Whilst working on a project, the account executive from the company that managed the car park made a visit to renew the contract, bemoaning that the management fee needed to be increased because the car park was losing money. That statement in itself was a dichotomy for the management since the asset itself – a shopping mall was performing well. Getting data from the car parking management company was proving difficult; that data was not part of the car park management contract.

The management team commissioned a study on the estimated revenue being earned from  the car park by counting cars in, and how long each stayed in the car park, and estimating the expenses – in terms of staff and running costs. The result surprised the management team, the car park was making massive profits. That information is useful either in negotiations with the car park management company or whether the opportunity is so compelling you might consider insourcing management of the car park.

The management team made the decision to develop a business plan to insource management of the car park.

The first task was an initial  meeting with a subject matter expert, post that meeting the management team engaged a consultant. A request for proposal was written for the car park systems suppliers, and car park cleaning equipment. It was decided that existing security staff and the asset control room would be used to support the car park.

Car park infrastructure and systems are extremely expensive, but even with the capital expenditure the case was compelling to the client’s board, and the decision was made to insource the management of the car park.

The consultant was retained until the asset personnel were comfortable running the car park – it’s imperative you have a clear understanding of the economics, mechanics and management of a car park– a seamless changeover from the old car park management company and installing the new equipment was challenging, never the less it was achieved on time and within budget

Not only is the asset now making significant profit from the car park – the capital expenditure recovered in just over a year; but there is a considerable upside in terms of the information that can be gleaned from the car park management system; the asset managers can now determine dwell time – the amount of time a visitor spends in the asset which is a direct correlation of spend per visitor, but mapping cars using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) to the outward part of a post code can give you information on where your visitors are from – how long they take to drive to your asset, their socio economic group and that information itself is extremely valuable.