Sihouette of woman with technology symbols superinposed on her headBy Don Barrett, CAPP

In the past 24 years I have seen many improvements in the revenue control systems that are available on the market. We have seen some equipment providers stop production of their lines of equipment the past several years. We have also seen the number of new upstart companies grow at a far greater rate, specifically in the mobile payment arena.

With all these changes, there has to be some thought put into the procurement process of a new revenue control system. This process should involve both short- and long-term goals of the system. As with all technology, anyone purchasing a system must realize that in the fast-paced tech world, new features and functionality will inevitably occur.

When procuring a system, there are several options available. The procurement can be done directly through various methods. The system can be purchased by the owner/operator directly from a manufacturer. The owner/operator can request pricing for systems from a select number of manufacturers. And the owner/operator can enlist the assistance of a consultant who will provide guidance and manage an RFP process.

Regardless of the method of procurement that is selected, the system requirements should be clearly identified. What functionalities will the new system need to have? Whether the new system will need to provide monthly parking functionality, LPR, availability to remotely monitor the facility, transient, and a myriad of other functionalities must be considered. A schedule for the procurement process should also be determined, containing initial meetings for system specifications and provide realistic timelines for each stage of the procurement process. Upon completion of the selection process, the purchaser and system provider should meet and continue to refine the timeline so all expectations are clearly defined. At the end of the process, the goal is to have a system that meets all the goals of the owner/operator.

Don Barrett, CAPP, is executive vice president, aviation, with REEF Parking.