By Ron Fuller, CAPP

You probably recall an old familiar adage, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Richard Carlson wrote a book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … and It’s All Small Stuff”. I understand the premise of the book and the old adage, but in our world of parking and mobility, I would argue that if you aren’t sweating the small stuff, you are probably falling behind in your program.

If you are an administrator, you may be able to get by with focusing on big-picture planning, but you better have someone on your staff who has a handle on those small things. Why? Rome was neither built nor did it fall in a day. Your parking operation is no different.

  • Are you staying ahead of critical maintenance issues that you may not see since you aren’t generally a user, such as parking meters, pay stations, gate boxes, etc.?
  • Do you have a plan in place to make sure they are clean and in good working condition?
  • How about lighting? Are the fixtures dusty and plagued with spider webs? Are the lenses still clear and intact?
  • Are the corners of your garages a catch-all for trash? Are the trash cans emptied before they are overflowing?
  • Does someone need to go through and freshen painted areas? Are your wayfinding or regulatory signs clean, clear and well placed?
  • Are potholes found and fixed while they are still small or do you wait until they are large enough to generate complaints?
  • Are your vehicles that transport customers clean and inviting?
  • Is your customer service staff equipped with the skills that actually provide service?

These are often referred to as coffee stains. We may walk past them every day without notice. But our customers and visitors notice.

Sweat a little—it matters.