Had lunch the other day with a couple of folks from the automated parking industry. You probably don’t know them, they aren’t players, yet. I felt guilty when the check came and picked up the tab, although I had been invited by them.
I spend the mean yelling at them about the problems in their industry.
Almost weekly I hear about a new deal that is "coming down" using automated parking. And of course, it doesn’t come to fruition. There are, as of this writing, two, count em TWO successful projects in the entire country vor 15 years of work.
If you ask the reps of manufacturers, the fault lies with the owners, consultants, operators, and architects. Baloney. The fault lies with the industry. They simply don’t know how to sell these mechanical marvels.
The approach they take, and my luncheon partners took, was that the units are competitive, safe, secure, and popular. They need less maintenance, and really, REALLY are neat. That’s it….
Well, that ain’t going to hack it. The approach is to find applications where the ONLY thing that will work would be this technology. In the two places where its installed (Hoboken and a condo in DC), that’s what happened. Tiny foot print, need parking to proceed, automated was the solution.
In all other cases, the projects seem reasonable, but then simply stall out, fall out, or are argued out by competitive technologies (read that concrete).
No industry has been successful by being "repped" in North America. You need to have a presence, open an office, get full time people who can learn the market. Make a commitment.
There is no other way.