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Smart Parking Symposium Slated for PIE 2019

SA Smart Parking Symposium is scheduled for Thursday, March 14, 2019 winding up four days of the Parking Industry Expo being held March 11-14 in Chicago. This half day symposium offers parking professionals insight into the continually changing landscape of the Smart Parking and Technology. Join us to hear how cities and service providers from across the country have worked together to implement new and innovative transportation and parking policies and services.

Sponsored by Arrive, the program will include:

Mobility as a Service  – Jack Opiola will bring us up to date on how MaaS is affecting transportation not only in the US but also in cities around the world

AI and How its transforming Smart Parking and Smart Cities – Dr. Subhash Challa will walk us through the latest developments in AI and Machine Learning Principals

Michael W. Lowder, retired Director, Office of Intelligence, Security and Emergency Response will shed light on how the DOT manages transportation and security issues impacting parking in cities, airports, universities and parking operations throughout the U.S.

Making the Smart Parking Smarter

Join Verizon Smart Communities for a conversation on future-proofing your Smart City investments and to cost effectively deploy Parking, Mobility, Lighting and Public Safety solutions. The key is to protect investment with the ability to add sensors and build new features onto existing infrastructure as technology advances. 

Plus: A major presentation on “The Last Mile” and the difficulties of bringing high tech solutions to market

The Parking Industry Expo is being held March 11-14, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare adjacent to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Find it on line at pieshow.parkingtoday.com. Contact: Eric Abel, eric@parkingtoday.com or +1 310 390 5277 ext. 1

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Please Don’t Tell Me What to Do – Colleen at PIE


Have you ever had a boss who typically barked orders and then got frustrated when the results didn’t magically appear?  We believe one, fundamental principle may be missing in this communications style:  he’s likely forgotten he’s leading adults.  

As adults, we don’t usually like to be told what to do.  No matter how big or small the ask, employees will decide for themselves whether or not a) they will actually do it and b) the degree of effort they’ll put into completing it.  There’s a leadership theory that demonstrates the ratio between quality of results and the degree of individual effort.  It illustrates well that those individuals who receive direction only will choose to basically, just show up.  They’ll exert the minimum amount of effort needed to complete the task and move on, not super concerned about their performance, or lack thereof.

On the other side of the coin, those leaders who figure out how to both align work with skill set and the best way to involve each individual to go above and beyond to reach that common goal, usually see the results they originally envisioned.  The first part is pretty straightforward: recruiters help hire people, accountants manage the finances, sales brings in new business, etc.  The second part is a bit more tricky.  It involves the leader truly understanding each personality, modifying his own communications style to be heard in equal measure around the table. 

If you want to learn more how to be that leader, in terms of influencing others to achieve your objectives, then join me for a lively discussion at this year’s PIE Show and Exhibition on March 13th where you’re learn a bit more about your own personal style and as importantly, how to read others’ profiles to best be heard, everytime.

Colleen M. Niese

Principal, Marlyn Group


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Let’s Share Data

I just read an article where some local governments are considering requiring private companies to share data they have acquired as an adjunct to their activities. Uber and Lyft are fighting the legislation.

The ne’er do wells. How dare these companies spend billions developing a business and then not give away information they have acquired to their competitors and to the local governments. How can they be so selfish?

My guess is that those promoting these ideas never had to make a payroll.

For example, in San Francisco, one of the 10 guiding principles that must be met by all mobility service providers is in the area of accountability: “Service Providers must share data for the city and public to determine the services’ benefits and impacts on transport and whether or not the services’ meet the city and county’s transport goals.” However, legislation addressing data sharing is not without controversy, as evidenced by the rules proposed by the District of Columbia:

A log of trips performed by private vehicle-for-hire operators utilizing the digital dispatch services of the private vehicle-for-hire company in the District, including, for each trip, the point of origin and destination, the date and time of pick-up and drop-off, the stationary time at pick-up and drop-off, the fare paid, whether the trip was on a private or shared service, and the number of passengers in the vehicle.4

Uber and Lyft fought against this draft legislation. Arguments on the other side were that data can be shared with a city of regional government without releasing it to competitors.

If cities want the data, fine. Let them either collect it themselves or pay for it. Uber and Lyft are using that data to refine their operations and make their services better for their customers, thus increasing their volume and then, shudder, profits.

Then there is the competitor’s issue. I have determined that I can parse my data in such a way that it helps me create a better company. My competitor has not. Am I supposed to give that information to my competition? Am I to believe that the government can keep a secret? Please…


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World of Concrete

When I tell my friends I’m attending the “World of Concrete” trade show, they usually dissolve into a spasm of laughter. What could possibly be interesting about concrete. It starts soft, it gets hard, you drive on it, end of story.

