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Ignore Parking Management At Your Own Loss

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Unlike in the past, when mall owners and developers outsourced parking to car park operators, as they did not see it adding much value to their business, technology-oriented mall owners have started seeing definite value in investing in good parking management systems.

Despite their bid to provide an ultimate shopping experience to customers, malls at times, ignore to develop an effective car parking model, which not only help enhance the revenues of the mall, but can also facilitate improved customer’s experience and loyalty.

On an average, an efficient parking management system fetches revenues of around Rs. 2 crores to Rs. 40 crores annually for the mall/ airport owner. While the global car access management is pegged at Rs. 2,000 crores, the industry experts say in the existing system there is at least 25% to 30% leakage in their earnings.

The access solution market in India is expected to reach Rs. 1,000 crores in the next few years.

In the Indian context, mall owners and developers generally outsource parking to car park operators and do not want to look at this operation, as they do not see it adding much value to their business. The prevalent thought is that as long as there is some revenues from the car park operator, it allows the owner to focus on his core business of managing the mall. However, since the recently technology oriented Mall owners and managers have started waking up to the fact that there is definite value to investing in a good parking management system.

Austria based SKIDATA AG, part of 1 Billion CHF Kudelski Group of Switzerland, has signed a joint venture with Mumbai based Hinditron Group to provide access technologies to cars and people in India. The Hinditron Group, turnover of Rs. 400 crore, has presence in scientific instrumentation, telecommunication and IT & IT enabled services. Apart from technology solutions, the company is building central monitoring support system for its customers across India.

SKIDATA has three existing lines of business:

  • Parking equipment solutions
  • People Access solutions
  • Ski-slope solutions (currently not in India)

Few clients of SKIDATA India include International Airports at Mumbai (T2), Bangalore and Hyderabad, DLF’s premium projects in Delhi, Inorbit Malls in Mumbai, Prestige’s malls in Bangalore, Chennai, Managalore Hyderabad, Brigade Group, Oberoi Constructions, Runwal, etc. Also SKIDATA has supplied parking systems for public parking lots (MCGM) in Mumbai through developers viz. Indiabulls, DB Realty etc. It is also in talks with major developers and corporate such as IL&FS, CISCO, Goldman Sachs, TCS, Tech Mahindra etc.

Also company has implemented people access solutions in the country for 10 BCCI cricket stadia, Formula One Track at Noida and IRPPL World of Wonder Amusement Park at Noida. Apart from this, company is in talks for providing the same for National Games, other amusement parks & various other events.

Model 1.

Complete outsourcing of the ownership of the systems and operations of the car park.

This business model, while carrying the least operational headaches puts the mall owner completely at the mercy of the car park operator. The Mall owner has virtually no control on tracking and ensuring complete transparency in revenue collection. In this scenario it is also difficult to put in place adequate checks and balances. This opens doors for revenue leakages

Model 2. In this case the Mall owner himself invests in the parking management system and chooses to manage the complete car park operations with an in house team. This model would provide a high level of transparency as well complete control on revenue and service perspective. However a major downside here would be the fact that it takes away from the Mall owner focusing his valuable man power and resources on his core activity of managing the mall. Model 3.Mall owners would generally like to place a high value to the customers experience in the car park and look towards it as a source for generating fairly substantial revenues. In this model the mall owner invests in a highly efficient, flexible and robust parking management system. To support this, the operations would be outsourced to a car park operator. In this method, revenue controls stay with the mall owner without the day to day operational hassles. Profitability in this case is high and adequate checks and balances can be put into place.

Company’s solution ranges from medium sized car parks at malls to fully networked airport facilities with more than 30,000 spaces. Nimish Sonawala, Managing Director, SKIDATA India, says, “In our knowledge, any car park is an environment that takes the physical rigours of nature and a high movement of vehicles as well as people. It is also very important that investments made must see the customers through at least 5 years of trouble free operations. Under these circumstances it is important to select a parking management system that would meet these stringent conditions”.

Mr. Sonawala further says “When an owner compromises on initial capital outflow by investing in cheaper, locally assembled and not so robust equipment he clearly runs the risk of having to replace the same within a few years without really recovering the original cost of the investment”.

Fundamentally when businesses are looking to adopt technology, the prime concern is to ensure security, scalability, strong local presence and business efficiencies. In light of these prerequisites parking systems too would be required to meet these high expectations and deliver the following:

  • Maximize and secure revenue from car parking for the Mall owners and operators
  • Give added benefits and a pleasant experience to those that shop in the Mall
  • Provide valuable marketing information about successful retail mix in the mall
  • Provide a faster throughput and an aesthetically appealing environment
  • Give more information about en-catchment areas in the mall
  • Capture data that helps optimization of  man power deployment
  • System configurations that support business enhancement and marketing schemes
  • Strong local presence and support mechanisms
  • Systems that are modular and can keep pace with the expansion and growth of the business.

Vinod Singodia, Asst. Vice President says “Today we are in a buyer’s market. This is where technology plays a big role in monitoring, tracking and delivering towards business needs”. Vinod appends following advantages of an efficient parking management system.

  • Offering incentives and loyalty programs to the customer is a way of life today. Parking area is the first and last point of contact for customers of a shopping mall. Technology in Parking systems of today allow for inclusion and provision of marketing incentives right from the 1st touch point to the customer.
  • Enhanced functionalities allow the customer use of multiple data carriers to interact with the parking systems. A vision towards compatibility with new technologies like NFC, sms integration would bring great value to the customer experience.
  • Independently any powerful parking system needs to have been developed on a single open platform.
  • All businesses today function with varied IT applications to manage their complex business requirements. It is very important for the parking management system to seamlessly integrate and provide transaction data to these varied enterprise applications. (ERP, CRM, Surveillance etc..)

Below are some users friendly features of SKIDATA’s key-tag hands free car access:

  • No stopping and no opening of vehicle window
  • Automated entry and exit of cars
  • Increased throughput and faster access into the car park
  • Weather proof car park solution
  • Standardized technology including necessary safety features

Most malls in India do not have adequate parking space. Since most malls are being built in the city, developers typically provide basement parking facilities. However these parking spaces are insufficient due to low ceiling heights/ bad lighting and single entry exit points.

Businesses have started giving due importance to a good parking experience only recently. The address is growing requirement SKIDATA has established its presemnce in the form of a Joint Venture and company is targeting a projected revenue of Rs. 50 crore in the forthcoming fiscal.