Brexit presents an uncertain and challenging time for most businesses, especially those dealing with items for export into the European Union. Changes in trade agreements and border laws mean that goods that were once allowed into the EU will now require different paperwork for entry to be granted. This is expected to result in disruptions of travel schedules and delays at the ports which will, in turn, cause massive traffic congestions in major roads. In anticipation of this, the government has built truck and car parks across some parts of the country to help minimise the expected chaos.
The purpose of the truck parks is to offer a temporary holding for vehicles without the right paperwork to enter the European Union. Even with such measures, car parks across the country should expect a huge surge in their visitors as more people will be looking for a place to park. This is therefore a peak season for the parking industry, presenting great opportunities and challenges for the car park managers.
Below are some of the measures you can take to ensure maximum productivity of your parking facility during the Brexit transition period:
1. Make Payments an Easy Process
A very important component of a customer’s experience is the check-out process. With Brexit having interfered with the schedules of most organisations, drivers will be in a hurry to get to their destinations. Therefore, you should make it easy for them to make payments by catering to the various payment methods they may have. You do not want to keep a driver with perishable products waiting just because you do not accept credit cards.
One way to increase the efficiency of your payment for a happier customer journey is by using the Full-Service Pay Station by Advance Access. This offers a secure and efficient payment system accepting various payment methods including cash, debit and credit cards and even contactless payment.
To make your car park stand out, you could integrate an online payment system which is faster and will make for a shorter check out. After parking, all the customer will need to do is log into their account and make their payment online.
2. Increase the Security of your Facility
More than ever, car park managers will find themselves having to deal with trucks carrying valuable and sensitive products. This will most likely increase the chances and costs of break-ins and thefts, making it critical for car park owners to bump up their security. The loss of goods under your care will not only result in financial losses but also lead to a tarnishing of reputation and loss of customer trust. You should however take care to ensure security measure do not interfere with the smooth flow of goods in and out of the facility.
You could make use of the simple but effective Barrier Gates to prevent unauthorised entry or exit of vehicles from the parking lot. This could be integrated with a license plate recognition system to allow the automatic check-in and check-out of vehicles for a shorter waiting time. Besides keeping your car park safe, the barrier gates could help you control the arrangement of vehicles for maximum utilization of the available space.
Other security measures you could take include the use of electric perimeter fencing, security cameras to monitor the flow of vehicles and personnel and hiring a security guard to man the facility, among many other measures.
3. Reduce the Check-in and Check-out Waiting Times
With the change of regulations governing the movement of goods in and out of the borders, car parks in the UK will be at peak season. If you are not careful, the sudden influx of drivers looking to park their vehicles could overwhelm your facility. In the worst of scenarios, vehicles could get jammed at entrances and exits to the extent that movement becomes impossible. You do not want to have to deal with the tempers of frustrated truck drivers. The only way to prevent this is to optimise your operations to reduce the check-in and check-out time durations. This can be achieved by the following;
Making use of ticketless parking:
Ticketless parking allows the drivers to enter and leave the facility without the use of a ticket. Not only is this method very quick and efficient, but it will also save your car park the expenses associated with tickets. It works by identifying the customer’s vehicles via the Licence Plate Recognition System and granting them access. During check-out, the system will automatically calculate the fee which the driver could cater for via an online portal, and exit will be granted: Quick and convenient for both the customer and the manager.
Introduce Advance Booking:
This is a convenient way to avoid holding customers up at the gate. Through an online platform, customers could book for their parking space in advance and have it reserved for them. This way, their details will be stored in the system and they will be automatically granted access when they enter the car park.
Guide your customers to their parking spaces:
There is a high chance that most car parks will have new customers held up by the delays at the borders. As such, most of them will not be familiar with your facility. Especially for large car parks, ensure you put in place mechanisms for helping the drivers to locate their spots. Drivers getting lost inside the parking lot will result in jams that will delay the entry time for other customers. You could use the Parking Guidance System to help you guide the customers from the entrance to their designated spot and out again. With such a smooth flow of traffic, you will increase the productivity of your car park by serving more customers.
4. Do not abandon your Regulars
With the influx of new customers brought about by the Brexit changes, it is easy for car park managers to forget about their regular customers. This will prove to be a costly mistake since the loyal existing customers are the backbone of any existing organisations. Later when things settle, these are the one you will depend on to sustain the profitability of your facility. You should therefore make a plan to prevent them from shifting to other providers.
One way to achieve this is to make use of the Subscriber Terminal. With this, you will keep track of your regulars and could allow them privileged service by allowing them to reserve a parking spot and pay in advance. You could also allocate one portion of your facility to serve the regulars, giving them an easier check-in and check-out time.
5. Collaborate with other Organisations
By liaising with other organisations near your facility, you will ensure maximum productivity by outsourcing space for your surplus customers. For instance, you could collaborate with a day school near your car park where they could rent you their parking lot at night to fit in your extra customers. This will allow you to serve more drivers than you would do with your facility alone, setting you up for growth and improvement.
The Brexit transition also presents an opportunity to work with companies and transport organisations who will require parking assistance. For instance, an organisation that exports its product to the European Union is most likely experiencing delays in the movement of their goods. You could create an agreement with such organisations near you to help them with the temporary storage of their goods to allow them to continue production. This will not only increase your productivity but could earn you valuable long-term customers.
The measure provided above will ensure your car park stays at maximum productivity and you could turn Brexit into a significant growth opportunity. Advance Access offers various car park management systems that will help your facility stay at maximum efficiency. Make use of your cutting-edge technologies to give your customers an experience they will want to come back for.