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can manage the staffing levels more easily; bring in additional staff during peak operations, special events, and vacation time.

Ease of replacement of the bad apples As with the case above, replacing operation staff can be han-

dled immediately if needed, if the RFP contains the correct lan- guage. Finding the right staff members for our locations from the pool of employees is a more ideal situation.

Costs Savings In many cases, utilizing a contractor to run your operation

can save money in the long run. These savings may be in the form of labor costs and benefits savings. Unfortunately, the recent eco- nomic conditions are causing many public entities to review their current benefit packages offered to their staff. At UMB we have minimums the contractor must pay regarding wages and benefits. Additional savings may come, but not necessarily, from the

savings in expenses such as insurance, uniforms, cleaning servic- es, etc.

Accountability With a properly written RFP, contractors can be held respon-

sible in areas regarding the accountability and collection of rev- enues. They may also be held responsible for levels of customer service, maintenance schedules and other information needed by the client (i.e. overnight car inventory reports, garage tours, lamp outage reports, etc.). In an effort to keep this article (somewhat) brief, I have only

touched the surface in each of the categories a contractor may be a favorable choice to run your parking operation. In hind-

PT The KIN The KI G NG of TRAFF IC SPIKES! (Formerly Cobra II) • Counter Balance Technology – teeth always return to upright position

• Top Down Build Design – easiest cleaning lowest maintenance in the industry

• Exclusive Curved Tooth Design – will not chip tires • Fish Hook Barb – rips tires with wrong entry • Extreme Vehicle Weights Wanted • Latch Down Included • Limited 2 Year Warranty


sight I realize each area mentioned above could be its own stand-alone article. I believe to get the best benefit from having a contractor run

your parking operation is to form of a strong partnership to ensure your operation’s success. In the case of UMB, our partner- ship takes many forms; beginning each day at a 9:00am “What’s Happening Meeting” where our contractor’s resident manager and our department managers discuss all the current issues and plan the coming day’s activities and responsibilities. This is the main reason our contractor is never “thrown

under the bus,” because we outline responsibilities to minimize failure; we believe if anyone fails the customer will ultimately be the one to suffer. The University and our contractor also hold joint manager

lunch training meetings where not only new topics are covered, but each lunch concludes with a walking tour of garages includ- ing both the contractor’s Vice President and myself, the Director of Parking and Transportation Services. What better training method for the lower management than the two Top Dogs, so to speak, providing insight on expectations and shared experiences to those newer to the parking industry. While there may be many reasons and advantages for hav-

ing a contractor run your parking operation, in the end, the part- nership is what must last the term of the contract.

Robert Milner, MS, CAPP is the current Director of Parking and Transportation Services at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. He can be reached at

1-800-866-9115 ©2011, Guardian Traffic Systems. All rights reserved. Parking Today 35

1167.100InGround 1236.100SurfaceMount

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