In 2020, there were 14998 robberies in parking lots in the US, compared to 2241 at banks and 187 at independent ATMs. The contrast is as bizarre as it is worrying. This fact tells a familiar story of how a parking lot is often the scene of petty theft, muggings, or even severe knife crime. And then, there’s the other well-established problem with parking — never finding one when you need it! The diligence and bravery of enforcement officers notwithstanding, parking management can no longer be a wholly manually-driven process. Security officers and visitors pay the price for parking-related violence. Property managers pay the price for a poorly managed parking lot.
If you’re a security firm, you will agree as we do: maybe it’s time for a parking makeover; maybe it’s time for smart parking?
Parking Needs a Makeover
Far from being an enigma, parking is a solvable problem, except that it’s been a lazy man’s problem for too long.
“With smart parking, a piece of dreary real estate becomes a source of revenue. Be it condos, commercial buildings, or universities, intelligent technology elevates the value of parking spaces to prime, profit-generating hubs, giving parking management the ideal makeover that it needs…and security firms the leverage to continue business uninterrupted”
In the past couple of years though, many companies, reeling from a period of uncertainty, have been confronted with a new imperative — going digital in order to adapt and stay afloat. Those companies that failed to transition to a digital process found themselves floundering.
In all the mayhem and uncertainty of the past months, one thing has remained certain — the demand for quality service by customers. E-commerce giants like Amazon understand this better than anyone. They have capitalized on the fact that, come rain or shine, there will always be consumer demand. The only difference is, today, that demand will need to be fulfilled differently — through technology.
Take a Cue: Add a New Vertical to Your Security Operations
Security firms can take a cue from this. In a heavily service-oriented industry like physical security, companies will do well to maintain business continuity by offering a service that customers can’t refuse — smart parking management. More than providing a solution for the common parking problems that we see in most metropolitan areas globally, smart parking management will offer security companies a means for sustainable future business.
Smart is no longer a buzzword but a reality, especially in this post-pandemic age. Today, digitization is a business necessity. Security companies looking to beat the competition, stay relevant, and secure their future will need to incorporate intelligent technology solutions as part of their overall security program. With smart parking, a piece of dreary real estate becomes a source of revenue. Be it condos, shopping malls, commercial buildings and offices, or universities, smart parking elevates the value of parking spaces to become prime profit-generating hubs.
How does smart parking work?
Intelligent technology gives parking management the ideal makeover that it needs. With recognition technologies like NFC (near field recognition) and OCR (optical character recognition), it becomes possible to build sophisticated tracking and monitoring systems for seamless parking management.
License Plate Recognition (LPR) systems are a product of these technologies. As a security firm, you can leverage LPRs to drive the kind of enforcement you wouldn’t have thought possible manually. As a simple case, within the smart parking ecosystem, users can book the desired parking spot online by registering their license plate number. This number becomes part of the database of registered license plates in smart parking software. Anytime a user enters a parking lot, enforcement officers, using the solution, will be able to detect the vehicle for validity, including permits, license, parking hours, and payments.
LPR systems now come with sophisticated, powerful cameras that make it possible for security officers in the field to track and capture every vehicle entering or leaving a designated parking space. Smart parking augments a patrolling officer’s capabilities to enforce parking laws efficiently while keeping visitors safe at all times.
Take Customer Engagement Up a Notch: with Intelligent Parking
With the number of license plates automatically captured and validated for authenticity, security firms will be able to track all incoming and exiting vehicles without adding to their staff. This invariably becomes a one-person job where you can scale operations to include as many vehicle checks as possible without spending on added labor. Considering that manpower is one of the major bottom line costs, smart parking offers a great savings mechanism for security firms.
With technology, parking becomes a resource for security firms. Added vigilance and patrolling of parking lots through the use of smart parking systems lowers incidents of theft and crime, while also enabling only visitors with valid permits to enter, park, or leave a parking area. Security companies can offer municipalities, universities, and other stakeholders heightened security at parking lots, and build a long-term business from stringent enforcement and vehicle checks.
In a way, smart parking becomes a definite source of revenue for security firms. Additionally, smart parking makes parking equitable, and lowers instances of parking disputes or violence — protecting both officers and visitors.
Security & Enforcement in the Commercial Real-Estate Sector
In the commercial real-estate sector, owning, maintaining, administering, and operating parking lots can be very costly, especially when there is a slow transition of parking spaces throughout the day. Without proper parking management controls in place, vehicles remain parked in the lot for the better part of the day. This can reduce a property owner’s chances of generating value and income from parking. Poor management of real-estate such as this lowers the overall revenue for property owners significantly. Smart parking software offers consistent data capture including statistics like how many vehicles are parked, how many vacancies are there during a certain time interval, how many unauthorized vehicles have entered a parking spot, etc.
Security companies can use these facts and figures to their advantage to build a concrete use case for a new security program. This they can present to commercial real-estate owners as the basis for how and why security at their premises must be elevated. Data capture from smart parking becomes a differentiator that security firms can offer property owners as a way to create more concrete security programs, while also helping owners maximize space usage and get more out of what they own. By tying smart parking management to your security program, you will be able to offer a robust security solution to your clients and benefit from a long-term business that is future-ready and sustainable.
Find out how TrackTik’s integration with Smart Parking Apps offers you a complete security solution and an unbeatable differentiator you can use to drive long-term growth and revenue.
Contact us today.
If you’d like more information on smart parking and how it can transform your business, we have a webinar coming up on June 1st — we are gathering security industry experts to talk about smart parking as an add-on service that can generate good value and revenue. Register now.