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Leading Operator, VPNE, Leverages BI to Increase Revenue and Reduce Costs

Updated: Jan 30, 2020

The challenge

With over 100 locations under management, each with different PARCS equipment, and its' own unique suite of data – how can VPNE efficiently manage and track the performance of each of its locations?

The goals

1. Streamline parking management

2. Optimize pricing and inventory allocation across VPNE’s portfolio

3. Increase revenues and reduce costs for VPNE’s clients

The results

  • Optimized pricing per location by gaining the visibility needed to understand price elasticity, resulting in an overall revenue increase

  • Automated processes and increased operational efficiency

  • Differentiated their business through a data-driven management strategy

It all starts with the flow of information – or data. VPNE manages over 100 locations up and down the East Coast. Each location has a unique parking revenue control system, mix of monthly and transient parkers, online reservation platforms etc.

The foundation of any business intelligence and yield management program is a single information system where all unique data sets are consolidated, tracked and measured.

With Smarking, VPNE aggregated all transaction-level data across various parking access revenue control systems (PARCS) into one single platform.

Smarking’s robust integration suite – capable of integrating with over 40 different parking technology providers – gives VPNE the flexibility they need to serve their clients while providing a single source of record necessary to build a business intelligence and yield management program.

The solution

Smarking’s Parking Data Management System and Yield Management Analytics help VPNE manage all their locations through one platform, optimize price points across channels, and track and measure the impact of business decisions with data.

Implementing the solution

The airline and hotel industry has successfully leveraged business intelligence and yield management programs for years, and the parking market exhibits the same critical dynamics:

1. Fixed, perishable inventory

2. Constantly varied demand

VPNE brought the Smarking team onboard and implemented the business intelligence solution at a handful of locations. Over the next two years Nick Litton, COO of VPNE, and his team expanded the program to over 40 garages in the Boston region, with plans to onboard the whole portfolio.

Along the way, the VPNE executive team provided the sponsorship, mentoring, and training necessary for successful implementation. Partnering with Smarking meant that jobs would change – no more manual excel reporting, forwarding emails up the chain of command, manually consolidating numbers along the way.

Management styles would need to change too. Business intelligence and yield management programs take much of the guesswork out of day to day operations – it was important to train VPNE staff to understand where data should lead decision making, and how garage managers’ intuitive knowledge of local dynamics should help inform those decisions.

Single location overview in Smarking BI

Leveraging data to improve performance

Knowledge is power, and that’s especially true in dynamic industries like parking. The first thing Smarking was able to do for VPNE is highlight historical and real-time trends across their portfolio. VPNE now understood:

  • How my mix of monthly and transient parkers differ by location

  • How the demand associated with monthly and transient parkers changed over time

  • If my overselling ratio should vary by location, season, and day of the week

  • The impact of historical price changes and how future price changes will impact each location

  • How to leverage online reservation platforms and how much inventory should be allocated and at what price point

Each of these learnings concern pricing and inventory allocation decisions – the fundamental tenants of the yield management revolution that played out in the airline and hotel industries. Having gained a deeper understanding of historical trends and their ongoing impact at each garage – VPNE managers were better equipped to answer detailed questions from clients.

One such question concerned the impact of ride hailing companies like Uber and Lyft. Smarking quickly visualized those trends on dynamic charts and graphs. What would have taken the VPNE team weeks or even months of manual report building, Smarking was able to create in a matter of minutes.

Real-time data empowers VPNE managers to be more active and engaged in managing their clients facilities – leading to increases in the frequency of rate changes and higher parking revenues.

Price changes and demand elasticity

Prior to working with Smarking, VPNE would make annual or quarterly rate changes. As much data as was available would be compiled, meetings set, and changes agreed upon. The process was inefficient, and often times, there was no follow-up or analysis until monthly or quarterly revenues appeared on client statements.

With Smarking – VPNE is now empowered to actively manage their garages, and have increased the frequency of rate changes in response to evolving market dynamics. As such, VPNE clients are experiencing their highest transient revenue numbers in years, and significantly outperforming the broader Boston market.

Smarking’s revenue analytics

In the example above, VPNE can clearly see the impact of raising the $40 rate (shown in purple) to $42 (shown in dark red). Revenue from the $40 rate band in January of 2015 was $514,480, but in January of 2016, revenue from the $42 rate band was $582,036; an increase of $67,556 or 13%. This data shows the inelasticity of parking demand:

  • A 5% increase in price

  • An 8% increase in transactions

  • A 13% increase in overall revenue

  • Revenue per transient ticket increased by 25%

VPNE prides itself on being fully transparent with its ownership clients. Smarking provides a unique interface for garage owners to monitor their garages and understand the dynamics impacting performance.

Differentiating VPNE’s business

VPNE’s unique approach to parking management is providing an exceptional-level of transparency between garage management and ownership.

Smarking is able to enhance this level of transparency by providing a real-time window into garage performance – helping ownership monitor their facilities for tenant related concerns and better understand the dynamics in the market.

VPNE looks to maintain long term strategic partnerships with its' clients. The level of transparency provided by the Smarking tool is testament to this philosophy and has enabled VPNE to expand its business by winning new clients.

Furthermore, revenue increases at other locations are documented in transaction-level detail in the Smarking platform, providing the VPNE team with the ultimate tool to communicate their operational edge.

Free one-on-one consultation

To learn more VPNE's business operations and business intelligence solutions, contact our team. Let's uncover similar opportunities for your parking portfolio. For the rest of January, our team is offering free consultations, just grab time on our calendar.


About VPNE

VPNE is New England’s premier parking operations firm, managing Boston’s most sophisticated parking garages. Properties managed by the VPNE team include the Prudential Center Garage, Back Bay Garage, 100 Clarendon Street Garage, and the 47 Boylston St Garage. Founded as Valet Parking New England in the 1990’s, VPNE prides itself on empowering its employees to deliver the highest level of service to its diverse client base. This includes hiring smart and energetic individuals, providing ample career training, and opportunities for personal growth.

In February of 2015 VPNE took it one step further by initiating a partnership with Smarking – to provide VPNE staff with cutting edge business intelligence and yield management technology. For VPNE, the Smarking Platform is a tool to amplify the impact and intellect of VPNE staff - from garage managers, to regional managers, to C-level executives.


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