Thanks to urbanization and vertical development, and a demographic shift towards an aging population (among other factors), there’s been a dramatic increase in elevators put into service over the past 40 years. A well-maintained elevator might last a few decades if a Maintenance Control Program (MCP) is adhered to, as stipulated by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). However, it’s not unheard of to see older technology still in use, especially in buildings with codes that have grandfather clauses. Not to mention, not every state follows the same MCP or has the same building codes.
Right now, we’re entering a peak time in which many of these elevators will need to be modernized to upgrade performance in addition to meeting the new standards set by updated building code. In fact, by 2025, the elevator modernization market will be approximately $14 billion.
Modernization differs from normal repair and replacement (that you may find in a MCP). It’s deemed an “alteration” to the elevator, besides repair or straight replacement, which will result in an upgraded performance and is usually done so to adhere to new building codes. Modernization may not be a new idea, but as more and more customers require these services, it’s important to be prepared with a plan and the right ERP system to support you. Our ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system, called Mobile Office Manager or MOM, will ensure you’re ready every step of the way.
Manage and plan
Controllers are one of the most common parts of an elevator to be initially modernized. But once one element is modernized, all parts of the elevator must be upgraded to meet code. That’s why a lot of planning must be involved before taking on this process.
First, it would be beneficial to create or follow a checklist (not unlike one found in a MCP) that has the latest building codes and parts to check to assess what will be updated. If you aren’t following a checklist created by ANSE, you could use a template creator, such as featured in MOM’s project module, to develop your checklist. This way, you can know ahead of time as much as possible about what will be required for each modernization.
Planning is important for your customers, but also for your business as a whole. Using MOM, you can manage all your current sales leads to ensure you are fully prepared for the work you are aiming to take on. Once a lead is finalized or sold, it can easily be converted to a project with this ERP system.
Costing and budget
One you’ve created a plan for your customer, you will have to cost out the process for them in order to adhere to a budget. Modernizations definitely aren’t cheap. The NY Times reported that a complete modernization could run up to $125K for 6- to 12-story building, and upwards for taller ones. Detailing how that money will be spent, from parts purchased to labour, is important to ensure it’s managed properly.
Keeping your financial details in one place, such as an ERP system, will make managing customer projects easier. In MOM, you can forecast and compare your budget versus the actuals and keep track of spending in real-time. For example, using the Mobile Service app associated with MOM, every field worker or technician can check in and out, meaning you’ll have accurate costing numbers as work happens.
Timelines and scheduling
Modernization can take 6 months to a year depending on a lot of different and intricate factors. For example, are there proper structural features already in place in the current elevator system, such as ventilation? Are all the materials readily available for purchase, or will you be delayed by purchasing new parts? Considering these ins and outs in advance will be helpful to adhere to the timeline.
An ERP system, like MOM, can help you manage these scheduling details. With MOM, you can create a GANTT chart to show the duration and deadlines of your project. Plus, there’s ability to share documents (images, drawings, etc) between you and your technicians and tag them in your project so that everyone has access to the same information all in one spot, making it easier to stay on track for time.
Scheduling your modernization crew is also easier thanks to a simple to use color-coded system that allows you to keep track of who will be working on each project and when. As previously mentioned, the Mobile Service app allows your field workers to check in and out of projects too.
Want to prepare your company for what’s on the horizon? Start with a Free Trial of our Mobile Office Manager today and discover how our ERP system can work for your business.