Partner Spotlight – Total Parking Solutions
At Passport, our partnerships mean the world to us. Not only have these partnerships played a key role in our success as a company, but we’ve developed strong relationships with each and every partner that is unique in its own way. We love our ability to communicate openly, share ideas, and constantly learn from one another. One partnership that is especially unique and important to us is our partnership with Total Parking Solutions. Specifically, our relationship with Joe Smith.
Joe Smith is the co-owner of Total Parking Solutions. Total Parking Solutions was established in 2005 under the premise of “uncompromising customer service.” With their primary focus being Pay by Space and Pay & Display equipment, they are a top distributor for Cale multispace equipment. They are adamant about promoting the industry’s best in class parking technology, including Passport.
I sat down with Joe to talk about his journey in the parking industry, why he thinks our partnership is so unique, and to get his insights about where the industry is headed:
Tell me about your background in the parking industry and your journey to Total Parking Solutions
“To be honest, I started in parking accidentally like most people do. I began my career with the City of Chicago, where I was able to work my way through the ranks until I was managing their entire on-street operations. After leaving my position with the city, I managed operations at various parking environments, which taught me that there was a lot more to parking operations than just parking meters and on-street parking. In 2004, I was approached by Tom Zawacki, who had the same passion for multispace meters as I did, and he wanted to open his own business. We went in 50/50 with our own blood, sweat and tears. It was a gamble, but here we are ten years later with over 500 pay stations installed and 70 customers total.”
What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the parking industry to date?
“The biggest change I’ve seen is in parking technology - it’s quickly snowballed over the years. First there was the electronic single space meter, then multispace meters, and now the advent of pay by phone technology. I think we’re in a good place where we can expect the parking technology to stay put for quite some time, but then again, you never know what the future holds!”
Why do you think Total Parking Solutions and Passport’s partnership works so well?
“Our customer base at Total Parking Solutions is varied - we have smaller clients and much larger clients. No matter if it is a client of 10 spaces or 10,000 spaces, we treat all of our customers the same. Passport operates the exact same way. This understanding makes us work very well together.”
What makes Total Parking Solutions unique in the way you approach partnerships and business in general?
“We take our time. We put extensive thought and consideration into who we partner with. We take so much pride in our customers - we don’t lose any and neither does Passport. We would never partner with anyone who could jeopardize that.”
If you had to sum up Total Parking Solutions and Passport’s partnership in one word, what would it be?
Where do you see the future of parking headed?
“The way it seems to be going is Passport’s direction. It seems that more and more municipalities are partnering with companies to get an all-inclusive solution. They are seeking these types of solutions through partnerships like ours, knowing that we can provide a one stop shop for their parking operations. It’s a load off of the cities’ shoulders to have companies like Passport and Total Parking Solutions take care of all aspects of their parking technology needs.”