See if you can follow this — The city of Davenport has lost track of the leases for parking spaces in its parking facilities. It seems that the city is using a bit of software formerly used to track Sewer Bills to track its parking leases. So it is unable to understand just how many leased spaces it has, nor how much money it should be collecting. HUH. Read about it here.
I shake my head. Let’s see — they don’t know how many people are parking in the garage, don’t know who has permits, don’t know how much money they should be collecting, but they do have a card access system and are billing some people for parking and are collecting some money. Sound like a well oiled machine to me.
Perhaps the parking manager for the city, Tom Flaherty, should read his copy of PT more carefully each month. In practically every issue, our friendly hound PT the Auditor, holds forth on tracking monthly parkers and the fact that the majority of money lost in garages is typically through monthly parking problems.
OK Tom, I checked with "PT" and here’s what to do.
First, make sure the card system is working properly. Fix all card readers and gates. Then…
1. Turn off all cards in the system.
2. Have everyone take a ticket for a day or so.
3. Stand at the entry and collect the names and addresses of everyone who tries to use their card to get in.
4. Tell them that if they have paid and you have a record of that payment, their card will be turned on that evening when they leave. IF they know they haven’t paid, tell them to report to the garage office and pay or they won’t be able to get out without paying the full daily rate.
5. Check the records you do have and turn on the ones that show they have paid and make those records correct (you can do this on a series of 3×5 cards).
My guess is that you will have a completely clean file after two days of a bit of chaos. You will probably upset a few people, but if you notify them along about the 20th of the month (hand out a flier to everyone coming in the garage and tell them what you are going to do. ) Give them the chance to come in and pay for their permit. Tell them they must pay in the office, and have someone from somewhere else, NOT THAT GARAGE, present during this switchover to collect the money. Maybe someone from the city clerks or finance office.
You might run an ad for a new garage manager for each garage so you can have a group of replacements ready. You may have some turnover.
Tell your boss what you are doing and that he may get some phone calls, but in a month you will have the monthlies under control and that you will keep them under control.
Then go, every month, and run a card list and personally compare it with those who have paid. If there are any turned on that haven’t paid, fire someone.
My guess, your revenue will jump off the charts. Tell your boss that you are fixing the problem.
Your biggest issue will be how to explain the increase in revenue. You might want to have a walk on the beach with the boss to ensure he or she knows what you are doing and what is probably going to happen.
Remember, there have been problems but you can solve them. Its better to fix them now than continue to let them happen.