storage than before, we have strengthened the communications with various government departments to ensure the company can keep up with the latest information and regularly review facility management.
Corporate Transformation Strategy 5: Smart Access Control for Enhanced Customer Convenience
To provide customers with a better storage experience, Hongkong Storage is experimenting with a smart access control system that allows for easy entry and exit. With this new system, customers no longer have to worry about forgetting their smart card or password, as they can simply use their mobile phone to access the facility. In addition, we have introduced a 3D access control system that can monitor real-time occupancy, and if the number of people exceeds the limit, employees will be notified to take appropriate action to ensure the safety of the storage facility.
Future Business Transformation Direction
In the future, Hongkong Storage will expand its mini storage business to provide customers with more choices and convenience. To accommodate the increased investment in facilities, we must improve the efficiency of managing mini storage facilities. Hongkong Storage is actively collaborating with technology and innovation companies or startups to develop robotic management of facilities. This will enable real-time management of multiple sites and monitoring of various indicators, such as air quality, temperature, humidity, and lighting in each mini-storage unit, in order to provide customers with a more comfortable experience. This will also strengthen customer trust in Hongkong Storage and ensure the quality of investor assets, achieving a win-win situation for all.
Hongkong Storage will continue to optimize and improve in the future, hoping to become a successful case of business transformation in the Hongkong mini storage industry. We aim to provide customers with high-quality and secure mini storage services, become the most advanced mini storage operator in Hong Kong, and bring customers the best storage experience.