On Feb 24 2022 / by Wyoming Paul

The easy way to manage your car park - using smart data

You can only do better with what you measure. This mantra is true in all lines of work, and with all kinds of resources - including car parks. Without measurement and data, you’re unable to make comparisons, spot improvements and declines, or identify patterns and correlations - and that makes it incredibly difficult to fix problems and succeed.

“Imagine running a race and never knowing your time, or taking a test and not receiving a grade. This would be operating in a vacuum. It is simply impossible to improve performance without meaningful feedback.”
- Dave Greten, Databox
“Merely measuring something has an uncanny tendency to improve it.”
- Paul Graham, Y Combinator

Download the "How Smart is your Car Park Management" checklist

Since around 12% of businesses’ property spend goes toward parking, it’s a valuable resource worth keeping tabs on - and luckily, there’s a better way than inspecting your car park 24/7 and keeping notes with a pen and paper.* One of the benefits of Parkable's parking management software is that it automatically collects smart data on every aspect of your car park, including who is parking, where, when, and for how long. You can use that data to improve your car park in all sorts of ways, including the following six:

1. Improve occupancy

The average commercial car park experiences 20-35% underutilisation every workday, even when there’s unmet demand for parking. However, without either smart data or extensive manual checks, it’s hard for businesses and organisations to know exactly when and why these inefficiencies are occurring, or to form solutions.

Parkable's parking management software both collects smart data and provides tools for increasing occupancy. Once equipped with smart data and aware of inefficiencies, you can proactively improve the utilisation of your car parks.

2. Generate extra revenue

There’s also a big saving opportunity that comes with improving occupancy. If you increase car park utilisation enough, you can consider moving to a better location with a smaller car park - and reducing your car park leasing spend. This is exactly what Datacom did when it changed premises in 2017, consolidating various branches into a central location and bringing all employees together. Using Parkable's parking management software to both track and improve its car park utilisation, Datacom increased utilisation by 15%, as well as recovering up to 25% of their lease costs.

If you have more parking bays than you need, or only need them part-time, another way to generate extra revenue is by renting them to the public, just like La Marzocco and Gina’s Italian Kitchen. Find out more about listing your own space here.

3. Meet your transport goals

Smart parking data can also empower companies to improve and deploy their transport targets. Once equipped with smart data, companies can design policies that enhance the staff parking experience, and intelligently implement other transport goals, such as reducing your carbon footprint and increasing carpooling among staff.

“Our aim is to be carbon neutral by 2030 and reduce single driving into work. Parkable allows us to keep statistics of usage at the car park.”
- Ross Turner, KPMG

How smart is your car park management?

Download the checklist

4. Define your staff parking policy

There are plenty of ways that businesses handle parking for staff. Some allocate parking only to upper management as a benefit, some provide free parking for everyone, and others don’t supply parking at all.

What’s universal, however, is that parking can be an emotive issue. For many employees parking is a sore spot, so if you’re concerned about how your parking policy affects staff and want to better understand how your car park is used and by who, smart data can help you get to the root of the issue.

“Parkable is the solution we’ve been looking for to solve our parking woes. It may sound like a small part of someone’s day, but finding a park can take time away from work, family and children and I don’t want what should be an inconsequential moment to become such a stress in my colleagues’ days.”
- Kimberly Kastelan, Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Dentsu Aegis

5. Monitor your EV chargers

We believe that electric vehicles are the future, and that a great way to future-proof your car park is by installing EV chargers. Once EV chargers are installed, it’s important that you collect smart data so you can understand how your chargers are being used. This alerts you to any problems, like gasolene vehicles parking in EV bays, or EVs parking for longer than necessary to charge. It also allows you to make important decisions about the demands on your chargers, the needs of your fleet, and at what point more EV stations need to be rolled out.

“When it comes to EV charging, smart data helps you to understand fleet optimisation, it helps you to understand charger optimisation, it helps you to understand time of use, and that helps you to make better fleet and fleet management choices.”
- Toby Littin, CEO Parkable

As well as collecting smart data, Parkable also provides a complete management service for EV chargers, including:

  • Showing EV drivers charger availability in real time
  • Allowing people to pay for charging via their phone
  • Alerting people when their car is fully charged
  • Preventing non-EVs from parking in charging bays through IoT bay barriers

6. Keep accurate records for fringe benefit tax

In Australia, if your company is within 1km of a commercial car park, you can end up paying a huge amount of fringe benefit tax for providing parking to your staff. However, the amount of fringe benefit tax a company pays on its car park is dependent on how much of the space is used by staff, and how often.

Generally, there are two ways that businesses keep track of their car park usage:

  1. They assume full occupancy. Assuming full daily use will likely overstate the fringe benefits provided to employees, leading to higher tax payments than necessary.
  2. They keep detailed records of daily car park usage. This requires a large investment of time and administration resource - companies need to keep records of who is parking where, when, and for how long - and traditionally this involves daily manual checks of each parking bay.

Both options result in a substantial extra cost.

Instead of employing one of these methods, consider using a smart parking tool like Parkable that automatically captures car park usage in terms of both session number and length. That way, you can keep accurate records of annual use without putting aside a big chunk of time and resources for collecting data.

Solve your parking problems

If you have workplace parking spots and want to...

  • Improve employee parking experiences
  • Reduce car park admin
  • Make better use of your space
  • Align your parking with a flexible working culture
  • Implement hardware solutions