Tag Archives: RFPs

Are You Taking Advantage of Us?

By Courtney Turner

I had the pleasure of meeting many of you at the 2019 IPMI Conference & Expo in Anaheim. For those who didn’t make it to the IPMI Community Center or who didn’t find themselves accosted by yours truly when you sat down at one of the tables there, I wanted to take this opportunity to refresh your memory about your organization’s membership benefits. If we spoke at all at Conference–even in passing–you probably heard me mention Forum, our online community. I tout it as my personal favorite in our menu of benefits, but we have so much to offer our members and it’s my job to make sure you are fully utilizing your benefits!

Here’s a recap of some of our member benefits–read through and see where you’re missing out. IPMI members can:

  • Save up to approximately $300 on registration for the annual IPMI Conference & Expo–plan ahead for IPMI 2020 in San Antonio, May 31 – June 3.
  • Receive discounts on monthly webinars (led by the parking and mobility profession’s leading experts), online training courses, and CAPP and APO certifications.
  • Access our searchable, online Membership Directory.
  • Join a Committee.
  • Engage in Forum, our members-only online community;
  • Receive IPMI’s publications: our monthly magazine, Parking & Mobility (up to four paper copies of magazine and unlimited access to digital edition for entire staff); IPMInsider, our bi-weekly e-newsletter; and Moving Forward, our professional development newsletter.
  • Read and post the latest news about parking people, products, and services on the home page of the IPMI website.
  • Submit news that is also shared in the IPMInsider.
  • Post RFPs (which are then published in the Insider);
  • Access our online Buyers Guide.
  • Post a job/find a job in CareerHQ.
  • Read and/or contribute to the Blog.
  • Peruse the Resource Center for publications, white papers, and resources.

I chose to reiterate the membership benefits in this blog post thanks to a conversation I had with one of our members who attended one of my Community Center membership talks. This member had recently hired for a position and while listening to my talk, realized that they had forgotten all about CareerHQ. Posting the job opening on CareerHQ would have allowed this member to tap into a network of parking, transportation, and mobility professionals with the skill sets and experience needed for that particular position. Instead, they wound up hiring someone they’re not entirely sure will work out. Folks, use us! Post your openings in CareerHQ, let people know on Forum that you’re looking for qualified candidates–reach out to your peers, network, and let us (and our resources) help you!

Don’t miss out. If you have any questions at all about your membership benefits, please email or call me. I’m here to support you.

Courtney Turner is IPMI’s member engagement and special projects manager.

How Much Did You Save Going to Bid?

By Chris Yigit

In a recent discussion with a technology officer from a large agency, license plate recognition (LPR) came up. His feedback was very candid: “We aren’t very interested in LPR,” he said. “It doesn’t work that well.” This comment was shocking–I have seen LPR work in the most demanding scenarios. After further discussions, the story opened up quite a bit more, and it was all too familiar. An LPR bid was put on the street and the lowest bidder got it. Not surprisingly, the system did not meet their expectations.

When it comes to guns, no police officer will buy the cheapest; it’s all about reputation and quality. When that tool is needed, it must work well. Not to compare LPR with guns, but if your agency decided to adopt some key technology, would you willingly purchase a solution that works poorly to save 10 percent? Of course not!

Part of the problem is the purchasing process: create a bid spec and the lowest bidder gets it. This works well when buying office supplies or other commodities, but when it comes to parking enforcement technology, not all tools are created equally. We may get the wrong product because it met the RFP spec and was the lowest bidder.

In an RFP I was involved with, the agency took a different approach: a points-based system where the contract goes to the solution with the highest points. It allocated something like 40 percent on price, 20 percent on service, and 40 percent on performance, and each product received points in each of those categories. They quickly filtered out the vendors whose cost was low and whose solution may have met the black and white specs, but wasn’t a great match for what they wanted.

In the end, two bidders made the shortlist and four weeks of testing via pilots yielded the winning candidate.

If you think this is a lot of effort, it is. But this approach could have a serious impact on operations and productivity for years to come. If you view the investment and the potential payoff of having a great tool for your agency, it should be well worth the effort. After all, price isn’t everything. (Know anyone who bought a brand new ’84 Hyundai Pony for about $5K?)

Chris Yigit is AutoVu program manager with Genetec and a member of IPI’s Parking Technology Committee.