About the client
A leading American multinational pharmaceutical company needed a solution for their employee parking problems. Their Human Health and Animal Health division occupies two separate floors at a facility in Sandyford, Dublin. Most of their staff work from the office, except for a few sales representatives who spend a significant amount of time on the field and use cars to commute. The company has 159 employees who require car parking space from Monday to Friday, between 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
The key issue faced by them was that their office building is located in a densely populated industrial location approx. 5 mins drive from exit 12 on the M50, which also includes office buildings of other companies such as Microsoft, SSE Airtricity, ICON and others. Due to licensing constraints, The Company only has access to 55 parking spaces for 159 staff, with a loading of 287%, there is a car park located underground beneath the building and access to which is controlled via a barrier which can be activated using a swipe card.
Despite providing a flexible work environment, the pharmaceutical company still faced serious issues with their employee parking. The company noticed that parking was a significant source of frustration for its employees. To help solve the issue, the management invested a heavy amount of money to hire an overflow car park which was a 20-minute walk away from the office premises. The company also incurred huge costs in providing shuttle services to employees during the day to and from the newly hired parking area.
They tried introducing a rota system that granted access to the car park on a week on & week off basis. For weeks off, the employees had to make their own arrangements for parking. Many would have chosen the overflow car park in this case. An issue with the rota system was that it had to be managed by a centralized resource facility. During weeks on, employees were usually away and as a result, many parking spots were left empty. AdhocWhatsApp groups sprung up to help communicate availability more effectively.
How Ronspot solved the problem
The original idea behind Ronspot came as a result of the parking problems experienced at this site. Our experienced development team has been creating powerful software solutions for some of Europe’s largest companies. As Ronspot’s first customer, they presented us with the problem as outlined above and suggested producing a mobile App as a solution for corporate parking problems.
We started the process with in-depth research and discovered that no comparable solution existed in the market. There are a lot of Apps for on-street public parking but not for closed private car parks such as this case.
We designed the App with 2 Goals in mind:
- Maximize utilization of car parking spaces to ensure that all spaces are occupied to the greatest extent possible. As an expensive company asset, empty car parking spaces are to be avoided while an employee demand exists.
- Provide flexibility, visibility, and equality to all employees using the App. Every employee should have an equal chance of getting a car park space and all should be able to tell at a glance what the parking situation is for a rolling 90 days.
The on-boarding process required each employee to register their name, email address and car registration number in their own Ronspot account, which is tied to the company.
- Each parking spot available was registered in the database and viewable via the App. Once the employee opens the App they are presented with a calendar showing the current month.
- Available parking spots for each day represented by a full green dot. No availability is represented by a green circle with a diagonal line.
- To book a spot the employee taps the green dot and gets assigned a parking space number. That remains their spot unless they release it.
- Should they arrive to work and find their spot occupied by someone else there is a ‘Report a Violation’ Once reported, the violation is recorded in the database and the offender is notified instantly via the App along with the HR and relevant admin personnel.
- The entire booking process takes less than 2 seconds.
In this particular case, the number of employees was more than the spaces available. Thus we came up with a credit system, which can be ‘spent’ by the user to book any spot in the future. The credits are evenly distributed to the users based on demand. A credit top up is performed at the beginning of each month and can be adjusted by the company administrator month to month based on demand.
In the event, a user has zero credits they can still book spots on the current day even without credits. This is to fulfil the first goal of maximizing parking utility.
Additional features also include; Automatic spot allocation to specific users (car share, disabled, senior management, etc.) so they don’t have to manually book their spots. If not in use, they can also release their spaces so others can occupy.
Ronspot went live with the solution on Jan 1st, 2018. The application was an instant success. 86% of employees stated they loved the App. Employees loved it as the system was fair, easy-to-use and transparent. Surveys conducted by our team revealed that the number of unused spots on any given day dropped by more than 60% thanks to Ronspot. Parking Violations almost disappeared after 1 month as people who park in the wrong space alwaysgot reported. Parking reports and behaviours were made available at the click of a button for the company Admin and facilities like Guest parking were also subsequently added.
The management of the company have continued to license the solution into 2019 and say they intend to buy it again in 2020.