At a Parking Industry trade show last year our team listened to a panel of pundits discuss the major trends impacting parking today. We heard about license plate recognition, tracking sensors, gateless access/egress, cashless operations, data analytics and more. If you distill all this down, it seemed to be all about technology. That is a wonderful thing as our firm is a technology innovator.
But as we walked the show, we began to see it in another light. The revolution is parking is being driven by parker/end user behavior change. In other words, technology is enabling how parking customers find, buy and utilize parking options. Given the need for parking operators to provide what consumers want, and still make a profit, this requires a fine balancing act between capital investment, operating expense and service delivery.
A younger segment of the population is leading this radical change in parking behavior:
- In the 2010 Census, the number of people under age 18 was 74.2 million (24.0 percent of the total population). The younger working-age population, ages 18 to 44, represented 112.8 million persons (36.5 percent). The older working-age population, ages 45 to 64, made up 81.5 million persons (26.4 percent). [census.gov]
This segment is comprised of technology savvy users that grew up with mobile and internet resources. Having known only a Digital landscape, their expectations are that technology will continue to make their lives easier and more convenient. This translates to parking in their preferred channels – web based mobile applications to book prepaid reservations.
Our parking management software has always been on the forefront of innovation, and as one of the first plug-and-play applications, we did well with operators who wanted to access prepaid but also integrate with their existing Payment Access and Revenue Control Systems (PARCS) and payment installations. This innovation, coupled with our partnerships with leading PARCS, payment gateways, POS and other third-party solutions, has made us the parking software of choice.
But by 2018 we were seeing the growing demand for all things mobile and the increasing needs of operators to better serve customers in everything from billing/charge flexibility to mobile app account and loyalty management. We realized the need to push development into the realm of customer service, which shifted our vision and our business direction.
Launching Space Genius in July of this year realized this fresh vision, with a whole new operating dashboard, a robust mobile app, automated API data capability and yield management. All of this enables our parking operators to better meet the demands of end users in terms of parking options available, account management from any device, best price capability and improvements to operational efficiency.
Space Genius is customer focused and allows our operators to compete on an equal footing with the mobile app and online aggregators, who can charge operators anywhere from 15-30% of gross revenue. With Space Genius, operators can choose demand channels based on cost of sale, available inventory and customer preference.
It is a new day in parking management software and Space Genius leads the way to more customer satisfaction and increased operator profits.