Vinci adds value to its parking properties

“A lot of people say ‘parking is parking’,” smiled Adamo Donatucci. “All that matters is that the cars come in. Cars come out. You collect the money.”
Vinci Park’s general manager thinks that approach is short-sighted.
“That’s really an unambitous approach to the business,” he told the Square Foot.
Vinci, which took over management of the Toronto airport’s parking facilities, May 1, prefers the enterprising approach.
“Right off the bat, we introduced some marketing,” Donatucci recalled. “We asked ourselves ‘What can we do with branding?’”
“The Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) appreciated the opportunity to partner with us,” he explained. “It had already implemented some initiatives, which had stalled. We introduced them to people who could get things done.”
“It’s too soon to crow about our successes, since we’ve only been running the GTAA parking for five months, but I can report that GTAA is quite pleased with what we have so far brought to the table,” Donatucci said. “In a nutshell, that entails an open mind, and a willingness to implement programs hand-in-hand with GTAA.”
 “Whether it’s the newfound non-parking advertising revenue stream, the increased allegiance of our clients through loyalty programs or simply our efforts to foster a closer relationship with the community, we already have notched up a few successes,” he continued.
Attitude shift
Between winning the contract in February and going operational in May, Vinci brought in personnel from its Montreal aiport operation, from its United States subsidiary and elsewhere, and invested a great deal of time and energy to ensure a smooth transition.
“When the day arrived, we were prepared,” Donatucci said. “We had left no stone unturned. Uniforms were in stock. We had hired staff from the previous operator as well as internally from Vinci and brought in new blood. All the training modules were in place. Within a few days of taking over, it was pretty much business-as-usual.”
“Right away, clients noticed the change in attitude and efficiency,” he noted. “A lot of it had to do with the attitude of the valets. They’re the people who most often interact with the public.”
The Toronto airport dynamics also proved more similar to Vinci’s other operations than expected.
“Parking—especially in airports—is all about flow,” Donatucci explained. “People arrive, park and get to their plane.”
“Pearson is the biggest airport parking facility in Canada, and is quite daunting in terms of its size and complexity, he said. “We ramped up for the first week because we didn’t know what to expect. After one day, we achieved a sense of flow that was quite familiar. We looked at one another with relief and said: ‘Wow, we can handle this!’”
Vinci is also implementing new technology on behalf of GTAA.
“We’ve already started with zip park—a database-driven, automated alternative to manually writing out a three-part parking ticket,” Donatucci said. “We’re currently gauging the productivity of the reservation system, which we will roll out in conjunction with GTAA. It has been very cooperative in letting us roll out the technology it has today and making it work.”
“More technology will be coming next year,” he added.

on December 17, 2014