But to the 75,000 designers, consultants, craftsmen, builders, and developers that attend the event every year in Las Vegas, its something much more. Just looking at the list of seminars. The more than 170 classes cover everything from pouring to polishing, from repair to masonry, from decorative to mixing.

On display are huge machines that pump concrete hundreds of feet into the air and build roads, bridges, and yes, even parking structures.

I was fascinated when the city replaced the curbs around my block and I watched as the concrete came out of the mixer and was pumped into forms that moved with the mixer. It hardened almost instantly. I was told that this happened due to the mix of chemicals in the concrete. Pretty high tech stuff.

I’ll wander around and chat with a few folks that work with ‘mud’ and let you know what I find out.


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Your Item has Shipped

I ordered something on line. I didn’t realize I was ordering it from France. But so be it. I received the following note from the supplier:

You item has shipped.

On your tracking number, you can see that your package is shipped from China. Unfortunately, we can’t currently produce and send from France. The production, labour and storage costs are too high, and we don’t want to increase our sales prices and make you pay more. But don’t worry, our products are good quality.

Thank you for your patience and trust.

This company is apologizing for keeping costs down and ensuring you understand that the quality is high, even though its made in China. I’m not sure what this mean, but there you go

By the way, it was a shower head.


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Parking Industry Expo Updates Awards Deadline; Sponsorships Going Fast

The Parking Today Awards will be presented at the Parking Industry Expo during a special breakfast honoring the awardees. Those wishing to nominate potential awardees are welcome to go to the PIE web site, pieshow.parkingtoday.com for full details. The deadline for entry has been extended to midnight February1, 2019. More than 50 nomination have been received to date.

Nominations may be made by individuals, organizations, or commercial entities. The process is not complicated and is free. Winners and finalists will be promoted not only at PIE but also in upcoming Issues of Parking Today.

Five simifinalists in each category will be announced in late February. The winners will be presented at a special breakfast at 9 AM on Tuesday March 12, immediately preceding the opening of the Exhibition floor.

Awards categories include Customer Service Excellence, Technical Innovation, Best New Parking Structure, Sustainability, and Lifetime Achievement. Sponsorships for three of the five categories have already been taken. Organizations interested in sponsoring should contact Marcy Sparrow at marcy@parkingtoday.com. The final list of sponsors will be announced the week of January 21, 2019.

The Parking Industry Expo is being held March 11-14, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare adjacent to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Find it on line at pieshow.parkingtoday.com. Contact: Eric Abel, eric@parkingtoday.com or +1 310 390 5277 Ext 1

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Yikes – 24 Hours is All You Have To Hire the Best – Take Recruitment to the Next Level at PIE 2019

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently announced job growth of 312,000 positions in December.  Two sectors with notable growth included Food Service and Retail – industries that parking competes with for top talent.   This makes the need for speed in hourly talent acquisition efforts more important than ever.  Imagine yourself in a foot race with competing companies to get in front of and hire top candidates first.

Initial candidate screening and the interview process are common drag points that can slow down recruitment efforts allowing talent to slip away to the competition.  Speed things up with a few changes to the process:

  • Make initial contact with candidates via text instead of phone or email.  This often gets a faster response and the success rate at actually speaking with a candidate quickly for initial screening will increase exponentially.
  • Establish a group interview program, so you can evaluate more candidates simultaneously and eliminate rounds of interviews and time involved meeting with each candidate one on one.  A huge side benefit of this approach is that when done well, this process allows for a more authentic evaluation of each candidate.

During my presentation at this year’s PIE Show and Exhibition on March 12th I talk specifically about tactics you can use to improve your hourly workforce talent acquisition processes, so you can fill open positions and focus on other priorities in your business.  Join me for this interactive session and take your recruitment efforts to the next level!

24 Hours.  That’s it.  Top hourly candidates will only last in your pipeline this long once they apply if they don’t hear from you.  If hiring frontline associates is a challenge for your organization, then attending this session at PIE is a must!  I will share both strategy and practical tips on hiring practices to ensure your process is productive and yields finalists you want to hire.  I will show you easy, fast ways to promote your employer brand, interview for both technical skills and behavioral traits and evaluate the finalists so you hire the right talent every time.  At the end of this session, you’ll be able to immediately put in play those best practices that change the hiring challenge to opportunity!

