Case study by Be-Mobile
Processing the parking costs and tickets of staff who travel by car involves a great deal of administrative hassle for many companies. The HR group USG People has a far simpler solution. They use the 4411 app from Proximus Accelerator Be-Mobile.
The app has been around for quite a while, of course, but Proximus Accelerator Be-Mobile has now expanded it to include a PRO variant for business accounts. Consequently, companies can easily use the software to manage their staff’s parking costs.
“With the recent extension of the parking areas in Antwerp, the request to use this app came mainly from our Berchem office,” says Michel van Dongen, Real Estate and Facility Manager at USG People Belgium. “The app enables us to pay our people’s parking costs in a very easy and user-friendly manner. The administration that this used to involve is more or less over.
Until the app was introduced, USG People staff often already paid their parking costs via 4411 on their smartphone.
Van Dongen: “For us, a parking charge consisted of three components: the start cost, the communication cost and the parking cost itself. The problem was often that the parking cost was settled via the mobile subscription, but not the communication cost and the start cost. They had to be settled manually afterwards. When you think that we have 2,000 mobile phone subscriptions, clearly something like this can’t be dealt with in an instant. What’s more, we regularly found ourselves in the absurd situation where staff’s parking costs were higher than the cost of their phone subscription.”
"In the past, we regularly found ourselves in the absurd situation where staff’s parking costs were higher than the cost of their phone subscription."
4411 does away with the old-fashioned paper car park tickets that involved a lot of manual work. The 4411 app can also be used to buy De Lijn bus or tram tickets or even charge electric company cars.
Separating private and professional use
“The 4411 app makes life a lot easier for both the company and the employees,” van Dongen says. “The full, exact cost is now billed to the company. Without users having to do anything at all. What's more, we can set restrictions, for instance that parking costs are only reimbursed until 7.00 pm. This way, private and professional expenditure remain strictly separated, with total transparency. As the expenses are dealt with transparently and can be checked using a registration plate or a mobile phone number, improper use is virtually impossible.”
"In the app, we can set restrictions, for instance that parking costs are only reimbursed until 7.00 pm."
USG People introduced the new app as of April, which was not by chance, as this was when the new parking zones came into force in Antwerp. There are currently already several hundred active users. A short trial period was used to test the system first. Does the company have plans to expand the app further to other offices? “We have 120 offices across the country,” says van Dongen. “The way we expand this will depend on how the parking situations develop. It’s often quite different in a small provincial town than a major city like Antwerp or Ghent.”
Michel van Dongen trained as an accountant at the Karel De Grote college. He worked as a Facility Manager at companies including Capco, Microsoft and Accenture. He has held this position at USG People Belgium for ten years.
The HR service provider USG People comprises more than ten brands (including Start People Service, Bright Plus and Unique) and has around 120 offices in Belgium and over 1,100 staff. Some 25,000 agency workers are spread among about 6,500 different clients by USG People.