By Nicole Chinea, CAPP

There have been three distinct paths of my parking career that have led me to my current position in this multifaceted and awesome industry. I was on the owner side for the majority of my career. This involved being the mover, shaker, decision-maker, and such. During this time, I quickly realized the importance of communication and relationships. What I didn’t realize is how important they would become when I was no longer the owner, but the operator.

The tables have certainly turned for me.

As we go into a new year, I think that we all could benefit from seeing things from a few different views:

To the Owner—your vendors work hard to ensure your accounts, properties, etc., are being managed at a maximum efficiency. However, please keep in mind that in the wonderful world of operations, anything can happen when we take into consideration cars and the drivers behind the wheel, garages, weather, etc. While most operators are well-versed in combatting these events and much more, please know that we appreciate your trust and strive to keep opens lines of communication at all times.

To the Operator/Vendor—while we assume everyone loves parking as much as we do, the ugly truth is that they don’t. As an operator, many times, we are entrusted with pretty large capital assets and revenue streams. As a vendor, at times you may become the lifeline for your customers in need of a product or a service. Knowing your client or customer and his or her operational goals is essential. Keeping in mind the things that are important to them will allow you to their gain and keep their trust. This allows for a more productive conversation when communicating with one another, giving you the ability to make operational improvements that can benefit all parties involved.

Nicole Chinea, CAPP, is regional vice president of operations with Winpark.