Did you know that 22% of employees consider parking in the top 3 factors that influence working conditions?
That’s a lot!
And this puts a lot of pressure on parking management.
But technology can come to the rescue and help office and facility managers optimize the performance of company car parks.
Let’s see how.
How Parking Spots Booking Systems Help Out with Car Park Management and Optimization
A parking management system can offer several advantages to companies looking to optimize their parking facilities, such as:
- Efficient allocation of parking spots. Employees can reserve parking spaces in advance through a booking system. This will reduce the chance of overcrowding and wasting time in the car park in search for an empty spot.
- Improved parking space utilization. Most of the available software and apps have data analytics features that allow you to identify how the parking lot is being used. You can use the data to decide how to reorganize the car park to reduce overcrowding.
- Reduced traffic congestion. Often, employees would drive around the car park in search of an available parking spot. If the car park would use a booking system, such situations could be avoided completely, because the employees would have access to information about the availability of spots.
- Better employee experience. Parking lies at the end of the commute. Most of the time, commuting can be long and stressful. And if it ends with no available parking spots, then frustrations will rise accordingly.
- Reduced pollution. Optimized parking reduces vehicle circling and idling, leading to lower carbon emissions.
- Streamlined parking enforcement. With license plate recognition and permit verification, the system efficiently enforces parking regulations, preventing unauthorized parking, and ensuring fair space usage.
- Alleviate frictions for employees that want to work from the office, when working hybrid.
- Detailed analytics. Parking booking systems generate reports from collected data, facilitating informed decisions, and finding areas for improvement. You can use the data to decide how to reorganize the car park to reduce overcrowding.
By implementing a comprehensive parking management system, companies can maximize their parking facilities’ efficiency, improve the employee experience, increase revenue, and contribute to a more sustainable and organized urban environment.
Introducing a Parking Spots Booking System: Prerequisites
When you are evaluating whether to introduce or not a parking spots booking software to your tech stack, there are several things you need to involve the stakeholders in the conversation:
- Employees. You can talk to your employees and identify the problems they’re facing in the company car park. Get their feedback on the current parking policy. You can use an anonymous survey as the basis for a needs assessment.
- Management. You need to talk to involve the management in the conversation and get their input as well. Most of the time it is enough to tell them it is cheaper to introduce a parking spot booking app, instead of renting out new parking spaces.
- HR team. By using parking spot booking software, and understanding the employee preferences, HR can make informed decisions about how to improve the overall workplace experience.
- IT team. Check with the IT teams which would be the technical and security requirements that the parking software needs to fulfill. Are there some internal policies that you need to be aware of? Also, what kind of integrations would be needed? Is SSO a must-have or a nice-to-have? What kind of cybersecurity standards does the software need to follow? How can sensitive information be protected from unauthorized access? Do you need to run a thorough security assessment?
- Legal team. What kind of contracts can you sign with software providers? We know for a fact that certain financial companies prefer on-premises solutions, instead of SaaS, even if SaaS solutions can alleviate many pain points.
Features of Parking Spot Booking Systems
So, now you have a list of prerequisites from your main stakeholders. But you also have your own list of requirements. It’s time to add them up.
Next, it’s time to do some research and find the most promising parking spots booking systems out there and see if their features match your needs.
Here’s are some features you can pay attention to:
- Online spot bookings and cancelations. I know this is an obvious one 😊.
- Spots sharing. What happens if someone with an assigned parking spot is in vacation? That person can share the spot with a colleague. Let’s not have empty spaces in the parking lot.
- Waiting lists. What if there’re no available parking spaces? Well, instead of checking every minute for spots availability, you could join a waiting list, so if someone cancels a reservation, you can automatically receive a spot.
- Notifications. The app should have a system to remind employees about their upcoming bookings. It can use emails or push notifications.
- Hourly bookings. Some employees might come to the office for some important meetings, others are having client meetings most of the day. Hourly bookings would help with such patterns and would unblock certain parking spots for other flexible employees.
- Booking priorities. Some systems allow you to divide employees into groups, with different priorities when it comes to booking a spot in the parking lot.
- Interactive maps. Employees should be able to easily pick a parking spot from an interactive map. They would feel content because they can pick a spot according to their preferences.
- Zone management. Such a feature allows parking managers to divide the car park into zones that can be managed separately. Maybe you want a zone for electric vehicles, or for the sales team.
- License plate numbers management. When you want to manage car park access based on license plates, then you should check whether the app has such a feature. Tidaro, for example, allows your employees to input up to 3 license plates. Such a feature will give you a better overview on your car park. And let’s assume a car with a certain license plate is blocking another car. The office manager or parking admin can easily identify the owner of the car and take some measures to fix the problem.
- Conflict management. Let’s assume someone is parking on someone else’s spot. How can you solve the problem? What if someone is blocking another car? Some apps have features that cover infringement management as well.
- Visitor management. The system should allow guest parking as well.
- Reporting and analytics. The system may generate reports and analytics on parking occupancy and employee behavior, supplying valuable insights for parking facility management.
- Web app and mobile app. Many people are reluctant to install another app on their phone. So, ideally, the system you choose should support both a web app and a mobile app.
- Intuitive interface for admins and users. Admins should have their own interface where they can manage parking zones, users, and access usage reports. Users shouldn’t be able to access the admin interface. They should be able to manage bookings and cancelations.
- Integration with software or hardware. If there is a strict access control policy, you might need to investigate if the booking system can support them.
- Knowledge base. The app should have a clear user manual where the features are explained.
- Customer support. The system may provide customer support through various channels, such as chat, email, or phone, to help users with any queries or issues.
Next, let’s assume you have your prerequisites in place, and you also have your features checklist.
It’s time to search for the proper tool.
When you have a shortlist, you will definitely need to go through several demos. Now, it’s important to give yourself time to understand the demos or free trials. Don’t rush it. You don’t want to end up stuck with a solution that doesn’t completely solve your problems.
The Onboarding Plan for Parking Spot Booking Systems
So, you’ve shook hands with a provider.
What now, what’s the plan for the next weeks?
We’re sharing with you the detailed plan we’re using inside Tidaro with our own clients when onboarding them to our parking spot booking module.
|Sharing the plan and documentation||Provider||Day 1|
|Account creation||You||Day 1|
|Send car park plans (preferable PDF format)||You||Day 1|
|Establishing a SSO connection within a test environment for testing purposes||You/provider||Day 2|
|Map review||Provider||Day 2|
|Company account configuration and setting up||Provider||Day 2|
|Company account configuration review||You||Day 3|
|Establishing a SSO connection within the production environment||You / provider||Day 4|
|Send internal communication about the introduction of the parking spots booking system||You||Day 5|
|Batch employee import and invitations||Provider||Day 5|
|Employee training||Provider||Day 5|
To sum it up, here are the steps you need to go through when dealing with introducing a parking spots booking system:
- When you are evaluating whether to introduce or not a parking spots booking software to your tech stack, you need to involve some stakeholders into the conversation (employees, management, IT team, HR team, legal team). Check what needs are there, and if there are some clear requirements to be met.
- Based on the insights from the conversations, you will create a checklist of features that you need for a proper car park management.
- After researching several providers and their offer, you will need to get in touch with the ones that feel closer to your company’s needs, then test out their products (demo or free trial).
- Conduct a tech assessment to make sure the tool is compliant with your own internal policies and needs.
- Agree on a vendor.
- Start the onboarding.
We now hope things are much clearer now, and you know how to introduce a parking spots booking system, as well as make the best choice for you company and team.
And if you want more information on how to effectively manage your company car park, we’ve prepared a thorough guide on the topic: Mastering Office Parking Management.