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Quick Question: What Is the Major Challenge at This Moment in Time for the Parking Industry?

Parking industry experts share their advice for surviving the Coronavirus crisis.

As we asked our parking industry experts what they thought was the greatest challenge facing the parking industry, countries around the world began enforcing restrictions as a result of the coronavirus. Unsurprisingly then, this Quick Question became focused on the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the parking industry. Read on for reassuring words and solutions to help us weather the storm together…

Guy Barnes, Head of Global Sales, Parking at IDeaS Revenue Solutions

Portrait photo of Guy Barnes“The Coronavirus situation is unprecedented but the travel industry has experience in working through exceptional events. History tells us, don’t panic, don’t make knee-jerk reactions, and certainly don’t reduce prices as this will cannibalize the little demand left and it will take years to return prices to previous levels.

“Do take tactics to protect your business, but make the priority to look forward with a readiness when the bounce back begins. Work with trusted partners and take a data-driven focus. Despite the grim outlook, history tells us that we will come through this and parking will bounce back better.”

David Parker, Chief Operating Officer at Cleverciti

Portrait photo of David Parker, COO at Cleverciti“Data gathered by Cleverciti’s global parking platform shows a 70% drop in occupancy across every sector as a result of COVID-19. But, once the lockdowns are lifted we expect a resurgence in the use of private vehicles due to safety concerns related to public transit. This means that occupancy rates will soon be higher than ever before and we must help prepare on-street and off-street parking for the onslaught of private vehicles.”

Brian Wolff, President and CEO of Parker Technology

Portrait photo of Brian Wolff“The challenge with Coronavirus is not becoming the first or middle domino to fall as we are all challenged to both pay our bills and collect cash from our customers. At Parker Technology, we are doing all that we can to continue to pay our suppliers and keep our people engaged so that we aren’t the weak link in the wheels of commerce and so that we can do our part to keep the community together and strong during this very challenging time.” 

Portrait photo of Johan BirgerssonJohan Birgersson, CEO of EasyPark Group

EasyPark Group is a robust, healthy company and before the pandemic we were in a phase of strong and steady growth. When the situation changes for the better we are determined to continue on the positive trajectory as before. At this moment, however, our main priority as a company is to support our employees and to make sure that they and their families are safe.”

Portrait Photo of Dan SharplinDan Sharplin, CEO of FlashParking

“While the world has been differentiated by the COVID-19 pandemic we were continuing to close traditional and Hardware-as-a-Service deals, and I expect that that will continue. We all remain confident in our vision to evolve isolated parking assets into connected mobility hubs. We believe that this event will accelerate that transition as owners and operators diversify revenue beyond just parking and focus on creating a new 21st-century mobility system.”

Portrait photo of James RyanJames Ryan, President of Sentry Protection Products

“I guess the question facing the parking industry is how do you make your operations more resilient to the rapid changes that have happened? How do you make your operation work when demand and revenues are going up and down at an unprecedented pace? I don’t know if I have an answer to it, but that is certainly going to be a good question for all of us as we go forward.”

Portrait photo of Hans PuvogelHans Puvogel, Chief Operating Officer at Parkopedia

“COVID-19 has led to a massive reduction in vehicle traffic: TomTom’s numbers show that we are currently at 10%-20% of the normal levels. In the short term, parking operators have to deal with cashflow issues just like any other business.

“However, people may change their mobility behavior and replace shared mobility with their own vehicle which would be good for parking. Perhaps Coronavirus is the alarm bell that the parking industry needs to make it more resilient, with better use of assets and higher efficiency in managing them. Businesses that digitize the processes across the board will have advantages in the long run.”

Portrait photo of Martin KammlerMartin Kammler, Managing Director of Parking Solutions at Scheidt & Bachmann

“The parking industry is facing a difficult time. Our clients are experiencing a sharp drop in revenue, and in some countries, services have been stalled due to lockdowns. S&B has installed business continuity plans for all global entities which establish strict health and safety guidelines for our employees to ensure that at all times we will be able to support and service our clients. We are and will be, a reliable partner. Let’s manage this global challenge together.”

Portrait photo of Fernando RausellFernando Rausell, Business Development and Ecosystem at Libelium

“The consequences of the coronavirus crisis will remain for a long time and so new prevention protocols will likely continue even once the confinement situation ends. The recommendation for extreme risk prevention also affects parking facilities and smart parking technology can provide minimal personal interaction. If you can make it easier for users to reserve their parking space and pay for it from the mobile phone, without having any kind of interaction with a person or a machine, it becomes a more aseptic and direct user experience.”

Portrait photo of Sarah FisherSara Fisher, Commercial Manager (UK) at Ballast Nedam Parking

“The biggest challenge we face in parking amidst the coronavirus pandemic is that of planning and programming. The UK is currently facing pressure to close its construction sites and we also feel that the safety of our workforce is of paramount importance. We have three live parking projects onsite at hospitals throughout the UK, with more projects in the pipeline. Long term they will benefit the hospitals greatly by increasing parking capacity but if we cannot continue to work it means a longer than planned period of disruption for the increasing number of people who are using these hospitals.”

Portrait photo of Dennis KrijgsmanDennis Krijgsman, Segment Manager of Transport and Infrastructure at Commend International

“I think the main challenge is ensuring business continuity while dealing with the daily Covid-19 crisis updates. With a focus on cost savings and efficient daily operation, it has become clear that needed technology to instantly inform and update visitors and onsite employees during emergencies is not available. However, parking operators that have performed a risk analysis can now benefit. They can initiate fall-back scenarios and use their professional technology to keep their operations running, even in times like this.”

Portrait photo of Adrian CsekoAdrian Cseko, Sales Manager at Asura Technologies

“Mobility has visibly declined in the past weeks in all major cities around the globe. The parking industry is one of the first, though not the most visible, sectors seriously affected by the current situation. There are two main challenges, one is to tackle financial difficulties while the other is finding a way forward by implementing parking practices that address public health concerns. Asura’s answer is automation through smart software for contactless parking enforcement and payment services.”

Portrait photo of Simon WoodSimon Wood, International Partner Manager at CCV Group

“The industry is working to find the right way to add value to the parking experience and to move it from being a necessary evil to a valued part of a driver’s or a passenger’s day. There is an industrywide search to find the best way to leverage technology to achieve this and a struggle to redefine business models justifying the sharing of IP.”

Portrait photo of Maarten MijwaartMaarten Mijwaart, Business Developer for Benelux and Scandinavia at Tattile

“The parking industry is going through massive changes. Traditionally the industry has been characterized by capital investment, and yield management using smart parking strategies. But times are changing rapidly, parking apps have made the industry more transparent and competitive, both on-street and off-street, forcing parking operators to adopt innovative solutions to remain competitive. For us, it is inspiring to see how our partners are utilizing the power of ANPR to improve the customer journey and improve revenue streams.”

Portrait photo of Martin KierothMartin Kieroth, Distribution International at projekt w

“For me, the greatest challenge is the lack of personal contact with clients and the cancellation and postponement of events. Many of us are forced to work from home, making it more difficult to reach customers. I hope that we all come out of the crisis well and no companies suffer detrimentally because of it.”

Stay tuned to our Quick Question series as our industry experts explain what adaptations they have been making to their businesses to help adhere to coronavirus restrictions whilst overcoming the challenges they impose.

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