Toledo Ticket Technologies – How a Company Pivots
May 9, 2022
Just what do you do when you are looking disaster in the face? One company did everything possible to keep going in the face of Covid, and then made a perfect pivot. It kept its heritage and opened a new chapter in its history.
“We really weren’t sure what tickets would look like post Covid, but knew that technology was taking the lead.”
“We really weren’t sure what tickets would look like post Covid, but knew that technology was taking the lead. Basically, our customers went away in a month. Would they be back? And if they came back, would they be transitioning to a new way of management?” asked Toledo Ticket Technologies’ CEO Tom Carter. “We had to do a lot of soul searching.”
“Our company had been printing tickets for over 100 years. Five generations had managed our family-owned enterprise. It’s true that we had begun to move into a more data driven world with different high-tech ways to process and read tickets, but were we ready to take on a completely different product?”
Carter’s son Mitch discovered an alternative way to pay for parking without relying on tickets. That solution was Oobeo. “Oobeo actually approached us at in PIE 2019. They were starting to see traction in the market for the valet product and needed a ticket provider willing to work with them on quick turnarounds and a variety of different products. Toledo was the perfect fit as we had already stepped into a digital world of tickets (RFID, NFC, etc.), so the partnership was established and grew from there.
“We believed in the product and vision. We had been fortunate enough to see the product firsthand, many times, and understood many of the differentiators between Oobeo and other products. We also were able to meet many of the team members, and the team we have at Oobeo is best in class. With our network of connections, and the Oobeo vision and true platform offering, it was an easy choice to make,” said Mitch Carter.
“This is a new approach for us,” says Mitch. “It’s a way for the facility owner and operator to offer a high-tech method to pay for parking without requiring the parker to download an app. We keep the relationship between the operator and the parker. We don’t get in the way.”
Oobeo uses a QR code to tell the parker’s phone the location of the facility. The phone then goes to a website that gives all pertinent information as to rates, and alternative ways to pay. The customer can select their way to pay, using Applepay, Google Pay or various credit cards.
“Flexibility is the watchword with Oobeo,” says Mitch Carter. “Depending on the PARCS system in place, we can interface with the gates, and use LPR to track the vehicles. When a car pulls up the LPR tracks the vehicle and opens the gate, the driver then can, at his or her leisure, use QR codes located in the facility to open the website and pay for parking. They can elect to pay for a certain number of hours. If they approach their exit time they are notified and can purchase additional time, if necessary. If there is no LPR, they can simply pull a ticket and pay using the QR code by entering the ticket number.”
In prepay situations, like a sporting event, the attendant can turn their smart phone into a payment device and collect the fee by scanning a credit card and connecting it to the vehicle’s license number.
Oobeo is designed for on street applications as well, using QR codes to allow parkers to pay at on and off-street meters. Enforcement is handled through LPR.
The system’s flexibility allows it to be used to replace standard permit programs. The vehicle owner can purchase a permit for an extended period of time without involving the garage operator. LPR tracks the vehicle in and out. The goal of the Oobeo permit platform is to relieve the administrative burden that parking operators face, and allow them to focus their efforts on other parts of their business.
“Oobeo is particularly popular with valet operations and can be used with or without a paper ticket.”
Toledo’s sales people had to undergo extensive training to enable them to represent Oobeo to their existing customer base and new customers. “We are working to ease the transition from a fully ticket driven operation to a digital one," Mitch says.
“We are pumping out tickets on a daily basis,” says CEO Tom Carter. “We run our presses on three shifts and overtime. As long as OEMs are manufacturing ticket spitters, we are here to supply the tickets for them. We don’t see tickets going away anytime soon, however we have started to see a digital revolution and positioned ourselves to step into the digital era with ease. We changed our name and added ‘Technologies’ to better reflect the products and services we provide. We are still a printer, but also a software provider, and much more.”
John Van Horn is Editor of Parking Today. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org