WE ARE HAPPY TO TALK WITH MICHAEL ASMUSSEN, OUR SERVICE MANAGER, ABOUT HOW U-TRON’S SERVICE TEAM IS RESPONDING TO THE COVID-19 SITUATION AND ABOUT HIS PLANS FOR THE POST-PANDEMIC FUTURE.
Q- Hi Michael, How are you doing these days?
A- I am doing well! Trying to maintain a certain level of routine while working from home, some resemblance of a structure to keep me sane.
Q– Are all of U-tron garages active these days?
All garages continue to be active and functional. As far as the level of activity, our municipal garage at The City of WeHo CA, has the biggest decrease in usage. The city of WeHo is one of the most populated areas in the US. So they did the responsible thing and quickly moved to remote working. Naturally, the parking garage activity is significantly reduced, about 95%, however, essential workers are still working and using the garage, so even our municipal facility has to stay open and functional to serve our clients.
Q– How about the mixed-use and residential projects?
A– In our mixed-use projects we see about a 60% decrease in the number of parking cycles. We assume that it’s coming mainly from the closing down of commercial and educational facilities in the area that rely on that parking lot, transient users as we call them.
In our residential-only projects the reduction is smaller, up to 40% on the larger ones and much less on the smaller, higher-end garages. People still gotta go get groceries, go to the pharmacy, etc.
Q– Is U-tron considered an essential business?
A– Short answer is yes!
And in more than one way…. We are certainly “essential” from our users’ perspective, with several touchpoints every day, as essential as your daily commute! But we are also officially classified as part of the essential infrastructure workforce – we fall into the repair, maintenance, and janitorial type services attached to commercial and residential buildings so we are exempt from the closure ordinances that have been issued across the US. That makes us essential x2!
Q- Do users respond differently to automated parking amid the Corona virus?
A– It’s not easy to say, but our clients now truly understand the benefit of automated parking as a valet service, just without a human valet. They appreciate the fact that they get a premium user experience, without having anyone driving their car. Knowing that nobody had access to your car since you left it in the bay last and locked it, it is a big deal to them, one last thing to worry about in the midst of all of this.
Q– Many people work from home now. Has anything changed with U-tron service level because of that?
A– My goal since the beginning of all this has been: how can we make our part in our users’ lives even more transparent during the time of crisis?
I don’t want them to have to worry about yet another disruption or yet another change to their daily routines.
As far as parking goes, it should be business as usual to all of our users and that’s what we’ve been striving for. Of course, the way we are serving our customers has changed: we have been extra careful in regards to social distancing, we’ve created permanent crews that don’t mix, we’ve been working from home on everything that can be done remotely, etc. But from a user’s point of view, nothing has changed and that feels great for me to say!