Thoughts on the Quarter – October 2021

The past quarter has seen people coming together again, with our office more populated than in the previous few months, and some key industry events giving us the opportunity to catch up with our fellow parking professionals in person for the first time in a couple of years.

We began the quarter with the announcement of a raft of new recruits here at Zatpark headquarters. Our recruitment drive has been a manifestation of our growth strategy which although an ambitious one, is also one which reflects the success of our first ten years in business, the profile we have created and how much demand for our products has increased. A more recent hiring of our first Head of Business Development and seasoned parking professional Sharon Silcock, also signals our plans to expand our portfolio of both private parking operators and local authority clients.

We were proud to have achieved shortlist status in a couple of industry awards schemes in the past quarter, namely the IPC Awards and the SPARKies. In the inaugural IPC Awards we were finalists in two categories – Outstanding Employee Award (for James Hampton) and Parking Team of the Year (for our Support Team). We also made it to the shortlist in the Best Scale Up category in the SPARKies, an awards scheme which shines a light on the very best people, products and companies that make up the tech sector in Bristol, Bath and the West. Whilst we did not win on this occasion, to be shortlisted against such strong competition is a reward in itself.

The IPC Awards was preceded by the annual conference which we were proud to both sponsor and exhibit at. Our stand was busy as we chatted to friends past and present and made some useful new connections.

A week later we attended the British Parking Awards – another glittering industry event organised immaculately by Parking Review and Landor LINKS. We cheered on our clients and peers and we presented the winner’s award in the Best Communication category which we also sponsored.

When we weren’t busy socialising, we were busy sharing new developments with our clients. Using client feedback and system analytics about how users interact with our solutions and the processes they follow, we launched the first of a series of reporting developments aimed at helping users to better analyse the performance and needs of the sites they manage. These improvements can provide a dashboard-like report of key metrics for each of your sites, including Visits over Time, Visit Duration and Visits by Make and Fuel Type – a new way of reporting which is available, as always, to all our users.

We also launched a new Certified User Training Programme to provide new customers and their users with the knowledge, technical and practical application skills to effectively use Zatpark’s range of parking management products. The Training Programme is available in two forms; one for Local Authorities managing their own parking enforcement operations and the other for Private Sector parking enforcement and management organisations. Delivered to new users during their personalised on-boarding, it takes place in-person, on-site, by Zatpark’s team of fully trained and highly experienced Unity5 trainers, offering an immersive blended learning approach, with the emphasis on teaching new users, not merely showing and telling. The first programme was delivered to Zatpark’s newest Local Authority client, North East Lincolnshire, last month and feedback from the participants was overwhelmingly positive.

As we move further away from the turbulence of 2020, we are continuing to monitor volumes across the “Zatnation” of 22,500 sites. As a running 3 month average the ONS are recording overall traffic volumes at 100% of their volumes pre pandemic, despite the supposed reduced numbers of freight vehicles. Overall we are seeing a higher volume of visits to ANPR equipped sites through Zatpark, around 110% of pre pandemic levels. This suggests, perhaps, the pent up demand in the economy for goods, services and experiences has a longer tail than suspected. However Enforcement actions are averaging around 90% of their pre pandemic levels, highlighting again the work you are all doing with clients to open up sites, enforce responsibly and to make Everyday Better for motorists and land owners.

So it has been a busy quarter in a number of different ways and we are entering the final quarter of the year with many reasons to feel optimistic that our success will continue.

As always, feel free to reach out with any questions or comments.

Dave Herbert

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