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More Choices Than Ever


Shawn Conrad, CAE

By Gary Means, CAPP EDITOR



Bill Smith, APR


BonoTom Studio For subscription changes, contact Tina Altman, or 888.IPMI.NOW. Parking & Mobility (ISSN 0896-2324 & USPS 001436) is published monthly by the International Parking & Mobility Institute. P.O. Box 3787 Fredericksburg, VA 22402 Phone: 888.IPMI.NOW Fax: 703.566.2267 Email: Website: Postmaster note: Send address label changes promptly to: Parking & Mobility P.O. Box 3787 Fredericksburg, VA 22402 Interactive electronic version of Parking & Mobility for members and subscribers only at parking-mobility. org/magazine. Periodical postage paid at Alexandria, Va., and additional mailing offices. Copyright © International Parking & Mobility Institute, 2020. Statements of fact and opinion expressed in articles contained if Parking & Mobility are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent an official expression of policy or opinion on the part of officers or the members of IPMI. Manuscripts, correspondence, articles, product releases, and all contributed materials are welcomed by Parking & Mobility; however, publication is subject to editing, if deemed necessary to conform to standards of publication. The subscription rate is included in IPMI annual dues. Subscription rate for non-members of IPMI is $120 per year (U.S. currency) in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. All other countries, $150. Back issues, $10. Parking & Mobility is printed on 10 percent recycled paper and on paper from trees grown specifically for that purpose.


T IS AN EXCITING TIME in the parking and mobility space. Now more

than ever before, we have so many choices of hardware, software, services and support for our organizations and operations.

There was a time not too long ago that I would have categorized certain potential improvements or enhancements as no-brainers. For instance, parking facility lighting. If you own or operate parking facilities, it has been a no-brainer to upgrade your lighting system to LED or at least to more efficient fluorescent lighting—otherwise, you have left lots of money on the table. Or how about collections? If you do not have an agreement with some sort of professional collections company, you are leaving a lot of money out there. What about equipment upgrades? If your PARCS equipment or meters are more than 10 years old, it may be a no-brainer to upgrade or replace. Service calls, maintenance, repairs, and even a lack of customer service is probably costing you, and the ROI on replacement is probably a no-brainer. The examples above are pretty straightforward and really do not require a lot of analysis other than actual selection of the vendor, supplier, or product. Today, we have so many choices and options. What about apps? Text-to-pay? Software systems? Touchless options? Gateless? Frictionless? Asset-light? Curb management? Data analytics? Business intelligence? Artificial intelligence? Camera or sensor? Lions? Tigers? Bears? Ok, the list could go on though, right? How do


we know what’s right for our own operations? I have a few suggestions for you: ■  Take the Call. When a new vendor or supplier reaches out to you, take the call, open the email, set up a demo. Try to learn as much as you can about what is out there, what is on the horizon, how this product or service could assist your organization. ■  Go to the Conference. Kick the tires. Several of the state and regional associations have scheduled in-person conferences this year. At IPMI, we are super excited about our first in-person in nearly two years, Nov. 29–Dec. 2, in Tampa, Fla. (register here). ■  Try a PIlot Program. If you are interested but want to know more about a product or service, try a pilot program. It gives you a chance to test drive something without a long-term commitment. We have lots and lots of amazing vendors, suppliers, and consultants in our great industry who can help walk you through all the choices. I wish you all the best. ◆ GARY MEANS, CAPP, is executive director of the Lexington, Ky., Parking Authority and a member of IPMI’s Board of Directors. He can be reached at