Successful PARCS Operations Start with the Right Questions
Organizations looking to implement a new PARCS (parking access and revenue control system) solution or improve their current PARCS operation usually have a long list of wants and needs. In order to be successful, they have to start with the right questions.
How can I quickly deliver ROI and improve my end-user experience? What integrations and data accessibility will I need to be successful? How can I ensure my operation is future-proof?
The answers to these questions will provide the blueprint you can take to your chosen industry partner and begin building a solution that works for
Before beginning your solution design, conduct staff and stakeholder interviews.
Delivering ROI User Experience
A successful PARCS operation delivers ROI quickly and maximizes available resources to drive revenue and improve your customer experience.
Before beginning your solution design, conduct staff and stakeholder interviews—specifically the operational team, as well as the internal and external stakeholders that interface with your current solution. The stakeholder list should include key departments from day one.
Parking, Security, Marketing, Information Technology Services, Facilities, and Maintenance will all have an impact or be affected by your new parking solution. Be sure you understand what these key stakeholders expect to get out of your solution and communicate your findings back to them.
“Defining the customer experience expectation is fundamental to gaining stakeholder consensus.” – Dave Tilley, T2 VP of Channel Operations.
Determine if any infrastructure work will be needed—including electrical, networking, and civil work. This will enable your new solution to use the latest industry standards and improve the overall look and stability of your customer parking experience.
Review your overall operational processes and determine where improvements can be made. Look for labor intensive work that developed over the years due to the inabilities of the current system.
Priorities will vary based on the profile of your organization. For example, a university is far more concerned with providing a positive customer experience for its visitors and students than small incremental gains in annual revenue. Whereas a commercial parking operation will be focused on enhanced system efficiencies, ease of use, responsive technical support, and enhanced data analytics to improve business processes.
Integrations and Data
An effective PARCS solution must offer options for fast and easy third-party integrations, as well enterprise reporting capabilities that can easily prove ROI and provide insight into process improvements.
The way your data is stored and managed is important. PARCS solutions provide different options from traditional on-premise, to hosted or cloud-based software services. The right fit for you will depend on the number, size, and location of the operation’s parking garages—however a hosted solution will put less pressure on IT resources and reduce your PCI compliance concerns.
Understanding your organization’s physical requirements, data infra-structure, and communication connectivity will be key to success.
Thinking into the Future
If your PARCS solution is over three years old, you’ve likely experienced staff turnover, regression to manual processes, and loss of tribal knowledge.
Take this time to evaluate the possible integration of new technology, audit current manual steps to your business processes, and eliminate reporting on information you don’t use or need. Evaluate your current vs. future-state desires against the maturity of the current operations and your ability to manage changes.
“Be specific—know your operation, its areas of improvement, as well as what works—then create business use cases that define your solution requirements. The resulting analysis will provide a big picture, serving as a current operational playbook as well as a realistic future-planning baseline.” – Zack Harmeyer, T2 VP of Professional Services.
Designing a PARCS solution is a complicated process, and assistance from an experienced parking professional can accelerate the timeline and improve the likelihood of success. Focus on solutions that will grow with your organization—this is your opportunity to embrace change and maximize your investment through automation.
The right partner can guide you through this process and provide recommendations that will keep your organization ahead of the curve for
the long haul.
James Fedor, T2 Director of PARCS Product Management. He can be reached at James.Fedor@t2systems.com.