Valet Vault

Case Study

Yale nexTouch Lock Renders Revolutionary Valet Key Cabinet Impenetrable: Safeguards Millions of Dollars of Automobiles Every Day

BACKGROUND

Billed as the world’s most secure valet key storage solution, Valet Vault is the brainchild of Zach Wojohn, a more-than-twenty-year veteran of the parking industry and owner of Executive Parking Systems in Atlanta, GA. Zach, along with his business and fabrication partner, Grant Henry of Henry Incorporated, designed and engineered the Valet Vault system in early 2020. Since then, he has sold them to a number of the larger parking companies, restaurants, car dealerships, airports and hotels around the country. The product garnered industry attention so quickly that Valet Vault is fulfilling orders to both U.S. coasts and multiple points in between, and is fielding product information requests from Brazil, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates.

 

THE CHALLENGE

For decades, when it came to storing and protecting customers’ car keys, valet parking operators had few options. Nearly all relied on what is essentially a standard file cabinet, fashioned from 16-gauge steel. But, with valet attendants opening and slamming cabinet doors hundreds or even thousands of times each day, cabinet doors bent easily, and, in normal weather environments, tended to rust out in fewer than two years. Moreover, because key cabinets were designed using standard-grade locks, they were easy for thieves to penetrate using little more than household hand tools.

Replacing today’s high-tech keys and computerized fobs can cost up to $1,000 for standard model vehicles, with replacement keys for luxury and sport vehicles, such as Porsche and Maserati, costing thousands of dollars. That means one breached valet podium could cost as much as a quarter of a million dollars just to replace stolen keys. This does not even begin to address the cost, hassle and tarnished business reputation resulting when vehicles themselves are stolen.

 

THE SOLUTION

Valet Vault exemplifies the adage, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

Wojohn explains, “Every week, valet parking businesses like mine were experiencing thousands of dollars in losses – sometimes multiple days in a row, because the valet cabinets we relied on were so flimsy. We needed to find a solution that was virtually indestructible but also easy for property owners and valet attendants to use, and one that could adapt to our plans for future cabinet enhancements.”

The Valet Vault cabinet is constructed of industrial-grade reinforced aluminum and integrates several patent-pending technologies including a spring-loaded, self-closing door, a “Defender Plate” welded to the frame reinforcing the door against up to 1,000 lbs. of pull, and a “Vault Plate” separating the storage drawer from key storage, which creates a vault for the keys. But one component makes this vault superior to all others – the lock.

“Throughout the design process, the lock was always our Achilles heel,” said Wojohn. “Thankfully, Rob LaLonde, our sales director, who came to Valet Vault with more than 25 years of experience in the physical security industry, put us in touch with the team at ASSA ABLOY. We found the perfect solution – Yale’s nexTouch commercial keypad lock. It is a Grade 1 industrial lock with a push button keypad and weather-resistant seal. It’s even certified to withstand hurricanes.”

He noted, “nexTouch locks are tough but so easy to use. I have witnessed my customers’ reactions when they realize how easy it is to program this lock. It takes them less than two minutes – they simply follow the voice prompts. That means access codes are easy to change whenever there is employee turnover.”

Yale nexTouch tactile push button keypad locks are ideal for attendants who wear gloves, but the lock offers additional features that Valet Vault may harness in the future – such as Z-Wave or WiFi capability, which would give valet managers the ability to schedule individualized access rights for attendants using individualized fobs. It would also enable managers to output audit trail reports detailing which attendants accessed the vault, when, and how often.

“Our customers are delighted because they now have an extremely reliable, heavy-duty cabinet and lock that safeguards hundreds of thousands of dollars of property every day. We are proud to say that our customers have not experienced a single loss with Valet Vault and the nexTouch lock. It’s proving to be the most valuable, most responsible employee on the property.”