Why you should care about parking management
In short: it could save time, and money, be a source of revenue, and majorly improve the security of fleet vehicles and facilities.
Many corporations provide parking for employees, visitors, and fleet vehicles on facilities adjacent to their offices. The use of this land is sometimes shared with other companies. Management of it could be the responsibility of the building landlord, a lead corporation in the facility, or a facilities management company. Whichever way, car parking is a contentious issue and one that fleet managers may need to be involved in, particularly as the world moves towards electrification of transport, and facilities must now offer charging points.
Unmanaged parking is an open invitation for chaos
The global pandemic lockdowns of 2020/21 were probably the first time in a long time that corporate car parking real estate stood empty for long periods. The COVID chapter has since heralded new ways of operating, working from home, for example, or hybrid working (partly at home and partly in the office). During COVID, although road traffic decreased significantly across Europe, parking moved from offices to residential areas as more people worked from home.
If car parking space is not managed smartly, all sorts of problems can ensue:
- Unauthorised parking.
- Congestion and queues at entry and exit.
- Cars getting blocked in.
- Cars being damaged by careless drivers.
- Inability to track vehicle owners in the event of an incident where they need to be located quickly.
- Frustration and lateness among employees and visitors unable to find a parking space.
- Access for emergency vehicles can be blocked.
The financial cost of unmanaged parking
The financial cost to corporations should not be overlooked. Employees driving around looking for a parking space are not being productive. Compounded over time, this could equate to a significant amount of lost productivity. It could also come in the form of lost business. A surefire way to damage the relationship with a potential client in the early days is to annoy or cause frustration. This will happen if you invite them to your premises and they can’t find a parking space.
So, a parking management system is the answer. This allows corporations, landlords, or facility management companies to organise, manage and control parking activities. This is a software and app-based system that helps to streamline the entire parking process and uses automated and contactless technology to enable employees to book and assign designated parking spaces for themselves and visitors. It integrates with video surveillance and image capture systems to monitor the comings and goings of all vehicles visiting the facility.
Parking management increases security
Using the software, parking system administrators can set and enforce parking rules: who gets assigned a parking spot, which car registrations are recognised as authorised, and issuing passes for frequent visitors. In terms of security, the system also allows you to log all registrations of vehicles that have entered and exited the site.
There are other advantages of parking management systems for fleets, which include:
- Time-saving - automation, app-based booking, and contactless payments all help save time for car park operators and drivers in registering their vehicles, booking and paying for spaces, and entering and exiting quickly.
- Safety and security - many parking management systems can automatically assign designated parking spots, which helps improve safety. They also offer surveillance and keep a log of all vehicles that enter the facility. Some systems deliver alerts and warnings about suspicious activity within the car park, which helps to prevent theft and vandalism. Some systems can also put out audible warnings to potential thieves and vandals.
- Cost savings - cuts down on the need for manual security and minimises paperwork.
- Reporting and analytics - a parking management software system can help with facility monitoring and reporting statistical data such as which vehicles entered, and the average time they spent in the facility. Facility managers or fleet managers have a real-time overview of parking facilities.
- Flexibility - software systems such as these can be easily adjusted when required, which means new rules can be applied anytime. Spaces can be added or removed instantly (if several spaces need to be reserved, for example, or work is carried out on the facility in the area of several spaces). Spaces can be given different time limits; those closest to the facility are limited to half an hour, for example, whereas those further away could be 2hrs, and further still all day.
- Revenue stream - if you own a facility, it may be possible to generate revenue from opening up part of your parking facilities to paying customers. Parking management systems support a number of payment options (contactless, credit or debit cards, mobile wallets). This makes managing the system and paying for parking by customers convenient, quick, easy, and post-COVID friendly.
For fleet managers, parking management systems can be integrated with fleet equipment management systems, like Fleetio, to help track and monitor the use and whereabouts of small fleet equipment and power tools. This is all about controlling and managing assets, whether fleet vehicles, tools, or facilities.
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