Can it be? A Perfect Garage Manager
November, 2011For over ten years now, my Master and I have written article after article about audit and operational issues. Usually, the articles are critical of the Operator or Owners and their efforts to control their PARCS system and the revenues reported by them. It’s just the nature of this beast.
Last month as I was sniffing a location that has been the source of many past PT articles, it appears that a wonderful change had taken place. The location had a new Manager assigned in May; this was manager No. 14 in seven years and four months and the facility has been managed by two different national operators during that time.
What was so different with this Manager from all the rest? He had pride in his work and took the time to learn the PARCS system installed at his location. He asked questions when he didn’t understand, and he took the time to retrain each of the cashiers whenever there was a problem found in paperwork, ticket processing, or payment posting. Maybe because he is a younger person with no preconceived ideas on what to do and/or the ability to actually think outside the “box” helped him reach this goal in so short of time.
Now in fairness, he had been the office clerk and then the overnight manager on duty before being promoted to Manager. He had a chance to see what did not work and management styles that were not the most effective. And, he saw firsthand the results when a Manager is there simply for a paycheck and does only the minimum to get by each day.
The process to put together and reconcile the Daily Report each day, according to this Manager, took about 35 -40 minutes of his day. He spent another 30 - 40 minutes of his day, each day, checking the various traffic lanes in his facility; twelve of them and a couple of Pay-On-Foot units as well.
As the July paperwork was reviewed and audited I started to notice a pattern, day after day. This was something never seen before in the previous 2,769 days of paperwork and audit.
Every single day for the 31 days of July, the money reconciled with the PARCS generated source document without a single adjustment, no over ring, no under rings, no cashier shortages or overages.
As I reviewed the ticket transactions, I noticed every ticket processed correctly, no manual time/date entries, lost ticket forms filled out properly and completely with the overnight ticket inventory checked, and every single ticket issued in the 31 days of July was accounted for.
Since this is Central Cashiering with multiple POF units and Event prepaid parking; there was a lot of different items happening at the same time to be reconciled.
A review of the monthly card list, over 1,600 active access cards showed all was in order, all payments made and all No Charge accounts permitted by ownership 100% documented.
It appears that all of the “little things” that we stress over and over again were followed and addressed. So in my opinion, this manager gets a perfect score on all items for the month of July. I can’t wait to see how August goes now that he has set the bar this high for himself!
Note for senior management: One good way to begin to ‘force’ this type of management is to require the garage manager to print out a list of all ‘exception’ transactions. These would be passback violations, manual transactions, cancelled transactions, forced gate opens, power issues, equipment malfunctions, and the like. Then have him or her write next to each ‘exception’ what action was taken to fix the problem.
As Renard in Casablanca, you will be shocked, SHOCKED, at how quickly the number of exceptions approaches zero. No one likes to be held accountable and not have good answers.