Do Legacy Parking Suppliers Exist any more?


Do Legacy Parking Suppliers Exist any more?

I was checking out and noticed that virtually all the companies mentioned were new, hot off the press, app companies. There was no mention of the legacy companies that built this industry. Skidata, Scheidt and Bachmann, Amano McGann, Tiba, Designa, Hub with Zeag and Datapark.  Its like they are nonexistent.

I spoke to our Parknews Editor, Astrid, and asked her about the phenomena. She says that she posts every story she finds on the ‘net and those she receives directly from companies. Those companies appear to hide their light under a bushel. The new app companies, she laughed, notify her and publish when they flip a light switch in the morning.

I know for a fact that these companies are successful. They are selling and from what I could see at the NPA show, they are creating new products to sell. So why don’t they promote their activities?

When asked this question, the CEO of one of the companies listed above said “should we really mention when we install a new system?”  I was stunned. Why wouldn’t you ‘mention’ a successful installation of your product?  Particularly if the ‘mention’ is free.

If you check where its not free, the Dutch based Parking Network, only one of the companies listed above has news promoted since June 1. And all of them paid beaucoup bucks to be noted on the site. Does this make any sense at all?

One of the companies that has been struggling in the past few years in the US market, has had some good success in the past year. I saw a map of installations, including a major airport, in their booth at the NPA. I walked over to their president and asked why we didn’t know about all this.  He said “I’ve just been too busy.”

Too busy to fire off an email with a current list of successes? To busy to promote his company particularly when they have not had a greatest success in the past? To busy to assign someone in the office the job of contacting the media (that’s me) when something happens (new dealer, new sales person, new office address, new 60 lane airport installation etc etc etc).

I think the issue is that most CEOs work their way up through the sales or engineering ranks. Their focus is sales, or its design. They forget one player in their company’s future success. Marketing.

Marketing is building brand awareness. Its getting the company name in front of potential customers. Its creating a brand so when people describe a product, they use your name (Coke, Frigidaire, Ipad, Xerox, Fedex) How many people say they are going to “Fedex something” even though they are going to use United Parcel Service?  That comes from all encompassing, never ending, kickass marketing.

I understand that niche market suppliers like those listed above don’t have the multimillion dollar budgets that Coca Cola, Xerox and Fedex do, but there are resources available that don’t break the bank.

When I took over the Fillmore Herald from my father, the owner of a local clothing store came into my office and said “I don’t ever want to see an issue of the Herald that doesn’t have my store’s name in it.” He said he would make sure he did his part, but if he slipped up, it was my responsibility to get it done. He had basically shanghaied me to become his marketing department, and I was happy to do it.

And Parking Today Media is happy to do it for you. But you have to take the initiative and contact me first.  You must show some interest.  Call us, talk over what you want to do, and I’ll put you on my call list to contact you every month and find out what is happening with your company. Show some interest, we will do the rest.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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