e3storage was formed in 2010 as an unmanned combo storage facility and DIY shop for hobbyist racers and motoring enthusiasts. With Kisi, it offers its members 24/7 access, lounges, conference rooms, lifts, DIY areas and more.
In 2010, when we started the business, keys were a pain and it was an administrative nightmare. Then we moved to cypher locks, so we would tell members the code and they’d let themselves in. We were ok with that for a year and then we moved to keycards. After rolling those out I started researching alternatives. It took a while to set up the keycards and then members would forget them at home or leave to go out to the car and their keycard was on the workbench inside; they could also easily hand it off to someone else. You’re just not going to hand somebody your cellphone—you’re going to be more controlling of that resource.
Now there’s a reduction of liability—we don’t want anyone to get into the facility who hasn't signed the appropriate documents. With Kisi, everything can be completed online. New members fill out a form and Kisi sends their access credentials to their mobile phone. We don’t ever have to meet up with them in-person and show them how to use the doors. They’re good to go minutes after they sign the docs. We can set up expirations for their access from Kisi’s Dashboard. If a member hasn’t paid or there is some type of behavioral issue then we can click their access off and suspend their membership—it’s amazing how well that gets their attention.
Rather than have different membership tiers for access we schedule the doors for certain days of the week and times of day. For example, if it’s a vendor then we set them up as such in our system and they have the appropriate access limitations. If it’s a member then they have 24/7 access.
It works really well and our members love it. We haven’t had any issues as far as granting access—even if someone changes phones we have a link on our website for how to set their new phone up. Since e3storage is not a manned facility we depend on the limitations that Kisi sets and that the right people can be self-served. We have about 40 members and a good number of them store their car in the building. They’re hyper concerned about the security and we’re hyper concerned about the liability.
We’ve also added onto it with the open API. We have an online scheduling system where it will schedule time on a lift or work area so that whoever has reserved it can let themselves in. This allows them to see online if someone else is already using the lift or the space.
Where Kisi really comes in handy is when I have to grant someone access remotely. This week I had a vendor come by to do work on my car—I’m in Texas and the facility is in Georgia. I told him to go to the door and wait for the click. I heard it unlock through my phone and then I disarmed the alarm from my phone, too. We have 15 surveillance cameras, and I watched him go in and then when he told me he was done I turned the alarm back on. That’s where it’s really helpful, remotely managing the facility. We could scale easily and get more facilities—members would sign the same docs and if we get more members we could break it into access tiers to make the space less crowded. It’s also helpful because we have cleaners who come, so I can set the time and day that they have access.
The next iteration would be controlling access to different facilities. Recently, we’ve been talking about whether we could have Kisi control the on/off switches on our car lifts.