Parking management system is a label used for many products in the parking industry. and it can sometimes be hard to figure out what it actually means.

Managing a car park isn’t as easy as you think and there are lots of moving parts. This is where parking management solutions come into play. The basic idea behind any parking management system is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a system which helps people to manage their parking.

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A lot of elements can be included in parking management systems. Yet there are four vital components:

  • Payment method
  • Enforcement options
  • Access controls
  • Reporting

Here a quick overview of how the most common types of parking solutions work:

Office Centric:

The fastest growing of all the segments. Traditionally office parking has been very dysfunctional. Companies adapted parking management systems from big hardware suppliers to solve their problems. However, these are not fit for purpose and have led to large parking problems in many companies.

“The growth of parking management software products like ParkOffice has changed workplace parking. Software driven automation and optimisation is now top of the agenda.”

Companies can increase capacity of parking facilities, without increasing the number of spaces they have. Administration and capital outlay is also decreasing as offices move towards full automation.

Manual:

The traditional “man in a hut” who keeps an eye on who is coming and going. You find these operations in low-tech environments. For one reason or another the car park owner is looking to keep a cash operation.

A staff member will accept payment from motorists as they come and go. He will also give them a manual piece of paper to check entry and exit. He will keep an eye out on parking spaces to make sure no one is staying longer than they should be. He’ll keep a track of all this in a big ledger or on a computer.

This is a very resource intensive system with large margin for error and corruption.

Hardware Focused:

This is how most traditional car parks have been run for the last 50 years. They are dominated by expensive pieces of hardware to control payment and access.

Motorists tend to have access managed by large barriers, to enter they need to pull a ticket. Before departure they need to pay at a paystation for the length of their stay.

A local staff member will often be on site in case of any difficulties. The hardware will have backend reporting to report on occupancy and revenue generation.

Software Focused:

Consumers are looking for smoother parking experiences. Car parks looking to reduce upfront capital cost on parking equipment. Enter software focused parking management systems.

Companies like Parkpnp are really driving this digital revolution.
Drivers can pay using their smartphones. Overstay and illegal parking can is monitored using software products. Entry & exit can be linked directly to smartphones or license plates. Real-time reporting is available car park owners giving them access to insights instantly.

Many car parks are slowly migrating from hardware focus to a software focus. Although you’ll still often see hybrid parking management systems between both models.

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