Smarter parking services

Issue 6 2022 Security Services & Risk Management, Transport (Industry), Logistics (Industry), Facilities & Building Management

As facilities management becomes smarter, property owners are also waking up to the realisation that parking services have the potential to enhance the security of their assets, improve parking revenue generation and enhance the overall value of their properties.

To reach these goals, they need to evolve from the traditional baton-and-torch, manned operations to more customised and automated solutions, says George Fitzroy, managing director, Servest Security.

Fitzroy says that as more people return to the offices following the relaxation of Covid-19 regulations, real estate owners are revising their outlook on parking services and are looking at implementing smart, tailored solutions that meet their requirements.

“Customers are looking for innovative parking solutions that will deliver multiple benefits to their fixed assets. Parking services are transcending from merely offering customers an empty bay to smarter solutions that gather and aggregate important data that will help property owners to improve the safety of their tenants and manage their fixed assets optimally,” says Fitzroy.

He continues that the latest trends in parking services include bay monitoring through LED-based occupancy indicators, zone counting, variable-message signage that provides real-time data on carpark capacity, LED lighting systems for power saving and intelligent power control, and carbon monoxide detection systems to monitor emission safety levels.

“As things start to normalise and commercial activity resumes at full throttle, demand for parking bays is returning rapidly. However, the changing socio-economic landscape necessitates that parking services stay ahead of the curve, providing enhanced security and enabling property owners to use these assets to optimise revenue generation,” says Fitzroy.

According to The Parking Management Service in South Africa, the market for parking management has shrunk over the past 18 months as major property developments were put on hold because of weak economic prospects. The parking management sector was severely impacted by strict Covid-19 regulations and the nationwide lockdown, as people were confined to working from home and shopping online.

The proliferation of criminal activities such as vehicle break-ins, vandalism and muggings in public facilities like parking lots has compelled property owners to prioritise improved safety in these facilities. “This in turn attracts tenants and customers due to added peace of mind,” says Fitzroy.

To mitigate against the ever-present danger of crime in workspaces, shopping centres and accommodation facilities, Fitzroy says facilities management companies such as Servest have developed innovative technological solutions to ensure that their clients are at the forefront in parking and security spaces.

“Traditionally, parking has been viewed as a cost-based,grudge purchase. We are changing that conversation. Clients benefit from our new technologies that drive parking revenues, and our solutions-based parking services that bring innovation and improve the overall value of your property,” says Fitzroy.

He forecasts that, spurred by the growth prospects in commercial, retail and industrial property development, the market for parking management and security will outstrip its growth prior to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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