Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Talk to your Customers or Lose them.

Bloggers to this page may recognise the push for parking companies to get into the Social Network sphere to moderate the conversations about parking and about themselves.  As a business decision it is a no-brainer to have a conversation with your customers as they are having a conversation about you right now and the first parking company to control this mode will make huge inroads in market share.

Using facebook and Twitter are becoming old hat now, but Social Business is still a relatively new field.  There is huge potential in marketing using your social network systems and the mechanics of setting it up in your business are cheap and simple.

The Social Network system is a fast changing world now, with acceptance of the technology now having an increasing penetration into age and social backgrounds.  If you don't talk to your customers, then in the future, someone else may.

Kevin Warwood


Monday, March 19, 2012

Canterbury hospitals set back years by quake

On top of this, there are two hospital car park buildings that are out of action, a total of about 750 spaces gone.

Canterbury hospitals set back years by quake.

Quake damage at Canterbury hospitals could see patient services disrupted for several years to come.
The region's hospitals have suffered considerable damage as a result of the ongoing quakes and many key facilities need extensive repair work before they can resume operating at full capacity.

"We've got over 9000 hospital rooms that are damaged," Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) chief executive David Meates said. "There are already 17 buildings that we've vacated. The size and level of repairs will have an impact on services, but we're working through short-term options to try and make sure the community doesn't have any less access to care."

With repairs likely to take some years, Meates is warning the DHB could struggle to meet some of the health targets set by the government.

The performance of district health boards is rated against national targets set by the Health Ministry, with the results published every quarter so the public can see how their DHB is performing.

The latest results from the Canterbury DHB show that despite the upheaval of the last 12 months it has managed to achieve, and even exceed, a number of the targets but Meates has warned that tough times lie ahead and that it would become increasingly challenging to meet the targets.

In recent weeks, the CDHB had been forced to close the operating theatres at Ashburton Hospital and to find a temporary new home for the Child Health Oncology Centre, which had had a flow-on effect on the type of paediatric surgery that could be carried out.

The Parkside block at Christchurch Hospital, which contains 24 operating theatres and undertakes 20,000 operations a year, is going to be a building site for the next 18-24 months as extensive repair work is carried out.

Asked whether the DHB could contract out more of its services, Meates said it was already using most of the private sector's capacity. A number of innovative options for delivering care were currently being looked at and some key decisions were in the pipeline that would significantly impact on how health care services in Canterbury were delivered in the coming years.

"The biggest immediate challenge we've got at the moment is how we deliver services through this winter – that's one of the big challenges we're facing," Meates said.
- © Fairfax NZ News


Friday, March 16, 2012

The Battle of San Francisco.

The Big Supply & Demand parking experiment. 

The SF Park-ing project in San Francisco is turning the on-street parking paradigm on its head with the introduction of simple price adjustments by 'supply and demand'.

'So what?' I hear you say.  This has been the realm of the off-street parking paradigm for decades.  Why is introducing it into the on-street paradigm so news worthy?  The reason it is so important is that the on-street parking area has been the playground of the politician for years.  The parking professional has held sway in off-street car park buildings but the politician has known better in the on-street area. 

This experiment in San Francisco is the parking expert finally getting enough trust from the politicians that they wont lose enough votes to worry them and they will balance any loss with the better goodwill created by a city street that will be able to operate well under normal demand and supply conditions.

If this experiment doesn't work, this methodology will die a very public death and it will never be spoken of again for many years until people forget about SF Park and someone tries again.  This will be a disaster as the politicians will quickly try to wrest control back from the parking professionals again ..... and business as usual.

In SF Park we are starting to see the emergence of high technology, spread to even the furthest reaches of the parking realm, the individual car park bay.  This technology is now starting to support the parking professional in their assertions, as they are now getting the objective data to prove what many have thought by experience and observation, but could never get a budget big enough to prove.

I suspect that this project will give us some very encouraging results, enough for other cities to start to utilise the depth and breadth of technology out there now, to benefit a better understanding of the parking environment.  Before long there will be plenty of evidence out there to build a business case for even the trickiest of cityscapes.

This experiment will be seen not just as the triumph of parking professionals over politicians, but the start of the triumph of objectivity over subjectivity.  That is more important.


Friday, March 2, 2012

One Year on from the Christchurch Earthquake

Today is Remembrance Day in Christchurch, 22nd February 2012. 

Today, 1 year ago at 12.51pm, an earthquake of 6.3 magnitude, at a depth of a bare 5 km and centred 10 km south-east of the city centre of Christchurch, struck.  This followed the 7.1-magnitude 4 September 2010. 

The effect of the first earthquake was huge as a major earthquake had never occurred ‘under’ the CBD of a major city before.  The September earthquake had the effect of shaking everything, causing deaths, bringing down buildings, primarily of the unreinforced masonry or brick type and shaking to the foundations the local populace. 

The February earthquake, 1 year ago today, was more devastating.  It was lower on the Richter scale but much closer to the city, and had a 1.88g ground acceleration, a much more devastating earthquake.  This shake brought down buildings already loosened by the first shake and killed many more people.


Then on the 23rd December 2011, two earthquakes or 5.8 and 6.0 struck again.  This time most of the damaged buildings sustained much more damaged and had more of a psychological affect on the populace.  So spare a thought today for all of those who lost their lives or were injured in the Christchurch earthquakes.

Please remember the people killed in Christchurch over the last two years.

Kevin Warwood