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Change Operators, Find Some Problems


IMES CHANGE, and so do opera- tors. It’s a natural progression. You have an operator,

someone else comes by and offers a better deal; or you just go out to bid and someone else wins the bid. But then what happens?

It’s important that the new opera-

tor starts with a level playing field. They need to know that all bills are paid, that the inventory they sign for is really there. And, frankly, if there are any “off the books” deals working. It’s only fair. So, when the new operator comes

on board, you need to be certain that all the inventory (go-jacks, uniforms, computers, spare parts, desks, chairs, shuttle vans, and the like) is there and accounted for. If it isn’t, the departing operator may be responsible. It’s also important to check the

condition of the inventory. Inmost cas- es, I ask that a digital photo be taken of each piece when it first goes into inventory and then when the changeover occurs. That way you can check it when there is a changeover, and taking into consideration normal wear and tear, youwill knowhowmuch damage to assess, if any. Digital photos are inexpensive and easy to store, and every cell phone today has a camera on it anyway! Don’t expect your new operator to

be running a perfect opera- tion from the first day. There was a reason you changed. Records can get out of skew. In a recent turnover I super- vised, we did an e-mail blast and found that 20%of the e- mail addresses were incor- rect. We also found that 10% of the mailing addresses were wrong. Simple keying errors. I take some responsibility for this,

as I was the auditor for the location and should have realized there was a prob-


lem.One easyway to tell is to do amail- ing to all your customers (Merry Christ- mas, new policy, free day of parking or some other good PR). The post office will tell you right away if you have wrong addresses.

love it, and you will confirmtheir prop- er addresses. After all, don’t you want to notify

What is the acceptable number of uncollected tickets?

In the case of e-mail, it’s even easi-

er; do a bulk e-mail “blast.” I alsowould send out an e-newsletter monthly. Tell them about new repairs to the garage, spotlight an employee, give them some facts about the operation – they will


them with a receipt when you charge their credit cards for theirmonthly park- ing? Send them an e-mail to remind them their credit card is about to expire and send a notice about 40 days before the vehi- cle registration expires so they will remember to update their records in the parking office as well. So, I have a new policy.

At least once a year I supervise a mail- ing and an e-mail blast. You would be surprised how quickly you can fix data- entry errors that way. See, new systems do data entry and maintenance at the garage level,

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