The traditional parking management model is broken. There. I said it. And why do I think it’s broken? Well, because parking, as a product and as an industry in South Africa, has not kept abreast of the latest trends in technology. Let’s look at the facts:
- Traditional parking works on a cost-plus model, where, as opposed to value-based pricing, the parking operator is not incentivised to improve on service delivery, operational efficiency or improved profitability.
- Traditional parking management takes a siloed approach, it doesn’t work holistically and synergistically to drive for efficiency. It consists of a fragmented approach to parking management which demonstrates a separation between the parking operator and the technology supplier.
- Traditional parking management is labour intensive and looking at the world around us, there is a big shift towards working smarter instead of harder.
- Traditionally, the parking technology that underpins the management system has been developed in isolation with a limited view of its ability to integrate into the greater ecosystem of the facility.
- Cash management of the traditional parking model relies on actual cash management using Cash in Transit service providers, which in today’s world is an unmitigated risk to your business, and to people’s lives.
- Traditional parking management suffers because it is too dependent on human intervention. Take for example the transaction-to-bank. Human intervention allows for human error and unfortunately massive risks related to revenue handling.
- A single data warehouse that facilitates analytics across a portfolio is not possible because of single on-site servers at the facility with limited access and limited integration across platforms.
- Traditional parking management relies too heavily on the hardware it has at its disposal, without recognising the potential capabilities of the software at its fingertips.
- Technology suppliers have traditionally dictated the growth and innovation within the parking industry.
- The traditional parking model is paper-based and as such does not allow for the intelligent collection and synthesis of information. Added to this, printing daily reports is a massive waste of time and paper.
As we move forward into the future at an exponential rate, the traditional parking model, and it’s associated pricing poses too great a risk to a business. The traditional parking management model is going to eventually be replaced by a single point solution, which will allow for increased productivity and profitability. Technology will permeate the system as software seeks to mine the data and build intelligence around operational efficiency. Ultimately, the risk that cash handling and management poses will garner a commensurate fee, which will actively discourage asset managers from this way of working.
Ultimately, the traditional parking management model does not take cognisance of the new economy and unfortunately negates any incentive of the parking technology supplier for future innovation post-purchase as the annuity income is only based on ticket sales and maintenance costs. This, in my opinion, is fundamentally flawed and will change in the future.
By Warren Swart, CEO of Nozy Parker