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Product Development

MPG Manhattan Parking

Insane Lab developed an application suite that enhanced customer’s business model and improved the daily lives of our customer’s customers. That’s the holy grail of any software or consultancy company.

Overview

What?

Insane Lab was approached by MPG in Q1 2020 with a task to solve the challenges that parking customers and the parking operator were facing.

  • Ownership of the platform. Manhattan Parking Group didn’t want to lock themselves in multiple subscription-based platforms. Just as importantly, MPG needed to have the ability to tailor their solution to their customers based on the vast experience they hold in the field.
  • Omnichannel solution. The management software is directly integrated with both payment processors and MPG’s internal revenue systems. It allows for a seamless and efficient experience for both customers and administrators.
  • Complete control over pricing structure. Promo codes, event-based pricing, early-bird discounts, and more. Manhattan Parking Group has full control over their business.

Services

Product Development, Brand Development, Web Development, Mobile Development

Platform

Web, Mobile - Android

Goals of the

Project

  1. User-friendly experience

    Parking in New York is stressful by definition. Once we pinpointed the exact changes that needed to be done when compared with other online parking solutions, we didn’t wait long. Why not start your parking experience with a pleasant and efficient process?

  2. Cross-platform availability

    New York is one of the most diverse cities in the world—and that means that there’s no telling which mobile device will one use. We had to ensure performance not only in the web environment but also for Android and iOS mobile applications.

  3. Live data

    With a product that is used by thousands of people on a daily basis, the Manhattan Group Parking app suite had to be designed and engineered to reflect the current state of the data. It simply must be truly live and up to date.

This is how we’ve

done it

  1. Understand the New York parking problem

    A Google query for “Parking in New York” results in 756 million answers. That’s a good measure of the size of the challenge to solve. It’s definitely problematic to find a great parking spot in the Big Apple—and we believe we’ve done our best to help fix the situation.

  2. Communicate effectively

    Regardless of the circumstances, communication is key. We’ve spent multiple hours simply holding conversations with our customers to properly understand the situation, address the concerns, and implement the solutions that would go above and beyond what was expected.

  3. Keep the end-user in mind

    By improving the efficiency of booking parking space, we’ve made the users of our business partner satisfied. We’ve strived to save them time and money—and that, in turn, made our client happy.

This is what we've

achieved

  1. Better parking in New York City

    A product that would enhance the customer’s business model and improve the daily lives of our customer’s customers? That’s the holy grail of any software or consultancy company.

  2. Competitive advantage

    Owners of a business with a 60-year-old tradition won’t listen to anyone who doesn’t provide value immediately. That’s why we’re particularly thankful for the opportunity to help MPG outshine the competition even more effectively than prior to engaging our company.

  3. Satisfaction

    MPG Manhattan Parking is one of those projects we are particularly proud of. It’s a great piece of technology that addresses a real-world challenge that all of us face on a daily basis.

With the technology handpicked

for the project

After we’ve agreed with the client on the scope of the project, it was time to pick the proper technology stack.

MPG Parking System—mobile app development

For mobile development, we’ve had to ensure compatibility with both Apple and Android smartphones. We needed the software to be available via the Apple App Store as well as Google Play.

It was expected that the users will rely on optional push notifications for their reservation, as well as promotional offers delivered in the same manner.

From the functionality standpoint, the MPG Manhattan Parking app suite consists of three major features. The users can search for available garages and their respective addresses, as well as nearby businesses. After all, one might want to find a garage that’s closest to the location of your meeting—not the other way around.

To proceed, users need to enter the date and time of their arrival and departure. The best-suited search results will be displayed via a New York City street map and a garage list sorted by the distance from their preferred location. Moreover, users can sort the results to find either the closest, or the cheapest garage. Once they’ve clicked on an individual garage, they’ll find all the necessary information in a separate view.

Users can pay for their reservations through an integrated credit card gateway. The payment is always processed in full.

We’ve set the foundation for user retention with an account-based system. Everyone can register and log in via their phone/email credentials and have the ability to manage their reservations, review parking history, manage their accounts, rate individual garages, and parking experiences.

MPG Parking System—web app development

While a mobile application was a new endeavor for our client, we’ve also had to take care of the pre-existing landing page. The public website needed to be converted to a PHP framework—Laravel. Our team has updated the theme and extended its functionality to reach compatibility with the MPG Parking System. Moreover, we’ve designed it with responsiveness in mind—it’s now compatible with all new browsers on both desktop and mobile.

The feature set of the user-facing web MPG application is the same as in the mobile apps. We believe that—regardless of the project—it’s crucial to offer a similar, high-quality, platform-agnostic experience.

MPG Parking System—administration portal

Until now, we’ve been describing the functionality from the MPG end-users perspective, however, we’ve also had to take care of two other target groups: MPG Administrators and Garage Administrators. We’ve ensured that both groups have access to five major modules.

Reservations hold all reservations made via mobile and web apps. The administrators can fully manage the entire lifecycle of the reservation, making it easy to assist the users and learn from their actions. Transactions tab is responsible for payments made towards the payment processor, and Customers hold all accounts ever created via any of the applications. There’s also Inventory that provides complete management of available parking spots per garage, and Pricing that equips the administrators with full management of pricing on parking spots per garage and vehicle category (Standard, Oversized, Supersized).

API Backend—interoperability is a must

While user-facing elements of the software are important, it’s also incredibly valuable to ensure that the app can communicate with external systems. Interoperability is key in our world.

MPG Parking System’s API handles crucial operational tasks. We’ve integrated with OneSignal to enable push notifications, developed a secure payment processor integration to validate payments submitted via mobile and web applications, and established endpoints for the website and the administration portal. We’ve also taken care of the parking attendant systems by here developing two separate integrations.

API also assists in reporting—which is an important part of any software that assists in management. We’ve built features that allow select recipients, per garage, to receive formatted reports via email on a daily and monthly basis. Administrators of individual garages can also report Excel files. Users, on the other hand, can redeem printed MPG coupons to apply discounts at a selected garage.

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Technology

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