When you think of businesses that leverage technology to create competitive advantage, parking facilities may not be the first thing to come to mind. But that’s rapidly changing.
Today, there are more than 105 million revenue-generating parking spaces across the U.S. As population growth drives more commercial activity, every medical center, retail plaza, hotel, residential building and business office will need to contemplate how to provide a convenient, accessible parking experience for their patrons. When given a choice, consumers will opt to live and work where quick and easy interactions are the norm.
- “Honor box” systems that depend on customer integrity (and the threat of fines and towing) for compliance.
- No-tech lots that rely solely on onsite hourly employees to be present to execute all transactions, and to count and reconcile cash balances each day.
- Outdated solutions that deliver a customer experience that is marred by delays, malfunctions, and the inability to accommodate the preferred payment method.
In order to optimize profits, parking vendors need to find ways to streamline operations — while providing the type of easy, positive experience that keeps customers coming back. Post pandemic business conditions will likely lead to a lower demand for urban parking structures making the need for automation NOW. This automation needs to have unparalleled uptime to monetize every opportunity possible to not only weather the storm, but come out even better on the other side.
Technology Holds The Answer
A newer generation of self-service kiosks are filling that need by offering higher levels of access/convenience, ease of use and efficiency. In the process, they are providing a wide variety of benefits:
- Improved Customer Experience. Newer systems can support customers’ preferred payment methods, whether cash, credit, validated tickets or tenant cards.
- Reduced Overhead. With smarter, user friendly systems, parking vendors can reduce or eliminate the need for onsite attendants. Or, lots with multiple attendants can offer customers a choice of interacting with a live attendant or an automated system.
- Increased Profitability. Improved technology enables operators to gain what was lost with honor systems. They also make it easier to extend hours of operation and capture revenue 24/7/365.
- Increased Uptime. Routine upkeep is critical, and some of the newer systems offer definite advantages in that regard. Cloud-based software minimizes downtime by enabling remote monitoring, software updates, system resets and other care functions.
- Instant ROI. Wrapping hardware and service together into an OpEx model can drive value, create instant ROI, and de-risk businesses, especially during uncertain times.
Some technologies also allow for a high degree of DIY maintenance to address the bulk of common issues ⏤ allowing providers to resolve the issue the moment it occurs. Machine upkeep may not be a core competency of the organization’s staff though – many organizations still prefer to rely on a partner for maintenance and repair. It’s important to choose one with local technician coverage, quick response times and same-day service in order to deliver on the promise of increased uptime.
- Improved Safety. Having an automated system rather than onsite personnel can reduce the threat of robbery — and the accompanying dangers.
Insights To Improve The Business
Evolving technologies will also make it possible to experiment with pricing strategies. Examples: Dynamic pricing based on peak usage times. Discount rates for weekend and after-hour parking. Or pro-rated charges down to the hour or quarter-hour. Additionally, reports created by “smart systems” can improve decisions on the use of attendants and valets. On the payment side, future systems that support mobile can open up a whole new realm of loyalty programs, frequency discounts and more.
Seek Guidance Before Moving Forward
While automation offers tremendous benefits, there’s a lot to consider: What kind of technology do you need? Do you have a diversity of requirements across locations ⏤ for example, a mix of residential prepaid tenant lots, public garages and medical centers that desire contactless payment? What level of self-maintenance are you willing to take on? An experienced consultant can guide you through the decision process to find the best fit for your business.
Thousands of businesses rely on Burroughs to help them develop smart, efficient and more profitable ways to handle, manage and record transactions. As an OEM-agnostic provider, Burroughs takes a consultative approach that is focused on helping you find the solutions that are best aligned with the specific needs of your business. The world of parking is changing. With Burroughs, you have a payment & transaction technology partner who is on the leading edge of helping you locate the solutions that are best for you.
When it comes to finding innovative and user-friendly ways to improve cash management and customer experience, you can count on Burroughs for solid advice and guidance. To learn more, contact us today.