Case Study: University of North Alabama

Industry: Higher Education

Organization:

  • 365 Academic staff
  • 6,105 students (fall 2020)
  • 2,266 campus residences
  • 8000+ parking permits
  • 10000+ violations/year

Location: Florence, Alabama

About University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama (UNA) transportation system utilizes a combination of printed permits and vehicles license plate numbers to enforce the university parking effectively and contact drivers and car owners to assist in emergencies.

Aided by the university’s online parking portal and the police department, the campus manages the parking reservation needs in the campus community. Students and employees can purchase parking permits, manage vehicles, access their information, and pay and appeal citations with the portal. User accounts are established automatically in the parking software upon enrolment or hiring.

The system displays the guest’s personal information and their registered cars, active permits, and violations. Users get access to manage their vehicles, register new vehicles with which only one vehicle must be ‘active’ to park on the campus community with permits. Users also get to view their current permitted parking spaces that they get authorized. With the appeal option, users can view and submit appealable citations to the appeal committee.

Client Overview

The University of North Alabama is a public university in Florence, Alabama, founded in 1830. It is the state’s oldest public university, with a total undergraduate enrolment of 6,105 (fall 2020). The university has a city setting occupying a 200-acre campus size.

UNA is in the heart of a four-city area that includes Tuscumbia, Sheffield, and Muscle Shoals. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. And as a simple point of interest, they keep a lion on campus as their mascot.

Parking & Security Challenges

UNA initially used a competitor product but decided to improve their operations and support upgraded minimum requirements.  More so, there was the need for efficiency, accuracy, and reliability from the admin perspectiveโ€”likewise, the need to provide a system so their users/parkers can manage their own needs from any connected device; computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Technology Solutions

Some of the benefits of the OPS-COMS parking management system are providing online citation payment and user management by the administrator(s). After installation, the new system helped the university save time and maintain accurate parking records.

OPS-COM parking and security platform

  • Brings together or replaces legacy parking applications
  • Fully customizable to support client processes
  • Additional revenue comes from parking enforcement
  • Enhances inner-office communication
  • Reporting that interlinks the overlapping areas of parking and enforcement

ViolationAdmin for parking enforcement

  • Allows users to register on the platform 
  • Easily attach multiple images to support virtual chalking and violations
  • Provide proper access and display for users who can’t view their permit.
  • Virtual lots designated by colour with corresponding zones created and assigned to the respective lots

Permit Management

  • An online, self-serve portal for students and staff to purchase permits and pay violations
  • Employee access to real-time data whenever they need it
  • Supports virtual chalking with remote sharing to all connected violation devices
  • Remote data access using Android handhelds equipped with Bluetooth printers
  • Ability to attach multiple photos to violation records to support the issuance and reduce appeal requests

Integrations

  • Banner integration for violation fines and to put holds on student accounts based on unpaid violations.
  • Touchnet for payments
  • Zebra label printer to support a unique permitting process
  • Implementation user push APIs to control the user import and push all of their users and relevant data directly to the platform in real-time.

Parking and Security Project Results

The University of North Alabama successfully launched the  OPS-COM parking and security platform in 2020. The new system allows users to upload personal documents directly to their profile using any connected computer, tablet, or smartphone.  This document upload requirement then links to their profile and is used to acquire a parking permit. More so, the cloud-based parking enforcement system makes data accessible to the administrator securely. It also provided access to multiple admin users without paying individual access fees. Thus, through role-based admin permission, the staff have every access that would allow them to fulfill their job functions. The OPS-COM system likewise interlinks data enabling quick and effortless access to data regardless of their location. With the use of self-managed profiles also, customers can select and pay for parking violations anytime and anywhere.

Resulting Benefits

  • A cloud-based solution
  • The ability to have multiple admin users without paying individual access fees
  • Unlimited photos linked directly to each violation
  • Real-time in the field data
  • Customer self-serve portal
  • Appeal Management
  • Multi-offender notification automation โ€“ Alarms

Future

IncidentAdmin

UNA is currently unable to find something they want at a competitive price, but if OPS-COM can integrate NIBRS, it will likely be the next thing they add to their install.  NIBRS is part of our development plan wish list.