The Customer

Light House Storage LLC, located on an almost five-acre property in Kemah, Texas, offers month to month boat and RV storage with 24/7 access. Owner David Stovall purchased the property in October 1993, cleared and fenced half of the land, and opened the facility in December 1994. Since that time, Light House Storage has expanded to approximately 120 spaces on two-thirds of the property.

The Challenge

Light House Storage features a single entrance and exit gate which was originally operated by an Elite gate opener and Sentex access control system. David began with 25 remote gate openers called click cards, which he provided to his earliest customers. As the facility and its customer base expanded, he added more click cards by programming new five-digit click codes using DOS codes on a laptop connected to a Sentex controller.

Over time, however, as the business continued to grow and his laptop upgraded to later versions of Windows, David was no longer able to connect to the board, and instead had to disconnect and transport it 25 miles to the company that installed the gate and access solution to have more cards added. When he had about 75 customers at a time using click cards, Sentex moved to a Windows-based front end for the system, and he had to add a keypad to the Elite gate for new customers.

David shares, “I live 260 miles away from the facility, and typically only need to go there once a quarter. When I could no longer program the click cards myself, however, I had to drive four and a half hours to the facility, disconnect the board and then drive 25 miles to have cards added. Once the board was disconnected, I could leave the facility because of an exit loop installed on the inside of the gate, but then it would remain open until I returned and reconnected the board.”

He continues, “When I had the keypad installed, every time I needed to change the code, I had to drive to the facility to change it. While most of my renters are long-term, occasionally I let someone check out the facility for a day or need to let a vendor in for a short time, and after that I need to change the code for everyone so the temporary visitors can’t return and get in.”

Five years ago, after continuing problems with his access solutions, David began looking for a smart phone app with no success. He then attempted to have his own app created, but none of the programmers he approached were able to deliver.

“I can’t express how relieved I am to have found VIZpin, and I wish I would have discovered it sooner. We are having great success with it.”

The Solution

David continued his search on and off as his access issues recurred, and six months ago discovered VIZpin. He says, “I don’t have an office at the facility, so I don’t have wifi. VIZpin was ideal because it doesn’t require wifi or a network.” A VIZpin reader was installed on the Light House Storage gate that runs in tandem with David’s legacy systems, and all new customers are granted VIZpin access exclusively.

“I love that with VIZpin I have a record of who is in the facility when, so I don’t even give the keypad code to new customers,” David comments. He is also enjoying not having to travel to the facility to change keypad codes or provide physical click cards, making sure they are returned when rental agreements expire and collecting and returning click card deposit fees.

“I can’t express how relieved I am to have found VIZpin, and I wish I would have discovered it sooner. We are having great success with it.”

Highlights

  • Time Savings: Granting and Revoking access remotely has eliminated the need to travel to change keycodes or program click cards

  • Peace of Mind: Having easy access to evidence of who was in the facility and when will provide critical information should something get damaged or stolen

  • No Network Required: Operating the access control solution without a network or wifi enabled easy installation and management

  • Compatibility: Light House is able to run a smartphone-based solution in tandem with their legacy solution as they phase them out