Elevators in America make approximately 18 billion rides per year, with over 17,000 rider incidents occurring during that time. While that’s a relatively small amount, headlines about malfunctioning elevators continue to pop up with more and more frequency.
For our friends north of the border in Canada, “elevator incidents doubled between 2011 to 2016”. The problem has grown so much so that Ontario (Canada’s most populous province) is trying to pass legislation that requires more preventative (or preventive) maintenance requirements for building owners. A lengthy 57-page report revealed that preventative elevator maintenance is at an “all-time low” for the province.
Preventative versus repairs
Most elevator maintenance calls come when an elevator breaks down or is acting up. Elevator mechanics must focus on getting it back into service, which can limit time spent on assessment or suggestions for other preventative measures to maintain the life of the elevator. At best, your technician may report back with opportunities for future prevention practices or maintenance that your sales team may be able to turn into an additional deal. That means preventative maintenance can get pushed to the side for the interim.
Preventative maintenance works to prevent problems through routine and additional services. Facilities.net reports that while there are many contracts that include it, building owners tend to “ignore preventive maintenance until the system becomes a liability or is no longer code compliant”. They prefer to take their chances on repairs costing less over time than preventative services. It’s like a car: you may be able to drive around the with the engine light on, but then decide to push it further if you’re unable (or unwilling) to set up a call with your mechanic.
Good for your customers, good for your business
Major elevator and industrial building companies, like Thyssenkrupp, are creating smart elevator technology that will tell technicians when an elevator needs a repair – before it becomes a problem. This type of predictive technology will save both customers and elevator companies time and money in the long run. That being said, smart technology is a big investment, often worthwhile more so for 12-story or taller buildings.
Expensive smart technology may not be a viable option for your customers right now. However, many elevators in America are reaching the age of needing modernization, so now is a crucial time to capitalize on preventative maintenance that could either extend the life of the elevator or reduce the modernization required. Simply put: There’s an opportunity to explain to your customers the benefits of preventative elevator maintenance in the areas of performance, safety, and costs.
Getting out in front of problems will greatly reduce the amount of elevator break downs that have been popping up and may be impacting your customer’s business. It certainly will cut down on the time an elevator sits out of service, an inconvenience for all passengers relying on it in the building. It’s safer for passengers to ride on regularly maintained elevators, too, which keeps an everyday experience from turning into a dangerous situation.
Costs can also be lower for your customers if they use preventative maintenance, which helps the long-term performance of an elevator’s parts. It’s better to plan for updates than be surprised by the cost of repairs. If a customer insists on not doing these preventive services, you should advise them that they may find the costs of repairs can significantly overrun the cost of prevention in the long-term.
On top of all these benefits, there’s also the environmental factors of keeping the mechanics running smoothly. By explaining to your customers the benefits of doing this, you open the door for a better and more trusted service-client relationship and the opportunity for future business. If you have contracts with preventative maintenance already included, you should remind your customers to take advantage and schedule servicing. As more and more of your customers include prevention in their contracts, you can report on the success of those measures and share your data with other potential clients, always a plus for your business when brokering future deals.
Having an ERP system like Mobile Office Manager is a valuable back-office tool to manage contracts or projects. Learn more about Mobile Office Manager (MOM) for your business now.