IntegraPark – 10 Years of Bringing Quality Software to the Parking Industry
“We came from the parking business, we saw a need and we filled it.” That’s Ruth Beaman, CEO of IntegraPark, talking about her company’s decade of service to the parking industry.
Beaman and her partner, Kyle Cashion, sat with Parking Today to discuss their company and its impact on them and their industry. The parking accounting software manufacturer is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
“Ten years ago, parking companies were doing reports on [Microsoft] Excel spreadsheets or, more often, on manual forms. It was a real problem,” Beaman said. “We both came from the largest parking company in the country and knew the struggle that managers had in providing reports their customers needed.”
“Having real-time supervision is extremely difficult, no matter whether your company is large or small,” added Cashion. “It may take 30 or 45 days for a garage’s report to reach an auditor at the company’s headquarters. An error may be caught, but by then it’s too late.”
Beaman was an accounting manager at Central Parking as well as working with the corporate office team for acquisitions and mergers. Cashion was lured to Central in 1990 to head its IT department, where he put his MBA from Vanderbilt to good use. The two believed they could design a system that would solve many of the problems confronting parking companies, large and small. Thus IntegraPark.
Generic accounts receivable systems weren’t able to manage thousands of parkers, and it became obvious that a system to do so was needed. The parker accounts receivable information system (PARIS) was born.
“Our system was unique,” said Beaman. “There was no computerized system that would track monthly cards, create the kind of reports clients wanted, and allow a central office to monitor multiple parking locations.
“Some companies installed PARIS in home offices to control their monthly accounts from one location; others put the system in garages so the staff understood what was happening garage to garage. They wanted to have positive results.”
PARIS interfaces with the card access systems of most major revenue control manufacturers. It assumes the on/off function of the system and tells it when to activate or deactivate a card based on rules that have been set by the garage manager.
“Basically,” said Cashion, “the system takes parkers who haven’t paid their parking fees by a certain date and turns them into daily parkers, requiring that if they want to park, they pull a ticket and pay the daily rate. When their card doesn’t work, they come into the office and deal with their payment issues.”
The software allows managers to invoice their customers individually or by tenant account, and to create reports on all aspects of their monthly card operation. The reports can be designed to fit the needs of the operator or the client, and card data can be monitored at all levels of an operator’s management structure.
IntegraPark is Beaman and Cashion. She handles marketing and training, while he provides technical and software support. “We produce no hardware,” Cashion said. “Our software is available to potential customers for trials. When we offer trials, we seldom don’t make a sale.”
The company’s other product, Geneva, handles the daily side of parking operations. “Why did we name it Geneva? Well, we had PARIS and frankly couldn’t come up with another acronym, so we went with another European capital.
“Geneva monitors the revenue control systems in the garages and provides statistical data to managers both at the local and higher levels. It knows what the revenue control system reports as the cash collected during the day and compares it with the amount that was deposited in the bank. If there is a discrepancy, it’s reported immediately.
“The system uses ticket-issued data, cashier reports and statistical information to automatically produce reports, such as the ticket summary with its lost-ticket analysis; the daily statistics report; and the revenue summary, which the staff most likely are having to produce with spreadsheets.
“Geneva can post the revenue information, plus bank deposits, directly to your general ledger. It also helps reconcile bank accounts, calculates parking revenue budgets, and makes eye-catching charts for client presentations with the click of a button. The system’s functions also include customer-violation tracking, bad check tracking and parking rate projection analysis.”
Cashion creates software and support systems from his offices in Nashville. Beaman, when she isn’t on an airplane heading to one of the company’s nearly 6,000 installations, works from her headquarters in Houston.
Looking forward, the duo says they will continue to improve the company’s products, expand its customer base and integrate its applications with even more equipment manufacturers.
Personally, the two agree that each is blessed with having not only a great partner, but also in making friends all across the U.S. and Canada.
John Van Horn is Founder, Publisher and Editor of Parking Today magazine.