When it Comes to Accounting, It’s Time to Enter the 21st Century

By Ruth Beaman

Technology is transforming parking. New equipment is constantly being introduced: access and revenue control equipment, apps for mobile devices, wayfinding technologies – the list goes on and on. However, as important as technology has come to be, one of the most important aspects of parking management is still stuck in the dark ages. Most owners and operators still haven’t automated their accounting and auditing functions.

In the beginning, parking was a relatively informal and low-tech industry, at least when it came to how it was managed. There’s a common caricature of the early parking operator: cigar in mouth, collecting parking fees and storing them in a cigar box until it was time to go to the bank. As quaint as this image may seem, it’s actually pretty accurate. The problem is, it’s not all that far off today. No, parking operators don’t still keep their money in cigar boxes, at least most don’t. But when it comes to accounting and auditing, most are still living in the past: collecting their receipts, entering parking and revenue data by hand, and hoping reconciliation finds that they’ve ended up with all the money they should. (more…)

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North American Precast Concrete Industry Issues Environmental Product Declarations

By Ariane Sabourin and Brian J. Hall

In the context of environmental impact, the choice of construction products and building systems is significant, and is continuing to grow in importance. In 2013, the building and transportation sectors combined for an estimated 256 Mt or 35% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. Emission intensive industries accounted for an estimated 76Mt, or 11% (Globe and Mail, January 23, 2016).  Selecting a product, brand, or building system will determine the resources used, pollution created, carbon dioxide emitted and waste generated – preference impacts more than just style, function, performance and cost. (more…)

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Sustainability for Surface Parking

By Ellise Gasner

Times are positively evolving and the focus on sustainability is being embraced by various industries worldwide.

The Parking industry is fortunate that sustainable parking surface alternatives are readily available, easy to incorporate and affordable. Permeable parking has been the norm for our European neighbours for well over two decades and is now becoming widely incorporated throughout North America. (more…)

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Autonomous artificially intelligent robotic vehicles and the future of the parking industry

Parking lots are assets that serve as entrances to city areas and businesses, from commercial stores and plazas to industrial and government buildings. There are two general classes of parking lots, secondary and primary. Secondary being those lots which serve as an access point to a primary business, such as a store or plaza, and primary being those lots which are not attached to any specific business and function solely as a standalone parking garage, such as in a downtown core. However all classes of parking lot serve the same customer, human beings, and the parking lots success depends on a model developed with the human customer in mind. People prefer clean parking lots that feel safe, one that is well maintained physically and structurally, looks appealing in general, and overall is a secure facility in which to leave their car and valuables. There are many ways that new technologies can aid in parking lots, not just to please their human customers, but to also reduce costs, increase revenues, lower liabilities, and improve overall efficiency. Autonomous vehicles, robotics, and artificial intelligence will play an important role in the future of the parking industry.

A well maintained, secure, and safe parking lot is very important to the success of the lot itself as well as the main business it serves. If the lot is classified as a primary parking lot, then it will keep customers coming back and not going to the competition. In the case of secondary parking lots, it is the first impression a customer gets of the business they have ventured to, and the lot is basically an extension of that business. In either case, a happy customer is more likely to spend money and keep coming back, which of course will generate more revenue for the business…

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