From Who We Were to Who We Are Becoming


From Who We Were to Who We Are Becoming

Editor’s note: “If you want the definition of a gate or loop detector, look it up. If you want to learn about the parking industry and your place in it, come to ‘boot camp.’” That’s Clyde Wilson, summarizing his take on what PIE 2015 Boot Camp seminar attendees will experience. Miss it at your peril. Here he gives a preview. JVH
This year’s PIE Boot Camp is going to be about surviving the future. The speakers are former boot campers who have proven they understand and have experiences handling the decisions required to move toward the parking operation of five years from now.
I have been in the industry for 35 years. The first 30, the industry hardly changed; the last five have been continuious change. To survive in this industry today, you have to be ahead of the many changes that impact your everyday job.
Today’s parking industry – and the industry you are creating for tomorrow by learning to manage the new demands – are the focus of this year’s PIE boot camp.
(The 2015 Parking Industry Exhibition, sponsored by Parking Today, will be March 29-April 1 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, IL.)
The technology changes of today impact every policy and procedure you will work under for the next five years. They change the decisions you make about communications, about how your customers of tomorrow are informed and ways your decisions impact how your customers view your operation.
Hiring and training employees, for example, will take on a totally different meaning for tomorrow than it did in the past. The owners or senior managers of the institutions you work for are expecting you to create operations that reflect the parking operations changes of today and tomorrow.
“How many years is it between rollouts of a new iPhone?” That’s how many years you have to upgrade your parking operation.
Do you have the training and resources to make the decisions to respond to the change that is expected of your operation?
Do you realize that every institution in the country that has a parking management system will be totally changed in the next five years? Are you ready to be in front of that change?
Are the human resources of your operation ready for the demands of the future? How do you write the job descriptions of the employees you need to get you to where customers, owners, institutional managers expect you to be.
The road to get your operation into a position to answer the demands of the future falls totally on your shoulders. The resources, the policies, the technological knowledge and application, the expectations of your world are all looking to you to be ready to give everyone the operation they are expecting.
The topics discussed at this year’s boot camp will follow the most important decisions that you will have to make:
1- Ten years ago, the industry was 85% cash; five years ago it was 50% cash. Today it is moving to 75% credit card, and tomorrow it will be 95% credit card. The decisions of tomorrow – and, boy, today I am seeing every type of mistake you could imagine – will be about PCI, EMV, merchants, processors, bitcoin, etc. We will discuss all of the payment challenges you are, and will be, facing and develop a network of resources to help you navigate the future.
2- The new decisions that will be required to hire, train and manage for the new parking demands.
3- What resources you have today to manage an on- and off-street parking operation and get all of the money in the bank, customers to their destination timely, and keep the stakeholders happy.
4- Finally, a summary of the results of some of our financial and operations audits of the past year. Discussing audit results always provides a great insight into the typical weaknesses found around the country and a measuring stick for going back to your operation to see if some of the same weaknesses exist.
Clyde Wilson, CEO of The Parking Network, can be reached at
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