It’s a Destination, Not a Journey
By Thomas Wunk I read somewhere that “Life is a journey to be enjoyed and cherished, not a destination to be sought.” Sounds kind of
Zen-like, and it’s certainly not applicable if you are considering implementing a revenue control system. If purchasing a new revenue control system is your
journey, the destination is all important. All intermediate steps should have this single underlying theme. The fol- lowing reflects a basic linear methodology that may assist in providing focus for your organization.
a. Create your team.
You’ve decided to consider implementing a new revenue control system. The first step is to examine your organiza- tion and select key individuals who will be affected by any decision relating to system implementation.
art with a clean slate.
This is an important yet difficult process component, especially if you are replacing an existing system. You and your team must cleanse your minds as to all legacy processes, practices and policies developed as a result of existing conditions and equipment.
c. List known and anticipated operational needs.
Identify all the potential parking situations and condi- tions you need to address. A sample list may look like the following:
(card-holders) Hotel Guests
Pay-on-Foot Machines Web Status Posting New External Signage New Building Network
Transient Patrons Special Events Valet
(no lane cashiering) Credit Card Processing VIP Card Program Intercom Distribution
New Lane Design In-House Staffing
Demographic Tracking CCTV to Security
eate a list of performance goals. Using the list created in step c., note specifics associat- ed with each known and anticipated operational need. For example:
Contract Patrons: • Access to all lanes.
• Multiple access levels.
• Credential – proximity cards, • Online enrollment. shared with building security. • Credit card payment.
• Automated billing process • Carpool capable. with automated shut-off.
• Access to all lanes except •Rate Structures. lower-level employee lane. •Payment process.
• Ticket type – mag-stripe. •Payment locations. • Signage.
16 •Exception Transactions • Exception transactions.
e. Determine the operational capabilities of your staff. This can be a challenging step. You have created a list of operational goals based on your known and anticipated business needs. You have created, based on those needs, performance criteria. You now need to objectively deter- mine if your staff is capable of administering a system in a satisfactory manner to acquire the level of perform- ance sought.
f. Determine your operation’s technical capabilities.
The following are but a few “technical” situations that have to be addressed in the administration and servicing of a parking and revenue control system.
Tier 1 diagnostics CPU level resets Software patching PM processes
Gate arm replacement
Print head replacement Firmware installation Software updates
Loop detector resets
Circuit board replacement Board level resets
Hardware replacement Network resets
Exception transaction review In your objective staff analysis, you need to determine if your staff is sufficient in number and skill set to address the technical issues that will come up.
sit similar business-model sites. Take the time to reach out to your industry peers and “interview” those who have an operation that closely matches the intentions you have outlined in step c. This process can yield important and salient results. 1. You can access empirical information regarding the effectiveness of processes and procedures used by oth- ers to address the business model you are intending.
2. You can review the staffing level and staffing skill sets required to administer those business practices.
3. You can extract “lessons learned” information from your industry peers.
4. You can observe the business practices from the per- spective of the parking patrons.
5. You can examine the technical solution imparted to each client.
rform a Request for Information (RFI) / Request for Qualifications (RFQ). At this point in the process, you have assembled enough performance information to create an outline that you can distribute to potential system vendors / suppliers. The responses from them should include performance descriptions of the modules described in the RFI / RFQ and associated budget pricing. The goal in this process is to determine which vendors can address the perform- ance requirements you have identified and to determine a project cost profile.
Parking Today www.parkingtoday.com
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