T2 Systems prepares for rapid growth, major hiring to match parking technology convergence
It’s unlikely anyone could have predicted that parking technology and curb management would become one of the hot technology growth areas of the coming decade. Of course, the growth and pervasiveness of the sharing economy shocked the experts 10 years ago when GrubHub, Uber and various bike share programs first struck a chord with millennials across major U.S. cities.
Today we have a wide variety of ride-share; bicycle and scooter share services; food delivery; freight delivery; FedEx, UPS and other quick-ship carriers all vying for space; and both “the curb” and parking inventories are about to get even more crowded with drones and autonomous vehicles. The challenge of bringing order to the curb chaos and managing millions of on- and off-street parking spaces is much more than simple logistics or convenience—its outcomes have a direct impact on the workforce productivity of an area, a campus or an entire city.
Parking technology may not be something you’ve ever spent much time thinking about, but there is a growing, multi-billion dollar industry built up around providing universities, cities and private operators with the hardware and software they need to manage their parking spaces and curb-side real estate. At the center of this industry is a little-known firm based in Indianapolis called T2 Systems, which is actually the largest parking technology provider in North America, and it’s celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
Doubling in size and growing faster after 25 years
“Looking at the marketplace in general, it’s actually kind of a sexy industry now solving big problems on a community or an entire city scale,” said Adam Blake, CEO of T2 Systems. “What’s at stake is hours and hours of wasted time and billions of dollars in lost productivity when space isn’t optimized or if it’s poorly managed. We need a lot of talent—hungry talent—to grow with us and tackle these challenges that are going to get bigger and more complicated over the next five to 10 years.”
With over 1,600 customers in the U.S. and Canada, T2 Systems manages more than 200 million parking transactions totaling $2 billion+ annually. Surprisingly for those kinds of huge volumes, T2 currently operates with only 100 people at the headquarters in Indianapolis, 100 people in Vancouver, B.C., and another 80 employees located throughout the U.S. for a total of 280 employees.
Because of the convergence of parking and transportation into a new high-growth “transportation demand management” industry, significant opportunity lies ahead for T2. “The company was founded here in 1994 and we’re going to continue growing here over the next few years,” said Adam. The company expects to nearly double in size by 2025 with a majority of new hires located at the headquarters in Indianapolis.
Three new hires describe working at T2 Systems
I spoke with three recently hired T2 employees to get a sense of why they chose to join the company and what their experiences have been like so far in an established company and industry with so much grow and activity in new offshoots of emerging niches.
“There is a certain amount of security in coming to work for a company that’s literally celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. That kind of longevity is reassuring,” said Mackin Bannon, marketing content creator. “But for engineers and developers there’s this added bonus of getting to work at an established company that doesn’t act like it. It’s not staid and corporate; things move fast here like a startup and you get to try and fail and try again in a way that doesn’t fly at other companies.”
Software Database Developer Nick Wolf worked at a large corporation where his job was very narrowly defined before joining T2. “One of the things that really drew me to T2 is the ability to move out of such a narrowly defined database administrator role, and have the freedom to performance tune and improve processes, as well as to get creative and build new things,” Nick said. “I mean, the data here is endless, and for a guy like me who’s fascinated by data, it’s like I’ve got this coast-to-coast hardscape lab that never stops.”
Nick explained that parking management is challenging because it’s something people take for granted and just expect to work every single time—there’s no grace period or opportunity to do better next time. “It just has to be solid,” he said. Beyond the mechanics of the products, it’s the scope of the industry and how the work Nick is doing has an impact on people all across North America that energizes him.
Application Development Manager Cory Miller loves the intensity of working on both hardware and software products for a complex ecosystem where there are risks that needs to be mitigated at every turn. He says he learned very quickly that you have to be a problem solver if you want to be successful at T2.
“Don’t get me wrong, I need talented people with tech skills on my team, but new technology can be taught whereas I don’t think you can teach someone how to be excited about coming to work to solve big sweeping problems that affect people on the other side of the country,” Cory said. “Talented people can work anywhere they want, really, especially the people who have the tech skills every company needs so badly. What makes T2 appealing is the transparency and culture inside the company itself, and the opportunity in the parking technology and curb management industry that’s going to just keep growing and growing.”