‘Who you gonna call?’
Parking access and revenue control (PARC) systems are complex. Depending on the size of your project, they could have as many as 20 or 30 individual high-tech pieces (gates, dispensers, pay-on-foot machines), all of which are computers and all of which we ask to run in one of the most challenging environments on earth, a parking garage. They process tens of thousands of transactions every day, flawlessly.
And these complex monsters have to work, and work every time.
The manufacturers ship equipment that works on the factory floor. Some even hook everything together and make sure it runs as a complete system.
But what happens when it arrives at the job site?
Cable has to be pulled through metal conduit. Concrete islands have to be poured. Walls have to be cut, and pay-on-foot machines mounted. It’s a complex, dirty, complicated job, and typically, your local electrical contractor is not the one called to do the install. It’s a specialist company, a group of installers and technicians who know how to make parking systems work.
Typically, electrical contractors have no skin in the game. They bid low, install quickly, and are on their way. Parking dealers want the installation to go well. They know that they are in this for the long haul. If something goes wrong, you call them and expect fast, competent service. After all, when those gates are locked open, your revenue is at risk.
After the install is complete, the dealer is the one that stands between you and the manufacturer. They speak two languages, one to the customer, a completely different one to the manufacturer. They know how to ask the right questions and get results. After all, they sell 20, 30, 40 systems a year. The manufacturer is going to listen to them.
Dealers are unsung heroes. They make the system work. They customize to fit the varied needs of their customers. Without them, “who you gonna call?” when things don’t go quite right, and they might be chasing ghosts.
Next time you see your installing dealer, shake his or her hand and say “thank you”. They deserve it.
PT reached out to PARCS manufacturers and asked for a few recommendations for dealers to spotlight. We then selected one from each group. Read about these professionals on the pages that follow.
“We take the long view. It’s a small world. We do what’s right for our clients, and they reward us with long relationships that keep our business strong.” That’s how Scot MacTaggart, Senior Manager of PSX Inc., a leading systems integrator, summed up the company’s philosophy.
Founded in 1969 by Anthony Hutchison, now Chairman, the company represents Amano McGann throughout Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio, Southern New Jersey, and in the West Central Florida area, around Tampa.
Paul W. Hutchison II is company President, and Kevin Halliday is Vice President. Mark LaMonte is Director of Technical Services for all locations. Branches in Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Tampa are managed by MacTaggart, Bonnie Sichau and Daniel Honyotski, respectively.
“We have a number of clients who have been with us for a long time – decades in many cases – and who have developed considerable complexity as their parking programs have matured,” MacTaggart said.
This year, PSX is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its relationship with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health System, the largest employer in Pittsburgh. It has tens of thousands of employees to park, plus thousands more patients, visitors, students, faculty, tenants, vendors and clergy.
To add to the complexity, much of this is happening in proximity to other attractions, such as universities, museums, shopping and restaurants.
Here are just some of the many things PSX supports at UPMC:
More than 100 lanes of gate-controlled parking.
One central, “virtualized enterprise server cluster” for all Amano devices.
A combination of older equipment and the latest technology. For example, UPMC currently owns ETP, AGP, AMG and OPUS Series ticket dispensers.
Very tight, well-controlled IT and data security standards.
A complex multi-tier validation program to manage demand through pricing, complete with anti-fraud measures.
A single ID card that serves as photo ID, building access and parking access, and even payment credential for occasional users, with rechargeable debit accounts.
Amano custom-developed card reader firmware to support these cards.
For more information, go to www.psxgroup.com.
TECH CONTROL SYSTEMS
Founded by his father, Fred Scripture, in 1984, Tech Control Systems is headed by CEO David Scripture, who looks back on three generations in the family-run business.
Covering Southern California, from Santa Barbara to the Mexican border, for TIBA, the company also is led by Brian Scripture, VP Technical Services; Michael Scripture, VP Sales; and Nigel Martens, Service Manager.
The CEO singles out Broadway/Spring and Main Street Garages in downtown LA as his company’s most complex installations.
“This project required a two-phase installation process, removing existing equipment totaling 12-lanes with license plate recognition,” David Scripture said.
“The challenge was to convert from the old system in use to the new TIBA system without interruption to both transients and visitors driving into the garage.”
The new system, he said, was completely programed to allow for a plug-n-play installation of the new equipment.
“We shut down half the entry/exit lanes and installed a new cable infrastructure. Once this was completed, we were able to transition half of the garage to the new system. From there, we duplicated the same process for the remaining half of the garage. Our customer was very pleased with the whole process and was able to operate without interruption to their parkers.
“We put our customers first, by upfront design and planning offered for all our installations,” Scripture said. “It starts with proper project management – providing upfront requirements for the new equipment and an installation schedule specific to our customer’s needs.
“We stage and test every system installation in our office before the equipment is installed in the field. These practices are the recipe for our success.”
For more information, go to www.techcontrolsystems.com.
