When it Comes to Valet Parking, One Size Does Not Fit All


When it Comes to Valet Parking, One Size Does Not Fit All

Eddie Westerfield is the CPO and co-founder of GET IT, a provider of digital, app-based parking software for self-park and valet. We sat down to discuss the evolution of valet technology and how effectively it serves operators across industries, including hotels, hospitals, and residential properties. 

Q: To start, can you tell me what “vanilla valet” means? 

At GET IT, we use “vanilla valet” to describe software that claims to work in every application. It puts the burden on operators to learn how to use it and configure it to their specific needs. It’s like trying to put a square peg into a round hole. 

Consider hotel valet, where parking data is manually handed off to hotel staff and attached to room folios. There’s no real integration between hotel and valet operations. 

Q: What are the alternatives to vanilla software? Should operators invest in custom solutions instead? 

The answer isn’t necessarily to build custom solutions, but rather to find ones designed to be flexible and accommodate unique property or industry characteristics. The solution is easily configured with all the components an operator needs to succeed, including features designed for their industry or application. 

Q: How does GET IT support different verticals and applications? 

We built our software by talking with valet attendants, management, and customers. We wanted to create a solution based on real-world situations, not guesswork. Rather than rolling out one catch-all solution, we built our SaaS platform to deliver solutions that could easily be tailored to any industry, giving staff and drivers all the features they want.  

We’re a cloud software company. We offer a SaaS solution that runs on non-proprietary hardware. This gives operators unparalleled flexibility and future-proofs their investment. Every employee can run the GET IT app on their smartphone, so there are no concerns about broken equipment or long wait times for replacements. 

Q: In your opinion, what’s next for the parking industry? Which trends and innovations are becoming more popular? 

Everyone is thinking about automation—how do we rethink the parking experience for driverless cars? What equipment do we need to install to accommodate them? 

I think we aren’t quite there yet. It won’t be worth the infrastructure costs to implement solutions for driverless cars until most people are using them. Operators should lean into software instead of developing hardware solutions or investing in new construction. Software is a more scalable, flexible option. It allows parking operators to pivot as the market changes without racking up costs.

Article contributed by the Parking PT team.
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