What’s this all About — Systems 90% unused…


What’s this all About — Systems 90% unused…

I heard a story the other day about an assistant manager who had recently been transferred into a major garage run by a national operator. The deal was that this fellow had been working in a facility that had the same revenue control equipment as did his new garage. It was a perfect match.

His new manager asked him how he liked the equipment and was told that it was really never used at the old garage. Seems that the cashiers would simply turn in their reports each day and they would use those reports to transfer data to their managers up the line. The fancy-dancy revenue system, that had cost the owner hundreds of thousands, went unused, or used as a "gate popper" and nothing more.

This chap didn’t have a clue — the entire purpose of the RC equipment is to ensure that the cashiers have not dipped into the till.  You can’t do that if you don’t use the system and simply trust the cashiers to report what they want.  The excuse that "well, the numbers are always off on the system report" simply doesn’t cut it. If they are really off, then the system should be junked or fixed. However often they are off because the cashier makes them off.

There are many cases where auditors find reams of reports that obviously have been run but never read. Stacks of paper in the corner gathering dust.  This is, of course, the fault of everyone in the management ladder. No one is looking at the source documents. Plus, if for some reason, the reports from the system doesn’t readily provide the information needed by management (and I can’t believe that this is the case) then some ‘tweaking’ needs to be done to get the data.

To simply ignore the information or not use the features of a complex system, is malfeasance.

I’m not really surprised, however, as one company did a study and found that upwards of 90% of a system’s features go unused. Yes, ninety percent. All those reports, features, and "must haves" required by the operator, are simply not used. Could this be the problem in San Francisco commented on below?


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

2 Responses

  1. This is more common than you would think.
    The parking system I operate is worthless. I The company I work for can not justify the cost of having it replaced or worked on. It is less than 5 years old.

  2. Also remember how this affects the prices of the systems that are put in to many sites. Many operators and consultants are specifying systems that cost the end user thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands) of dollars more, yet the “required” features are never used. This is seen over and over again. It is imperative that the system provider is able to get to the end user of the system to discuss their needs, where they want their system to bring them, and how to best use their budget to accommodate those things. Also remember, with robust features comes more demand on the knowledge of the peopele operating it. High-end systems cannot be run/managed properly without skilled, reliable people. Last, remember that any desirable system on the market will be scalable – features can be added in the future, so don’t worry about cramming it all in up front.

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