A HEART FOR TECHNOLOGY
How Mayra Harley’s Passion Built SMC Software’s Centralized Reservations System
SmartLUIS® (which stands for Logical User Interface Software) is the backbone of SMC’s centralized reservations system, and Mayra Harley is its brainchild. After a career in the travel industry specializing in IT solutions, Mayra’s passion for becoming the architect of her own business consumed her every thought. Departing from her corporate IT position in 2003, she quickly set out to build something that in her mind was the perfect product for businesses to serve their customers through online reservations. By the end of that year, she had her answer; a product designed to seamlessly integrate with back-office software and payment management systems, offering a solution for maintaining rates, controlling inventory and managing multiple marketing channels and partner relationships.
Formed as Smart Marketing Concepts in 2003, SMC Software, a subsidiary company established in 2009, is a business launched by Mayra and husband Mike Harley that has grown from a single client in 2010 to over 60 clients throughout North America. SMC’s client base includes airport and seaport authorities; off-airport parking operators; hotel and event management companies; and municipal and private urban parking garages. And the list of potential business partners does not stop there, as SMC soon begins expansion into several other industries with a newly formed sister company called RESERVEC.
A1 Express in Tampa, Florida, an off-site airport parking facility that has grown to an over $2 million per year business, was the first to implement SMC Software’s solutions.
“With many years in the business, we started at a time when technology was not central to our success,” explained Del Smith, owner of A1 Express. “As online reservations emerged, we quickly recognized the need for a system that would allow our customers an easy way to reserve their parking space, and for us to track that reservation, along with our inventory. This solution has enabled us to serve our customers with greater efficiency and convenience, and has changed the way we do business.”
SMC’s smartLUIS® solution provides parking business owners with control of the sales process, from revenue management to reservations activities, all under a single real-time transaction platform that is scalable and easy-to-use. Stand-alone facilities or multi-location businesses can manage reservations, set dynamic pricing, control inventory and even offer ancillary services under the smartLUIS® platform.
The system has recently been upgraded to accommodate multiple languages, including Spanish and French (and more languages to follow), complete with dynamic rate conversion within the platform, and SMC is now looking at global opportunities.
While SMC’s centralized reservations system is seamless from an operational and revenue management standpoint, what makes the product truly unique is the system’s integration with a complete arsenal of marketing tools and the ability to track results in real-time. Parking business owners can manage multiple marketing channels, including their website, mobile site, social media channels, vendor partners and even their customer email marketing database under the smartLUIS® platform. The integration of these tools soon helped Mayra to realize that another service component was needed to better assist their customers, and that’s how eMarketing247 evolved as another branch of the SMC business.
“We learned very quickly that our customers were not equipped to do marketing on their own, and those engaging with third party providers were not getting the level of service for what they were paying,” explained Mayra Harley. “We felt compelled to jump in and help them, but once we were done providing that support, they didn’t want us to stop. We decided at that point that we had to take care of our customers, because we wanted them to be successful, and that’s where the idea for eMarketing247 was born.”
“That’s the biggest thing for me,” Mayra continued.
As technology continues to boom, SMC has set its sights on continued with airport and seaport government entities. Mayra is currently in the final stages of applying for a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) designation, which she hopes will lead to more government contracts to develop custom products to assist the public sector with their specialized reservations needs.
Beyond the office, the Harleys have a passion for children and the spirit of giving. One dream that they are making a reality is the transformation of a 7,000 square foot home into a home for children in Mayra’s home country of Nicaragua.
Mayra hopes to enlist the support of other like-minded businesses to provide continued support to the church-run home, offering computers and technology training to children, and in particular, girls, to give them hope of an opportunity to become a professional and dream of moving on to big things, just as she has in her life, with a company borne out of a passion for technology and serving others.
Paula McDonald is with Image Suite PR. She can be reached at