Automatic ticketing system for APCOA Germany with MeldMan by Monit Data

MeldMan is a so-called ‘ticketing system’, similar to the systems that IT help desks use to manage incidents. “The name comes from ‘Reporting Manager’, or ‘Melding Manager’ in the Dutch language”, says Ernst Bos of Monit Data. “Our system was specifically designed for the parking sector. MeldMan offers a practical method to manage incidents, but for example also planned maintenance and work schedules.

MeldMan was recently introduced by APCOA for the management of parking facilities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (DACH). For Monit Data, this agreement forms a new international expansion from a strong existing position in the Dutch market. The international interest also shows that the Netherlands is in some areas leading the way in the use of parking data.

MeldMan focuses specifically on operators of parking facilities. “That is integral to what Monit is; to provide smart, cost-efficient and practical solutions for our customers. With APCOA we have now introduced the Meldman tool for their operators in the DACH German speaking region.”

Monit Data has also chosen for a licensing structure for MeldMan that is optimised for the users and operators. “Customers often have to purchase a per-user license. This makes everything quite complicated, especially if you employ many part-timers. What we are saying is: create as many users as there need. You don’t want multiple people working under one name, purely to save costs. You want to know who reported what and when, and with the model for multiple users that ability is built into the tool. Our pricing model is not based on the number of users, but on the number of locations. That has proven to work very well.”

“The tool is easy to use, which is why it is popular with our customers and their employees. With an hour of training, anyone is ready to use it. Also we see out in the field that incident and maintenance reports are often made by telephone or online. The convenient thing about MeldMan is that this reporting can be done by anyone and anywhere; you are no longer tied to control rooms.”

However having tickets created centrally by the control room employees does has some advantages. It creates more control as not just everyone can report something, and also reports are registered clearly. “We create this control in MeldMan by recording the structure of the devices in advance. Only users who have the correct rights can register new devices in the system. If a user then wants to create a ticket,  firs the device is selected, and in a corresponding standardised menu the incident reported. This way it is always clear what exactly the report is about, compared to having open and non-standard descriptions”

“Tickets can also easily be created from other systems via an API.” As an example, Bos mentions the integration of MeldMan with the parking facility management system “FlinQ Foresight” from TKH Security.

The MeldMan system has been in operation now for 8 years. It has found successful use with several large parking operators in The Netherlands. “ParkeerService for example, which uses the MeldMan for 15 municipalities, has been a very satisfied customer for more than two years”

Support by Monit

“We naturally provide support to our customers within 24 hours, even though we are a relatively small organization. We have an uptime of almost one hundred percent and literally weeks go by when everything is running normally and no support is required. We also pride ourselves on the security and reliability of MeldMan, everything just has to work – and it does,” says Bos.

Leading in parking data

With the international expansion with APCOA the question naturally arises: Is the Netherlands really ahead in the field of (parking) data that we can use our knowledge abroad? “You see at international events that we are indeed ahead in this regard,” says Bos. “That’s because we have had more focus on the use of data. For example, we have initiatives such as the SHPV (Cooperation parking rights) and the NPR (National Parking Register). We simply have a very good data infrastructure, which has advanced the use of data a lot. Thanks to this infrastructure, it is possible to combine data, gain new insights and offer services, which offers all kinds of opportunities. As the market is still maturing these is also still a huge continuing developmeng in this.

Bos mentions the differences with countries such as Italy and Germany. “There data is often still organised on  very local basis. But there is a definitive interest to arrange this better, more centrally, when presented with the possibility for a parking data infrastructure. Nowadays people often still use Excel sheets and a lot of manual efforts to keep track of things.”

Show what we have to offer

How can The Netherlands, with Monit Data in the lead, help other countries? “By showing what we have to offer, by demonstrating the possibilities to our European partners in the parking industry. For example, over here the centralised SHPV parking rights database makes the use of scan cars much easier, compared to connecting to the parking database per municipality. Outside of the Netherlands you often still have to arrange everything locally, which makes it much more complicated. In Great Britain they are now setting up a kind of centralised parking rights database, but otherwise this hardly exists in the other European countries.”

Monit Data is also committed that improvements that are implemented in one municipality, are made available for all other customers. “With our cloud based platform we can quickly leverage development across several municipalities, which makes it efficient both in terms of cost and new and improved services. If something is made for one municipality, it becomes available to all customers.”

International expansion

The introduction with APCOA has opened the door for further international expansion. “It’s surprisingly good,” says Bos. “We spent one day in Stuttgart to provide training to the key users, who in turn trained more than 250 other users throughout Germany, Switzerland and Austria. We aimed for a quick and efficient introduction in our agreement, and this suited all parties and worked out wonderfully. It is also very pleasant to work with our German-speaking customers; we actually don’t experience any cultural barriers.”

This article was created in collaboration with ‘Mobiliteits Platform’, the publication for the mobility sector in The Netherlands. The original article can be found via this link (Dutch only).