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Is fair parking enforcement good for business?

Monday May, 2019

When dealing with a potential contravention, “being fair” is clearly the right thing to do. But as reputable parking companies already know, making fair decisions also makes great business sense.

And for companies that don’t place fairness at the heart of their enforcement practices, this could have grave consequences for their long-term business prospects.

This article looks at why you should place fairness near the top of your enforcement process and explains why you should partner with a software provider that offers advanced systems and the right ethos in order to help you make fair decisions and operate your business efficiently.

Reputational risks

Parking enforcement is a favourite topic for newspapers and online news channels, and unfortunately, they are hardly ever interested in positive stories about parking. Any inaccuracies or appearance of unfairness are regular sources of negative articles, which can have damaging consequences for the parking company concerned and will also impact the industry as a whole.

Bad publicity can also have further knock-on effects for a company, making potential partners reluctant to do business with them in case they get tarred with the same brush.

Resources and Profitability

Dealing with appeals can be one of the costliest and labour-intensive tasks in the entire process from contravention to payment. While there are always some people who will appeal a parking ticket as a matter of course, most people will reluctantly accept the situation and pay up if it can be demonstrated that they were in the wrong and reasonable steps were taken to ensure the decision was made fairly.

So quite simply making a fair decision is a great way to improve your company’s bottom line. It helps to keep your costs down and your profits up.

So how can parking technology help?

Good quality parking management can provide powerful features to help to ensure that the enforcement company have all the tools that they need to make a fair decision. And advanced technology will make the process of processing a PCN accurately and fairly as easy as possible.

For the street operative:
- The regulations for enforcement for each site (or zone within a site) are managed by the system, so your staff can easily check whether a contravention has occurred.
- There are clear protocols for what evidence your on-street staff need to collect including a requisite number of photos of the vehicle and clear signage.
- Instant checking of number plates can be done to ensure you are processing the correct vehicle.

Once the data is received in the back office advanced software can help with administrative productivity in several ways:
- Its automation ensures that the case is only moved once particular conditions are met.
- Creates break points in processing where manual check and authorisation is required.
- Online access to DVLA KADOE data would be essential to enable you to check quickly and accurately whether you are chasing the correct person.
- And further along the process, the best systems will help you organise the evidence you need in a format that is acceptable to independent appeals panels to defend your decision to enforce. Ensuring that you have full and complete information with the minimum of administrative resource.
- Using systems like hybrid mail can ensure that you are able to provide accurate and consistent communications to motorists to help them understand the process and the next steps either to pay the fine / notice or appeal.

Positive Parking
The Positive Parking agenda is an initiative sponsored by the British Parking Association. Started by a number of Local Authorities in order to build public trust in the parking sector, challenge misconceptions and improve the parking experience for motorists. These ideas are also, increasingly, being adopted by private parking operators. Positive Parking will encourage organisations involved in traffic management to improve their communication and engagement with the public.

Conclusion
Making a fair decision is important but it can have an impact on your business in terms of the amount of time, administrative resources and energy required. Working with an effective technology partner can help you to run your business ethically as well as efficiently. This means that your business can run more profitability as well as ensuring that your company’s brand and long-term reputation are safeguarded.


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