Audit Your Monthly Parking To Help Cut Costs, Drive Revenue, and Boost Recovery
Recovery is the word on everybody’s mind, and operators are learning on the go as the industry continues its course toward recovering 52% of its pre-pandemic revenue levels by the end of 2021. People have changed their attitudes about transit and parking, and historical revenue models need to change with them. And, no other model is as affected by this major shift as much as monthly parking. That’s why it’s imperative for monthly parking operators to exhibit smart parking management to take advantage of trends, stay relevant, and more importantly, drive revenue.
Smart monthly parking systems can actually help cut costs and boost recovery. We’re in the mobility hub era of parking, and the right monthly parking strategy can keep customers happy while ideally building a sense of loyalty, as well as options for additional services. FLASH A/R, which was built with Parkit’s monthly software, is a complete cloud-based solution that increases efficiency and automation.
Below, we explain how to audit your own monthly parking process to ensure you’re gaining revenue and eliminating outdated or wasteful practices.
But First, the Elephant in the Lot: Flex Work
Arguably, the biggest factor affecting monthly parking revenue is the shift toward a flex work culture. According to the recent Road To Recovery Index from EY, NPA, and FLASH, 57% of respondents indicated that flexibility in where they work is extremely important, with an additional 31% attributing it as of medium importance. In other words, most employees will either ask or expect a flexible remote work arrangement.
That changes how you approach monthly parking—and if it is even, in fact, monthly anymore. A good parking system will be able to adjust to the needs of your customers. Operators who understand these shifts and the necessity for technology that accommodates are the gatekeepers of flexible work.
Auditing Your Monthly or Recurring Parking
Your recurring parking can still be a strong backbone of your business and can be a major revenue driver. However, if you’re running systems that rely on manual payment processing or independent instances across your multiple assets, it’s time to determine how you can save money and streamline operations. Your audit can be broken down into the following categories: access, payments and processing, and data and reporting. Read below to check how your systems match up with the optimal setup.
Access includes everything to do with the ease of entry for recurring or new customers. If your systems are intuitive, parking will become a non-issue for your visitors.
Is a hassle for most people, as they’d rather not wait too long. Your system should provide the means for customers to manage their parking easily. FLASH A/R offers an online parker portal that allows people to self-service without even needing to contact the operator. This eliminates paper applications that end up lost. Ultimately, this helps you make more money by making the signup process easy.
Determines how long your customers have to wait or how many items/people they must interact with. Ideally, your monthly parking systems are backed by a PARCS system that utilizes contactless entry, such as the one offered by FLASH. Customers need only an RFID tag or license plate for license plate recognition (LPR) to enter after booking on the online self-service portal prior.
Payments and Processing
How you accept payments and process parkers through the system plays a large role in how much you’re spending on your operation. With a system that focuses on automation and ease, you can save money and encourage new customers.
Give parkers a better incentive to choose you. From a backend perspective, it can also cut payment processing costs. Ensure that your systems are equipped for customer preferences. As an example, FLASH A/R allows parkers to choose an Automated Clearing House (ACH) option, which eliminates credit card processing fees for you. Automated Clearing House payments are made from bank-to-bank, as opposed to going through credit companies. PCI compliance issues are also more easily circumvented because we also allow parkers to enter their own payment info, which takes the PCI compliance burden off you.
Is a feature that allows you to get a regular stream of revenue while positioning parking more as a utility in the customer’s mind. A modern system should allow parkers to opt-in for autopay themselves. Not having this option in your asset means that you’ll have to push customers for payments manually and run the risk of making them think twice.
Has made its way into parking. In the case of online software, it can help answer customer concerns, so you don’t have to interact directly. The newest software features AI bots that can troubleshoot concerns and answer questions like, “How do I pay my invoice?”
Equals less time required for admin and staff to service customers directly, dramatically saving costs. Operators can also put an end to manual applications and monthly maintenance and let an automated system run invoices for them.
Is the ability for anyone to manage their own services without the need for staff. For groups, in particular, it’s important for group admins to add or remove parkers easily, which can impact how regularly they add in new customers. If your systems are manual or require a paper application, it’s more likely they’ll be seen as a hassle. Systems like FLASH A/R allow groups and individuals to manage their accounts digitally.
Is a burden for any operator, but going through a tedious manual process of sifting through unclean records will make it even worse. Consider modern systems where unpaid invoices are automatically sent regularly and customer access is terminated automatically until their outstanding balance is cleared.
Data and Reporting
So, you have all of these wonderful new capabilities and automated efficiencies—now what? Here’s where data and learning come into play. These new capabilities allow you better access to information that can uncover revenue and create better customer experiences.
Are essential to having a snapshot of your performance. If you’re not using an accounting system that adequately tracks every receivable or payment, you might not have the clearest information on your daily, weekly, or monthly revenue. This is true for auditing purposes, as systems like FLASH A/R can record employee actions for accountability and includes accounting controls that can ensure best practices are followed.
Isn’t just a pipe dream. When you have multiple assets, it can be difficult accumulating all the data in one place to make decisions across the board. Advanced monthly parking systems can do this for you and integrate with PARCS. If you find you have to aggregate and chase information from different locations, you’d do well to have a system that can control it all from one place.
At any given moment is crucial to uncovering new sources of revenue and making use of underutilized space. FLASH A/R is a monthly management system that can also use data to tell you what your utilization looks like so you can introduce new services or capabilities to your customers. It’s especially useful if you have multiple locations with monthly parkers and need a clear picture of just how much free space you have.
How does your monthly parking program compare to the setup described above? Run a system-wide check to determine where you can introduce more efficiencies so you can cut costs and introduce new revenue, and be sure to reach out to us at FLASH to help get you on the right path with a consultation.
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