In our Intertraffic original “5 minutes with...” series, we try to find out more about some of the most well-known names and faces in the intelligent mobility sector. This time we spoke with Paul van den Boogaard, Managing Director of the WPS Group. WPS is a mid-sized company, founded in the Netherlands that provides parking solutions.
Intertraffic: In the last five years, what one new innovation or one new development has made your job easier? It can be new technology, new thinking, new legislation… what would it be? ?
Paul van den Boogaard: “The pandemic in general was of course a very sad period in which mankind really had to adapt to a new reality and had to give up certain privileges that normally were taken for granted. Things such as meeting up with other people or moving around freely. Back then, we were no longer allowed to fly to colleagues and customers on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. So, we adapted and started using video conferences as a tool to communicate. As a multinational that communication method is now so embedded in our way of working that it really helps us in being more efficient and sustainable. Clearly, it can and should never replace physical interaction, but being able to interact visually with whoever and whenever is definitely beneficial to us.”
Intertraffic: Which trend or topic do you think is going to be the number one conversation starter in 2024? This year for example was undoubtedly the proliferation of artificial intelligence in smart mobility solutions.
Paul van den Boogaard: “The diminishing of hardware as part of the Parking Management System and the increase of software on the other hand. Already for some years, we have seen a decline in the share of hardware. But this trend will most likely go even faster in the upcoming years. Trends such as ticketless, cashless and even paperless will sooner or later be followed by barrierless solutions, which are already present in some markets.”
Intertraffic: If you could change one thing about the sector you work in that will be of benefit to society as a whole, what would that be?
Paul van den Boogaard: “As we see the share of hardware diminishing it would be even better if the hardware becomes irrelevant for a PMS to operate. With a global shortage of raw materials, we should really aim to use as little hardware as possible. We need to think differently.”
Intertraffic: Away from the business world, what would constitute a perfect Saturday for you?
Paul van den Boogaard: “Having two young kids, sleeping in is no option. Luckily, I always tend to wake up early. In the morning I’d like to have breakfast with the family and then head to the sports club of my kids to see them enjoy doing a team sport. At some moment during the day, I do also need to do a personal workout. I need to have some energy flowing through my body, either by running or doing fitness. Then, obviously, you always need to do some gardening or other things around the house, which I definitely don’t mind. Especially when that is followed by some social interaction with friends or family.”
Intertraffic: You are recognised as one of the public faces of your company, but what would you like to be remembered for, however?
Paul van den Boogaard: “I have a few principles that I don’t take for granted. I believe one should always be honest, to others but also to themselves. People are at their best when they stay close to their beliefs or values. Nowadays people tend to look at others too often. “Social” media has clearly accelerated that. Just be yourself and don’t get distracted by what other people think of you.
Intertraffic: Is there anything you would like to share that is not covered in the previous questions?
Paul van den Boogaard: “Thanks for reading this interview and if you need a reliable innovative partner that can help you maximize your profitability and enhance the customer experience within your parking facility get in touch with WPS Parking Solutions.”