Supporting the Facilities Management Industry

Clearly, well-managed sites and buildings enable organisations of all sizes to function at their most efficient level. However, with an ever-increasing range of services which reside under the Facilities Management (FM) remit, how can effective parking management help Facilities Managers, Service Managers and Estates personnel create better environments? A recent article published by Corrigo Inc shared the findings from a survey of the Top Facilities Management Challenges conducted with over 1,200 organisations. Here, we discuss their association with car park management solutions.

Supplier Management: Allocating work to the right providers

Alongside the obvious aspects such as consolidating suppliers into fewer, more trusted providers and enjoying outsourced support which can be flexed up and down as required, great parking solution providers who demonstrate a fundamental, deep-rooted focus on quality across every tiny step in the customer journey can really transform the way you work. This may be in the extra time spent on signage wording to ensure car park terms are easily understood by users, clear instructions which direct people toward mobile terminals to claim their exemption/s or ensuring modern-day payment choice with great usability to minimise any frustration. Only this level of detail can give users the very best customer experience and offer the facilities team a highly efficient operation (free-flow ideally), responsive SLAs and minimal complaints.

To read our full guide to choosing the perfect car park management provider, simply get in touch.

Certainty: Making changes without having enough reliable data

Approximately 30% of survey respondents considered the capturing of reliable data as one of the top two pressing needs in their organizations. Traditionally, this may have been as simple as ‘car counting’ to understand footfall, occupancy and duration but the development of next-generation Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) has allowed much more sophisticated data capture and performance monitoring.

Don’t underestimate the value in being able to analyse multiple data points in real-time and translate ‘big-data’ (from cameras, payment machines and so forth) into accurate, actionable insights which can really improve the way you work as a facilities team. It’s this ‘big-data’ which resides at the heart of new initiatives like smart-cities but shrewd businesses can embrace this technology to support their service delivery, maybe rolling out real-time space locators, fully automated booking/payment (via ANPR), management of electric vehicle charging points (EVCP), subscription-based parking apps and so on.

Other data which could be used to understand performance and drive change may include repeat visit analysis, heat maps of popular times/dates, capacity & utilisation, month-on-month/day-on-day/year-on-year performance comparisons, stay duration analysis, sector performance benchmarks and so on…

Efficiency: Getting more work done with fewer resources

Any car park management solution which offers super-slick back-office systems, a responsive service and can demonstrate a keen focus on optimising technology will give you and your team serious time back. Here are some specifics to consider…

  • Switch to ANPR technology: Legacy barriers can cause real headaches, from backlogs at the gate and customer complaints to time spent arranging maintenance or sorting repairs. ANPR technology can be used as a blended solution with your barriers or as a replacement. Robust ANPR solutions should run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year with very little management from internal teams.
  • Camera accuracy: The more your provider gets things right first time, the less time spent asking for cancellations and managing customer complaints.
  • Paperless: Digitised payment and permit systems rather than solutions which rely on physical ticketing are not just more environmentally friendly but save time in manual handling, issuing and replacement documentation. It also supports a more data-led approach to help alleviate the previous challenge of interrogating data points to understand user behaviour.
  • Pro-activity: Work with a provider who’ll proactively monitor both your equipment and the live data feed, with the capability to respond quickly in the event that something isn’t as it should be. This level of support will allow facilities teams to focus in other core areas.

Driving value: Finding ways to extend the life of existing assets

Car parks are often overlooked as an asset with serious potential to generate margin rich revenue. Even if a site isn’t being abused by unauthorised users, your premises may be used by motorists outside of hours without you even knowing (offices after 6pm or restaurants during the day for instance). ANPR cameras can give you a clear picture of who is using your car park, occupancy levels and behavioural information.

Let’s take The Olympic Velodrome as an example. The much-loved East London venue offers a host of activities but saw a steady increase in parking contention in 2016 which didn’t quite stack up to actual user numbers, with many sessions not running at full capacity. The lack of available parking for genuine customers was due to local residents and shoppers to The Westfield Centre taking up spaces without visiting the Velodrome. This throttled potential revenue for the site and hit visitor numbers as customers became frustrated. Today, satisfaction levels are up due to the fairer payment system using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and next-generation Pay & Display machines, with the Velodrome now able to reinvest generated revenue into special causes, maintain the site better (resurfacing, lighting and so on) and support their busy on-site facilities team more effectively.

For those facilities teams who are seeing operational budgets squeezed and capital expenditure cut, there is a temptation to hold onto existing equipment but don’t rule out a re-think of how your car park operates. In most cases, we can install ANPR technology free-of-charge. Sound too good to be true? Get in touch to find out how it could work for your business.