Emory’s transportation department will choose between two companies to take over the parking service contract that expires Aug. 31. The department hopes to choose a provider this summer to leave time to finalize the contract before the current contract expires, according to Adele Clements, senior director of Emory Transportation and Parking Services (TPS).
“This partner should share our vision for the culture and experience that our customers expect when they park on campus,” Campus Services’ Manager of Business Operations Paul wrote in an email to the Wheel.
The two finalists for Emory’s Visitor Parking and Faculty Customer Service Ambassador program, SP+ University Services and LAZ Parking, showcased their proposals in the Campus Service Administration Building C on Thursday.
The two firms’ proposals included information on technology recommendations, employee benefits and increasing customer service. SP+ has held Emory’s parking service contract since 2011.
The Selection Process
As part of TPS’ routine process every four years, a committee composed of TPS members, Emory Healthcare members and TPS Advisory board members reviewed proposals and chose LAZ and SP+ as finalists, weeks before the presentations.
The committee will review the finalists’ proposals in the next couple months before making a decision with advice from the University Contract Advisory Group, according to Clements.
The chosen provider will be responsible for visitor parking revenue collection and management as well as customer service in seven visitor parking locations, according to Clements.
The customer service ambassadors patrol the decks and work with the Emory Police Department (EPD) to ensure safety. They also assist drivers, such as helping jump customers’ cars. The vendor will also provide customer service, security and traffic control for special events in the 14 Emory operated parking decks, according to Reeves.
“As this is the case, we expect everyone on our team to provide a seamless experience that goes above and beyond what their customer may experience at another university campus or hospital parking venue,” he wrote. “Parking at Emory is about the relationship. We make and take our business seriously to provide safe, well-maintained parking, with pleasant, courteous and helpful customer service.”
If LAZ wins the contract, LAZ would give current SP+ employees the chance to interview for a position, Reeves said. Four years ago, when SP+ began their contract, they interviewed existing contract employees and retained over 80 percent of them.
During the vendor presentations, LAZ Regional Vice President Todd Lawson touched on the safety measures LAZ would implement if given the opportunity to serve the Emory community, as well as the company’s emphasis on customer service.
He also proposed new technology on campus to decrease parking spot search time, such as a mobile app that shows live parking availability around campus and an online reservation system, according to Lawson.
Specifically, LAZ said in a statement that it would offer a mobile app verifying live parking availability, an online validation system, signs directing parkers to available spots during peak times and an online reservation system.
The SP+ presentation focused on raising customer service and hospitality standards in Emory’s parking decks, according to Reeves.
He added that one thing that stood out to him was their top level technology experts that come onto campus and provide feedback on how parking services can improve at Emory.
“SP+ is very excited about the opportunity to continue to develop the outstanding partnership we have with Emory University,” SP+ Georgia Regional Manager Jason Spoeth wrote in an email to the Wheel. “We intend to build upon the favorable changes we have made over the past several years by supporting our fantastic Emory team, providing world class customer service training and strategic technology recommendations.”
—By Sarah Husain