Victoria L. Pero

Principal, Marlyn Group


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Not Vaporware, This is Reality

Arrive, teaming with P97 and +chargepoint+ held an executive Round Table event focusing on the “Last Mile.” You can check out my description in a previous post below. I think the take aways from this meeting are important. Here you go:

The Connected Car Will Become The Center Of Commerce on the Go.

Gone are the days of fumbling for your phone while driving. Your connected car is an extension of the tools you use every day – built as a platform and designed to integrate into all aspects of your daily life. Moving from your kitchen to the car and on to work or play, the services you use every day will be embedded in your car and you will have instant access to your favorite entertainment, productivity, ecommerce, payment and service tools.

It’s Not Just The Experience. It’s About The Relationship.

Just like real-life relationships, context is critical. By leveraging data from a variety of sources, more customized and simpler experiences can be created – leading to lasting relationships with automakers or transportation providers and making it easier for customers to adapt to new modes of travel with the help of incentives. When a positive experience occurs, value and profit will follow.

Tech Standards Will Allow Customers To Consume On-The-Go Services.

Many connected services, such as parking and gas, are highly fragmented. Industry leaders must agree on open standards to consolidate the supply to digitally connect them, and bring it to the open market – allowing automakers, navigation partner and others a more seamless way to access their capabilities.

The Power Of Your Voice.

The future of voice belongs in the connected vehicle. By allowing drivers to actually start their journey outside of the car with a meeting reminder or morning wake-up from Alexa, for example, automakers can create a stronger user experience from start to finish. Voice is already proving itself to be a desirable feature, as more than 75 percent of people say they want the same in-home voice assistant in their car. Why? It’s a seamless experience.

Collaboration And Open Innovation Are Key.

Gone are the days of building closed systems. Today, automakers are focused on open innovation and collaboration with industry-leading service providers. By evolving digitally and creating an underlying platform in each vehicle, automakers can build on what’s already been created and leverage existing systems and partners to fulfill customer needs and desires.

These concepts are not vaporware. Connected cars, Tech Standards, and Voice Activation in vehicles are marginally here and certainly will within the next few years be available commercially.

The idea of developing relationships that make it easy for the customer to have a positive experience through the use of real time data and collaboration and open innovation will enable companies to leverage their products and profits will follow.

Well done to Arrive, P97 and +chargepoint+


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Some Developers are “Spooked” over Parking

One of the speakers at the Arrive seminar yesterday was from Tishman Speyer, a world wide developer with over 90 million square feet of office space and tons of parking. He said that all the talk of AVs and the end of parking as we know it has his company “Spooked” and they are unsure what to do about planning for parking in the future.

Parking Industry Expo speaker Dale Denda is addressing this very issue this coming March in Chicago. Dale tells me that the numbers show that people driving cars to work is actually increasing and that most developers are planning for more parking in their projects.

Yes, some are “spooked,”, he says, but the majority are in fact building the requisite number of parking spaces. “These are real numbers, taken from construction surveys, not fantasy.”

If you are interested in the future of our industry, this is a seminar you won’t want to miss. I will be on the dais with Dale and will help parse his projections for the attended masses.

The percentages haven’t changed for over 60 years. About 85% of all commuters will drive private vehicles. The numbers have increased, however, since the population has increased. Government projections show that like it or not, cities will become congested, traffic will increase, and the need for someplace to put those cars will continue to exist.

Find out the facts at PIE 2019.  Full info here.


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Get Comfortable With “I Don’t Know”

Early in my career, I was terrified when someone asked me to do something that I had no idea how to accomplish.  I would run off on a secret mission to try and figure out how the heck I was going to resolve an issue, answer a question, whatever the request may have asked of me, all the while creating massive amounts of artificial stress.  As you can imagine, let’s just say the results were a mixed bag of hits and misses.  One of my best mentors once said to me: “The day you know everything, is the day you should retire.”  Meaning, as leaders our job isn’t to know all, our job is to recognize who (including ourselves) can and cannot do what to then line up the best person for each challenge, issue, project, etc.  It was a pivotal moment for me and from that point on, when asked to accomplish something I wasn’t super-confident on doing, my first question became (and remains) “who’s on my team?” 

During my presentation at this year’s PIE Show and Exhibition on March 13th I talk specifically about how important it is for leaders at any level to get comfortable with the phrase, “I don’t know” but to follow up with, “I’ll find out.” Then by doing so, you yourself learn whatever may be on hand and as well, model for others what it looks like to use humility and commitment as part of your leadership code, to rather be honest than attempt to be right and as importantly get stuff done to move the needle for your organization in the right direction.

Register for the Parking Industry Expo at here

Colleen Niese, Marlyn Group

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