Virtual permit solution provides very real benefits to University

by | Mar 9, 2016 | Case Study

An award-winning approach to sustainable travel and transport is helping the University of York to improve operational efficiencies and customer experience as it continues with a major £250 million expansion programme. Working closely with Imperial Civil Enforcement Solutions, the university has now introduced a highly automated virtual permit solution for all departmental visitor parking.  This pioneering initiative has not only simplified the booking and allocation of permits and reduced operational costs, but has also proved to be very popular with visitors.

The University of York has over 30 academic and research departments, more than 16,000 students, nearly 3,800 members of staff and anticipates continued growth over the next 20 years.  However, it is neither practical nor permissible to increase parking areas to match the ongoing development on the 500 acre campus.  It is essential, therefore, that every effort is made to encourage the use of alternative forms of transport and to ensure that all 2,356 parking bays are used as efficiently and fairly as possible at all times.

A dedicated permit management solution

The ICES software development team has worked closely with the University of York to create a virtual permit solution specifically for use by universities. Based on the company’s proven and highly versatile VoucherSmarti permit solution used by local authorities, the new module replaces the former XL spreadsheet and hand-written permits that were not only costly and increasingly difficult to administer but also causing delays and frustration for visitors.

Now departmental administrators across the campus simply use an on-line booking system for all visitor permits on the day, or in advance.  The booking is then confirmed instantaneously on the back-office system and the Samsung Galaxy smartphones (fitted with the Rialto enforcement software) used by the University’s patrolling Travel and Transport Assistants.

Significantly, the new streamlined system has overcome the inconvenience and frustration that can arise when visitors need to collect and then display a permit.  But the solution has also helped to boost compliance, simplified enforcement practices and provided major operational benefits.  It has eliminated the need to administer the issue of permit hangers and the inevitable delays and discrepancies that can arise from the batch issue of paper permits. It is also much easier to complete all work orders and produce internal departmental invoicing for actual permit usage.

“The virtual permit has transformed our approach to permit management.  It is not only saving time for our help desk team and reducing costs and environmental impact significantly, but is also providing us with a wealth of invaluable insight and management data to support our ongoing commitment to sustainable travel solutions. Following the success, we’re already looking to extend the new permit solution to cover all types of permits for staff and students.”

– Fiona Macey, Sustainable Travel and Transport Manager, University of York

A versatile solution

In contrast to the post code requirements of a local authority, the new virtual permit module for universities uses email addresses as the unique identifier and it is fully configurable to cover all types and categories of permit for both city centre and campus universities. Invariably, the cost of allocating, administering, producing and posting the existing permits for staff and students is very high.  The use of virtual permits provides a much more cost-effective, agile and reliable solution – and is much more convenient for everyone involved.

Virtual Permits from ICES – Key features and benefits

  • A dedicated permit management solution for campus and city centre universities
  • Much more convenient than conventional permit parking
  • Improves the experience of visitors
  • Maximises parking accessibility and fairness
  • Highly automated and very easy to install
  • Eliminates the cost of producing and issuing paper-based permits
  • Greatly simplifies permit booking and allocation
  • Complements broader sustainable transport initiatives
  • Highly versatile and easily configured to cover all types and categories of permit
  • Simplifies the creation of work orders and internal departmental invoicing
  • Eliminates the delays and discrepancies associated with the batch issue of paper permits
  • Easily integrated with payroll and HR systems
  • Provides invaluable insight and management data
  • Helps to maximise compliance
  • Real-time updates ensure enforcement accuracy

Imperial Civil Enforcement Solutions is a specialist developer and provider of advanced software and management systems to help universities, estate management operations and local authorities to encourage and maximise compliance with relevant parking and highway regulations.  The company is one of the most respected, trusted and long-established operations in its specialist field and it continues to invest in the latest intelligent technologies to maximise service standards in all areas.  It also provides an award-winning back-office processing, consultancy and training resource that continues to transform operational efficiencies for clients all over the UK.

Ashley Bijster, MD of ICES, and Fiona Macey, Sustainable Travel and Transport Manager of University of York

Ashley Bijster, MD of ICES, and Fiona Macey, Sustainable Travel and Transport Manager of University of York

Parking, Environmental & Traffic Management Made Easier

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