Management Lightning Round: ParkHub
In our first ever “Management Lightning Round” blog we will give one of our management teams a chance to provide their quick insights and perspectives into their sectors.
To start, who better than the amazing team at ParkHub – leading the drive towards digitizing and monetizing parking across sports, entertainment, and leisure.
Our over-riding theme: “How will enterprise software help bring live sports and events back quicker and safer?”
George Baker, Sr. (Founder/CEO): What capabilities have venues asked of ParkHub to address the virus concerns?
Since the beginning of ParkHub, we have been able to reduce operational costs and drive operational efficiency, thereby helping venues more effectively generate revenue. We do this by digitizing parking, literally one transaction at a time. Now more than ever, there is a push to drive these transactions to a digital format – removing cash and augmenting to advance sales or contactless (NFC) on-site payments. Our service addresses venue operators’ biggest concern: creating the most friction-free entry experience for returning fans and guests, and assisting in staged arrivals.
Todd Marshall (CTO): Why is the ParkHub suite the right platform to build on the “contactless” experience?
Part of the upgrade to the new Suite is a platform shift to microservices on Kubernetes, utilizing applications facing GraphQL interfaces for flexibility when dealing with multiple types of data stores. This transition sets us up with the ability to quickly adapt to changing marketplace requirements by allowing us to add new modules and integrations to our platform in isolation. Utilizing multiple types of data stores has also expanded our ability to create the analytics necessary to understand which “contactless” solutions work best in the field and adjust product strategy accordingly.
Laurens Eckelboom (CRO): In what ways has the pandemic driven more demand for ParkHub’s product?
From a demand perspective, we have seen a dramatic increase in customer requests for contactless and frictionless technology. Traditionally, we are steering our customers to prepaid reservations and credit card transactions while still being able to handle cash in an auditable way. Today, the focus is on even more contactless such as touchless EMV (“tap to pay”) and NFC payments like Apple Pay and Google Pay. With ParkHub Pay, our comprehensive payment program, we can already enable this for existing E315 devices, while our new flagship Prime EMV offers this on top of P2PE. Additionally, traditional QR codes can be scanned while keeping the car windows closed.
When customers are concerned about a safe distance between attendants and fans, we can easily use a “selfie-stick” or use a pedestal for fans to tap their phones. Further, we see an increasing interest for ParkMatch, our inhouse icon-based frictionless access control that ties a credential to a set of icons/colors and is verified at a safe distance by an attendant.
Lastly, we see substantial opportunity to unlock gated venues with a relatively low cost and agnostic BLE gate kit that vends gates by any booking app (SDK). This will also open up urban garages and other verticals for Suite, our BI-tool.
Jake Edsell (COO): What service adjustments has the ParkHub team needed to make in new implementations or relaunching existing customers?
Our primary focus has been to prepare our customers for the return of their customers. To do so, we spent considerable time and energy building a robust, comprehensive digital training platform that will allow their employees to ramp back up to 100% operational efficiency in a very short period of time. Thus, allowing our customers to focus on other initiatives knowing their employees can hit the ground running as soon as they are called upon.
An added benefit of this training platform is that it will provide our internal operations team tools and resources to onboard and launch new clients in a more consistent, cost-effective manner.
Conner Mowles (CFO): How does a digital parking experience motivate sports venues and ownership groups financially?
Digital parking experiences have a clear Return on Investment, which motivates venues and ownership groups across the board. The three primary financial drivers are yield management, internal controls, and velocity of ingress. By digitizing the parking experience, ownership groups gain a comprehensive understanding of their assets and initiatives to promote revenue generation on those assets. Examples of this include pricing levers, promotion of prepaid reservations for revenue visibility, overselling inventory based on unvalidated credentials on gamedays, and establishing VIP areas.
Additionally, by deterring cash use and improving internal controls, slippage is reduced. Fan equity is a key metric in our customer base. ParkHub’s digital parking experience gets fans into the venue faster, which data has shown boosts concession and merchandise sales. Throughout our history, we have performed case studies in multiple end markets, validating a ~700% ROI and motivating venues and ownership groups across the country to adopt a digital parking experience.
Geoffrey Byers (CPO): What would be a game-changing addition to the product roadmap over the coming five years?
Enabling entirely frictionless experiences through all touchpoints in the customer journey will unlock unforgettable experiences for the end customer as well as insightful, actionable, and measurable KPIs for our direct customers. In the future, we are looking at even more advanced ways to access the parking location or venue via biometrics and/or camera-controlled credentialing.
Tony Albanese (Executive VP): How can ParkHub leverage our deep partnerships to help other software vendors address this new world?
ParkHub is in a unique position at the crossroads of mobility, live entertainment, and recreation through our relationships with parking operations, sports and entertainment, and outdoor experiences. As such, we are emerging as an integration point for other software and software-enabled services. We have the opportunity to leverage our deep customer relationships to help our partners deploy the right solutions quickly and ensure that all pieces of the customer journey are tightly integrated. As we look to contactless payments, social distancing within venues, contact-free concessions, etc., ParkHub has the capability to bring these products to large customers, gather instant feedback, and, most importantly, ensure that we are delivering a holistic solution and not a patchwork of components.
Nick Schanbaum (General Counsel): Has the pandemic changed ParkHub’s approach to contracting with its customers?
Our customer agreements have always reflected the circumstances facing our customers (e.g., accommodating seasonality), and those circumstances have just changed (e.g., unpredictable reopening dates). We always seek long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with our customers and vendors, and this is evident in how we structure our contracts. Being flexible in the face of uncertainty has proven to be a significant differentiator for ParkHub’s customers looking to prepare for post-COVID operations.