At Least in Portland — Not only did parking and the controversy over whether to buy Cale or Parkeon in Portland hit the front pages of the Oregon Newspaper (the Oregonian) but also there were pithy quotes from yours truly. Hey the author even liked PT…Read it here:
I have often thought that having different vendors was not a bad idea. The Dutch do it at Schipol airport where Skidata and Scheidt and Bachmann have split the airport. The authorities there tell me they have wonderful service from both since each eventually wants the entire project. The inscrutable Dutch have said that neither have a chance.
It isn’t exactly the same in Portland. Parkeon got the first contract and put in 1200 or so machines. When Cale hired former Parkeon US head George Levey and decided to go after the US market, they knew they had to do something. So George negotiated a deal where he gave 70 machines to Portland. The city could try them out and then comment on them to whomever asked.
Pretty gutsy move, but George isn’t a shrinking violet. It seemed to work, at least a bit. Cale got a deal in Berkeley, is moving on Baltimore, and according to George, can’t keep up with the calls. As Marty Stein was quoted in the article — Smart Business Strategy, a winner for everyone involved.
I’m not sure Parkeon would agree, but they haven’t been hurting with deals in NYC, Seattle, Denver, Toronto, Chicago, New Orleans (well…) and many smaller communities around the country.
I think it would be a good plan for every city to have two vendors of like equipment. Put them on the line. Tell them that you will be going out for new business every year and the one that gives the best service and support will get a leg up. And mean it. My guess is that everyone will be a winner in that deal.
I’ve got my eye on Portland. Will keep you posted.
Oh yes, My quote from the Oregonian, for those of you who don’t subscribe:
"What’s that old saying, ‘Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM?’ " says John Van Horn, editor of Parking Today, an industry trade publication that is, despite what you might think, a fascinating read. "People tend to go with what another guy’s got. It’s safer that way."
Fascinating, isn’t it….