Future Trends and Innovations

Future Trends and Innovations 


Parking continues to undergo seismic changes, and change seems to be the only constant. These changes arrive when there appears to be an endless supply of new companies, new options, and new technologies, all impolitely not waiting their turn. Instead, they are all screaming, “Look at me!”. These constant requests are amid massive changes with commercial office building occupancy issues, upheaval in hospital needs with aging baby boomers, and substantial layoffs. Yet, everyone is scrambling for the best talent. Which trends are to be trusted, which innovations will take hold, and who will stand and thrive in twenty-four months? 


If we unpack these parking woes, they can be divided into three categories.  


Category One separates the important from the urgent. How important are some of these technologies? Which will add to the bottom line, improve my offering, or provide a discernable difference with my current and prospective clients? There comes a time when you must select a path and allow it to be stable while you pursue the other categories. What is your baseline? Which areas of your operation are solid and will enable you to (mostly) ignore changes to those areas, providing you the opportunity to have a solid platform or baseline, those tried and true proven “things” you don’t have to worry about? These allow you to ignore the “noise” in those categories. 


The second category, the urgent, requires your immediate attention 


Once your core areas are confirmed, where are your pain points? Do you have a client(s) asking you about new technology, programs, or changes to the credit card (PCI), data standards, or cyber security? Do you have a competitor chasing your clients (trust me , you do) with some shiny technology, supplier-partner, proprietary program, or equipment that is enticing your current customer? Can you afford not to respond to maintain your clients and your financial base? 


The third category is moving from playing defense to (catching up) and returning to the offensive. 


To play offense, you take the time, listen to the market, and decide which of these technologies, new trends, create an advantage for you, save you and your clients money, improve customer service, and feed client retention, allowing you to put these solutions, or technologies, or programs back into category one to stabilize your base and move forward.  


We have all become addicted to the top three, or fast five, or some simple list of things we need to do, and print an article, bookmark a page, forward an email because (as noted above) everyone is busy, and there are more “noise and distractions” than ever before. The problem is that many of these technologies, programs, “best practices”, and the like are very real, and some of your clients are desperate for solutions as the clients’ problem lists have them evaluating these three categories.  


Are you in Category One with your clients? How do you get there? 

  1. Are you a proven provider to your customers? Do they consider you one of the stable areas where they can safely ignore your competitors? 
  1. Are you sharing with your clients (and prospective clients) that you are aware of, paying attention to, and bringing them any new technologies, programs, cost savings, and revenue-generating ideas that are valuable to them? Are you satisfying category two for them and their position?  
  1. Are you playing offense with your clients? Do you evoke confidence in your clients? Are you reminding them regularly of your value? Are you telling them (in writing) how you are adding value to them each month? Are you adding more excellent value this month than last? Do you have your finger on the pulse of change, with a balance of comfort and proven success?  


Conclusions are always crucial in these situations, and reading these blogs or articles is essential. How do you best address the technology/program/cyber security/technology tsunami while focusing on your daily business requirements? Don’t buy into the belief that you know everything you need to know, that things are fine, and that “it’s all good.”  There can be no doubt that you have competitors; they are calling on your clients, and your clients may have no choice but to listen. 


Recognize the importance of having some reasonable knowledge of the changes occurring, the need to protect your client base, the need to grow your business, and the need to do all of these things in addition to your day job. Start slowly. Select a member of your team (or dedicate a portion of your time if you are a team of one) that will begin to look at one technology a week or one category of weakness in your organization to evaluate. Reach out to your customers, especially those you think are “safe,” secure your foundation, and then move on to those you feel may be at risk until you have a complete understanding. Then, repeat this process as often as possible.   


Remember the fundamentals, while updating your playbook. 

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