ADVANCED ACCESS CONTROLS
Advanced Access Controls (AAC), established in 1998, covers all of Southern California for Hub/Zeag. Its leadership team includes President Daniel Erickson; VP Operations Scott Ellefson; VP Sales Joe Banker; Frank Skaff, Manager of IT Services; and John Flath, Field Operations Manager.
Erickson noted that his company believes that it must provide its customers with the highest quality products and service, while having the integrity to stand behind them.
The company is “extremely proud” of an existing installation, the City National Plaza Project in downtown LA. It consists of two different physical locations, integrated together. The first is an independent 11-level parking garage with 2,685 spaces. The second is subterranean parking under two high-rise towers that includes 921 spaces.
“As an integrator, we are fortunate to provide the customer with a technologically sound solution using ZEAG and AVPM products,” Erickson said.
“Some of the highlights of the project include an Internet, or electronic, validation system; an integrated valet system with garage mapping and previous vehicle damage control cameras; a space-availability system per level; a license plate recognition system for contract (monthly) parking access; and frequent-visitor greeting information.
Other complex projects recently installed by Advanced Access Controls include Los Angeles World Airports LAX employee parking lots and Ontario (CA) International Airport facilities.
For more information, go to www.advancedaccesscontrols.com
Founded in 1980, Protection Technologies Inc. (dba ProtectionTech) is now owned by Wade Brossow and Steve Puckett. Together, they combine nearly 45 years of experience in the design, installation and maintenance of asset-protection systems
The two Principals support Damon Kessler as President of the company, which represents Skidata in Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Kessler is most proud of his company’s installation at DIApark, Aurora, CO, off of Interstate 70 south of Denver International Airport. This particular extended-stay parking project started out in a farmer’s field.
The equipment had to be best-in-breed and deploy state-of-the-art features that at the time had not yet been seen in the parking industry, he said.
ProtectionTech deployed Skidata’s PARCS equipment, along with its Parking.Logic operations software. Included was an integrated and robust reservation and loyalty program. Parkers use mobile QR barcodes displayed on their cellphones as their membership credential in and out of the facility.
The opening of the facility was set back almost a full year due to record-breaking wet weather. But all the site contractors overcame and conquered. The facility opened its parking lanes just in time for Thanksgiving 2015. Every feature reportedly worked, and worked well.
ProtectionTech “prides itself in understanding our customer’s needs, providing the best solution, with first-in-class service,” its executives said. “This has been our philosophy from the beginning, and it continues to this day.
For more information, go to www.protectiontech.com.
Founded in 2002, NextGen Parking, a leader in commercial parking system solutions, covers the South Central and Southeastern U.S., including Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.
The company is led by John Curtiss, President/CEO; Conn Townzen, VP Customer Service & Tech Support; Stephen Smith, Business Development Manager and GM Dallas; Billy McClure, Field Operations Manager; Kayser Nazmee, Engineering Manager; and Mark Walker, Southeast Region Manager.
Curtiss is most proud of the company’s 37-lane Designa Abacus PARC system at Clinton National Airport, Little Rock, AR. It includes automated exit transactions operating simultaneously with staffed cashier booths; full implementation of Xenteo EMV readers from 3C Payment; integrated pre-capture license plate recognition from Quercus; automatic vehicle identification from Transcore; revenue and transaction data integrated with airport’s MS Dynamics AX ERP system; and a 750-space automated parking guidance system from Carlo Gavazzi.
“It was a team effort and went in flawlessly,” Curtiss said. “We are proud of our partnership with Designa.”
He added that successful parking projects are more often the result of defined expectations, well-engineered system configurations, deliberate project management, and meticulous coordination rather than selection of a particular equipment manufacturer.
NextGen Parking’s success has been “the direct result of delivering best-in-class products using well-managed processes spanning initial scope definition and project planning through professionally managed delivery and ongoing SLA support programs.”
For more information, go to www.nextgenparking.net.
When Bob and Philip Hall founded BP Equipment in 2000, they looked at Texas and decided that wherever they could get their tools and equipment, that would be their territory. They concentrate on the Houston and Dallas areas, with some staff in San Antonio/Austin.
Bob Hall is company President, and Philip Hall is Co-Owner and Lead Project Manager. Gene Thie is General Manager of the Dallas office. Tim Lyons is Lead Sales of Commercial Projects in Houston; Carrie Hall is Lead Tech and Project Manager; and Stephen Davis is Lead Sales of Residential Projects and Project Manager.
BP does installation and support of access control systems, and assists in the design and installation of guard booths. It also is just beginning to get into parking guidance systems and believes that this is becoming a burgeoning market.
Over the years, PB Equipment has had some long-term clients. One of those is Winpark. It recently performed a new equipment/software implementation for the WPS ParkID system for at the landmark 64-story Williams (Transco) Tower in Houston.
The project has Internet validations throughout a Class A building, with Transcore AVI for tenant access, and automation for revenue control – all in a double-helix, 1,200-space, underground parking garage. The very complex installation took considerable time, but with the assistance of WPS and an internal BP group, they got it done.
BP’s motto is: “Service and Support after installation are the keys to good business. That’s why we continue to grow and prosper.”
For more information, go to www.bpequipment.com.