Eleven questions to ask before hiring an elevator maintenance company

June 03, 2010 - Owners Developers & Managers

Gregg Laufersweiler, Stanley Elevator

Not all elevator companies are cut from the same mold and it is important as a property manager that you know what you are getting for your elevator maintenance fees. The following lists some questions you should ask before signing a contract with a new elevator maintenance company:
1. Has the company provided training to the mechanic for your type of elevator equipment? The value to hiring an elevator maintenance company for your elevator is that they have the expertise to keep it running safely. You will not get the true benefit from your maintenance contract if the company does not provide training for your specific equipment.
2. How many elevators is the route mechanic responsible for? It is important to know how many other elevators the route mechanic is responsible for because if the route is overloaded the mechanic will not be able to do all the required maintenance. If the company assigns too many elevators to the mechanic you will not get the service you have paid for.
3. How large is the geographical area that the mechanic is responsible for? If the mechanic is responsible for a large geographical area it can have an impact on response times for service calls. Look for a company that has a route mechanic in close proximity to your building.
4. How many mechanics does the company have working locally? The mechanic may not have an overloaded route, but he could get tied up with other customers. It is important that the company have backup personnel in close proximity to your building in case of an emergency.
5. What is the ratio of supervisors to route mechanics? All elevator mechanics should be well trained and capable of fixing most problems, but when the problem is too complicated for the mechanic to fix he should have adequate support to repair your elevator as fast as possible.
6. Does the company have a local repair team? Some repairs require more manpower than the route mechanic can provide on his own. It is important to make sure that the company has a team in your area to make major repairs and decrease the time your elevator is shutdown.
7. Does the company have adequate personnel on call 24 hours a day? Problems don't always happen during normal working hours so it is important that your elevator maintenance company has adequate resources to handle off hours calls.
8. Does the company have a local parts stock? Waiting for replacement parts to ship across the country will significantly increase elevator downtime and ultimately tenant frustration. It is important that you choose a company with a large parts stock located in close proximity to your building. It is also important to make sure that the company has parts specific to your elevator. Access to OEM parts can be challenging so it is important to verify that the company has the necessary spare parts on hand.
9. Does the route mechanic carry a mobile parts inventory in his vehicle? Ask the company what type of vehicle the mechanic drives and if the vehicle is stocked with parts to fix your elevator. The route mechanic should have a mobile inventory stocked with parts specific to the elevators on his route.
10. How much time will the mechanic spend doing preventative maintenance each month? Drive-by visits do not accomplish preventative maintenance. It is important to make sure that the company you use actually performs the maintenance tasks on a routine basis to prevent costly repairs and increase equipment life-span.
11. Does the company have adequate insurance? Accidents happen and it is important to ensure that you will not be on the hook for accidents caused by the elevator maintenance companies negligence.
Gregg Laufersweiler is the sales and marketing manager at Stanley Elevator. He works out of our Merrimack, NH

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