With nearly 50,000 customers across 107 branches, Safestore is the largest UK self-storage group.

“Some people ask if we can store their pets. Of course we can’t for lots of obvious reasons – but we do store teddies, drones and mannequins!” explained Tiffiny Franklin, Digital Outreach Executive at Safestore. Tiffiny continued “We do get interesting customers. Some move house and plan to store furniture with us ‘temporarily’. Then ten years later it’s still here. We don’t know people’s exact reasons for storing over long periods of time; maybe it’s because they feel guilty about getting rid of inherited or large items, or they hold onto things in the hope that the value may increase”

Safety in Abundance
A key customer concern when choosing a store for things they value is security. The Safestore buildings have CCTV in every corridor and intrusion and sensor alarms that automatically despatch security vehicles. “Each customer has their own padlock to which only they have the key and padlocks are never re-used” added Tiffiny.

For security, legal and financial reasons Safestore requires customers to provide a full, accurate postal address. This is not as easy as it seems. Head of IT, Phil Fryer explained: “Domestic customers are often in transition when they arrive at a Safestore. Those about to move into a new home or rented accommodation don’t necessarily know their new postcode. We need to quickly search and find the precise address out of the 30 million addresses in the UK.”

Always Improving
Safestore has a bespoke system designed around its specific needs and processes. This is installed on 200 computers across the UK. Until recently a locally installed version of AFD Postcode Plus was distributed and updated with software upgrades, using drive imaging and group policy updates.Safestore is always looking to make things more efficient and wanted to move as much of the client software system as possible away from mass electronic distribution. The biggest files were the monthly address data update files. Phil started to investigate a better, more efficient solution and realised that AFD Software offered multiple platform and deployment options: “We decided to have each desktop computer carry out postcode lookups and address searches by calling the AFD Postcode Plus Evolution hosted service. By using the AFD Software hosted services we have cut internal IT costs.

“We didn’t even need an integration as we used the AFD Robot which automatically detects a Postcode entered onto our system and returns the exact address or a pick list of options. We no longer need to distribute or update or manage address validation services as AFD do it for us so reliably.”

Saving Time and Money. Improving Cash Flow and Compliance.
Invoices, statements and changes to terms and conditions for all 107 Safestore branches are consolidated, printed and mailed by an outsourced fulfilment company. Phil continued: “We need to minimise the possibility of returned invoices. Each one returned carries an increased risk of non-payment and can result in significant internal costs to research and correct an address. We also face financial penalties on data inaccuracy from our mailing house. AFD Postcode Plus is saving us time and money and improving cash flow and compliance – through excellence in address capture.”

Passion, Energy, Loyalty
When we talk to Safestore we can feel the energy that comes from being passionate about what you do. Passion breeds new customers and keeps them. Did you know that 75 percent of AFD customers have been with AFD Software for over 5 years? Safestore is one of them.

Did you know?
Each Safestore branch supports a charity by offering a free storage unit. This equates to hundreds of thousands of pounds in value for over 100 deserving charities around the UK. One of these is the Twins and Multiple Births Association (Tamba) who store special support packs for new parents who have had twins, triplets or more!

Are You an Existing AFD Customer? Want to Upgrade?
If, like Safestore, you are updating your internal systems or applications, now may be a good time to upgrade and enjoy the benefits of the latest version of your AFD Solution. Our experts can advise and guide you.

Not yet an AFD Customer?
Join hundreds of customers who switch to AFD Software to enjoy automated data updates, multiplatform support and a wide choice of installed and hosted address validation options from the exclusive distributor of the source PAF® data from Royal Mail’s mainframe systems.

Find out more about SafeStore

mailLink mailLink

We are here to help

We serve thousands of organisations and a network of hundreds of partners across multiple industry sectors, enabling them to have full confidence in their contact data.