HARNESSING NEW TECHNOLOGY TO BRING PARKING SERVICES BACK IN-HOUSE
WELLINGTON CITY COUNCIL'S PARKING SERVICES HAD BEEN CONTRACTED OUT FOR MANY YEARS. WHEN THE DECISION WAS MADE TO BRING IT BACK IN-HOUSE, NEW TECHNOLOGY WAS NEEDED.
The challenge: out with the old, in with the new
For 12 years, until July 2014, Parking Services, (the management of public parking spaces) in Wellington city was outsourced to a contractor. When the contract with the external supplier ended, the decision was made to bring Parking Services back in-house, as a department of the Wellington City Council. It was the perfect time to consider the new technologies around parking solutions and implement one as part of a continual drive to bring the WCC into the digital age.
"Because parking had been contracted out for such a long time, we didn't have really any systems in place for bringing it back in-house," says Melanie Goodger, Commercial Services Team Leader. "There's a lot more to parking than just issuing tickets. We needed a solution that could integrate with all the aspects - dealing with appeals, court hearings, and we have a resident permit scheme as well."
The solution: the latest in parking technology
As part of the WCC's initiative of keeping up with, and harnessing, technology, the search began for a parking solution that had the capacity and capabilities to handle the many different aspects of Parking Services. "We wanted all systems to be able to talk to each other," Mel explains. "We did our homework and found some potential options, including the contractor who we'd outsourced to previously. TicketOr 2 not only ticked all the boxes, but they were local - and getting behind local businesses is important to the Council."
TicketOr 2 is a SaaS (Software as a Service) parking enforcement solution that allows organisations to remotely store and access data such as ticket data, pictures and diagrams. Data is centrally stored on the ADR servers, so the organisation doesn't need to allow for any data storage or maintenance. It works on multiple platforms, including smartphones. WCC use customised smartphones installed with the TicketOr 2 app.
Implementation of TicketOr 2 was a complex process. There were many systems that needed to be integrated, and processes put in place for using them. "As we've progressed, we've discovered additional things we needed from the parking solution," says Mel. "The great thing about TicketOr 2 is its adaptability - it's evolved quite a bit since 2014."
The result: A continually customisable solution to streamline processes and gain efficiencies
As the need for new features of the solution cropped up, WCC Parking Services would generate ideas that were presented to ADR. "We've made several requests to develop and evolve TicketOr 2," Mel explains. "They've been great at catering to our needs. For example, they were able to integrate our residents permit scheme, which was previously being managed on a spreadsheet. It's also able to handle part-payments of ticket infringements, so people can pay in instalments."
Mel goes on to say that ADR have always been very accommodating when WCC goes to them with new ideas, and as a result, the TicketOr 2 solution is a continual work in progress, including an update to the new version. "We pitch them an idea, and they'll often find ways to improve on it," she says. "They come back with suggestions, and between us we come up with new solutions that work really well for us."
Looking ahead - a continually evolving solution
Because TicketOr 2 is adaptable and can be customised, WCC Parking Services are continually thinking of new ways to improve. "Surprisingly, we have quite a few customers who over-pay when they get a parking ticket," Mel explains. "When that happens we need to notify the customer. That's another thing that's being managed through a spreadsheet. We're looking at how TicketOr 2 could produce a letter that gets automatically sent to them, and we have a record of it against the ticket."
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