From Long Lines to Online: Permits at the Click of a Mouse
October, 2003A new online parking program at Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) is kicking long lines to the curb. It used to be that students at NVCC had to wade through long lines hoping to get their hands on a campus parking permit. Today, obtaining a permit is as easy as logging on to the Internet and having it shipped to your door.
With five campuses, a medical education center and approximately 40,000 students each semester, students weren't the only ones ready for a change in the way permits were handled. The parking department of NVCC was challenged with managing operations on multiple campuses, providing a high level of customer service, and trying to distribute as many as 35,000 permits per semester.
Barbara Evans, Director of Parking Services for NVCC, knew that long lines were leading to customer frustration. The department knew it could improve service, and found the right solution with PermitDirect.
NVCC was already using the PowerPark parking management system, so the integration of PermitDirect was a natural fit. PermitDirect works alongside PowerPark to allow NVCC to better manage and track every step of the process, from purchase to delivery.
"In just the first six weeks of launching PermitDirect, we sold 2,722 permits and collected more than $96,000," Evans said. "We can track revenue at any time, and our auditors love having centralized information available for all campuses."
Fast and easy, PermitDirect allows NVCC students to buy parking permits from the college Web site and have them shipped directly to their home or office.
Once purchased, permit information is transmitted to the vendor, which then distributes the permits directly to the purchasers. And for marketing and communications purposes, NVCC can include up to three pieces of campus literature with each permit mailed. PermitDirect customers have the option of shipping permits by U.S. Mail, FedEx or UPS.
In addition to saving resources and postage when distributing permits and campus literature, NVCC is expecting to see more benefits. "We're also require customers to pay all citations before buying permits," Evans says. "They can pay by credit card directly from our parking Web site."
The integrated system and online customer service options are helping NVCC overcome what Evans says was the department's biggest hurdle: "so many permits and so little time." Customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with most citing the convenience of PermitDirect as the No. 1 benefit.
For more information on PermitDirect and related products and services, please log on to www.t2systems.com or www.wwlinc.com.