How to Run a Successful Parking Technology RFP


How to Run a Successful Parking Technology RFP

Editor’s note: This year, the Parking Industry Exhibition focuses on technology. Before you use it, you
have to buy it. The city of Sacramento’s Mike King has been tempered by his real-life experiences in this
area. He will be speaking on Technology Wednesday next month at PIE 2014.
The technology used for parking changes rapidly, and many parking operators find themselves acquiring replacements and upgrades more frequently than ever.
With my more than 10 years’ experience writing and responding to RFPs, including local government, I also have been responsible for more than $30 million in technology purchases in the last four years, including the acquisition of technology and services and vendor management for San Francisco’s award-winning SFpark.
Some purchases go well; some, not so much.
Technology purchases are unique, because they include esoteric knowledge and assumptions that might fit in some applications but not in others.
My presentation at PIE 2014 will offer
an overview of the procurement process, tailored to cutting-edge technology purchases for
parking operations.
Because the documented procurement procedure for any given jurisdiction or organization might fill several printed volumes, this presentation will be a high-level overview providing background and points to address during the process.
Parking technology procurement presents a unique predicament for the purchasing organizations in many jurisdictions and organizations, causing them to look to subject matter experts within operations to take a leading role in the acquisition.
This PIE session will discuss how to determine your objectives for the procurement and the
toughest challenges.
Various resources can assist you throughout the process, as well as a number of internal teams that should be consulted before decisions are finalized.
How do you ensure that you’ve accounted for the latest technology? Are there any integration points, and if so, what are they? Who needs to be involved in the process? What needs to be considered while developing the technical requirements?
How do you get vendor pricing in an easy-to-understand and easy-to-compare manner? Can you establish ways upfront to hold the vendor accountable when things don’t work to specification or failure to deliver?
My presentation will cover how to apply standard project methodology to procurement. In addition, you will learn the factors that can affect the type of solicitation, the documents to be prepared, interaction with potential bidders, and additional resources for help and advice.
You will take away an understanding of the necessary elements for a complete and comprehensive solicitation, including how to preserve your rights; what to require in bidders’ responses; ways to avoid surprises later; how to handle questions from bidders; and methods for publicizing the solicitation to a wide audience.
Included in the presentation will be guidelines on building a selection committee, scoring the proposals, and next steps once the selection is complete.
Join us for this session and learn the basics on managing successful parking technology procurement.

Mike King is Parking Technology and Infrastructure Manager for the city of Sacramento.
He can be reached at


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Mike King
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