Guest Post by Stan Bochniak, Vice President, National Parking Sales, ABM Industries

As employees return to the office, building owners have an opportunity to make the experience safer and more convenient, while also improving the cost-effectiveness of their operations. The key is to implement technology upgrades that will help you gain better data transparency and make parking easier.

Implement Cloud-Based Revenue Control

You can start by leveraging a cloud-based revenue control system that enables you to digitize the parking experience. In addition to providing you with real-time data on how your garage is performing, the system can also support a completely cashless mobile payment system. Drivers can scan a QR code or text a phone number to pay for parking online. If they need validation, that can be delivered via QR code as well so your staff doesn’t have to fumble with stamps or stickers. A consumer-facing parking app adds further convenience, since customers only need to input their information once.

Going Cashless Cuts Costs

Making the switch to cashless payments can significantly reduce your operating costs. Cash usage was already trending downward before the pandemic, and concerns about the spread of infection caused it to decline dramatically. Maintaining a costly payment machine may not make financial sense anymore. A machine that accepts both cash and credit cards can typically cost between $35,000-$50,000 per unit, while a credit card-only machine costs between $15,000-20,000.

Instead, you can pay significantly less for signage directing guests to pay on their mobile phones. Signage doesn’t need electricity, requires much less maintenance, and doesn’t need to be kept compliant with Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards. There’s also no need for an onsite server, which can cost $10,000-20,000 to purchase and another $3,000-$5,000 for necessary updates.

Get Expertise If You Need It

As you evaluate your options, you may want to consider engaging an external parking expert. From choosing the right technology suite to implementing the right communication tactics, each decision can have a significant impact on the bottom line. With the right combination of partners, tools, and strategies, you can drive higher levels of customer satisfaction while reducing your operating costs.

Stan Bochniak is Vice President, National Parking Sales, at ABM Industries