Russ Ward

Elevator Wild Cards

Elevator Wild Cards – We have all been in a friendly game of poker. In my youth I would spend hours with middle-school friends playing penny ante poker, usually in a dimly lit and musty smelling basement. To make the game more interesting, we would employ all sorts of wild card variations. They went from the mundane deuces wild to one-eyed-jacks and suicide-kings. Then there was my personal favorite, jacks-n-fives (big fan of the Jackson Five in the early 70’s).

I remember often sitting smugly with a wonderful natural hand raising as I went. In my clutches was a full house; hard to beat indeed. And to see those two nines and three queens staring back at me from my tight little grip gave me nothing but confidence. The result was a heaping mound of copper coins and the occasional nickel in the pot waiting for the final “call.” A world of wealth and pride for a 6th grader in 1975.

Like a scene from an old western I would lick my lips with anticipation and then spread my cards, declaring “Full house!” Only to be out done by two wild deuces and two lowly fives, four-of-a-kind. Rats, beat again!

We had lots of fun but, I came to the conclusion pretty early on the word “wild card” was a negative. It was not a positive term at all because it altered the game. Using them took a competition of skill and chance to a child’s game of pure luck. And, there is a difference. One is a challenge that can be calculated, anticipated, played with strategy and an understanding of rules and agreements. The other was completely blind and random.

Elevator Wild Cards

So let’s openly show our cards for a second as we get the elevator part of the blog post.

In the serious business of construction, how much do you want to rely on chance, pure luck or wild cards? The building industry is highly reliant on calculation, anticipation, organization, strategy and agreement. Luck or wild cards should play no part, but it does. Every time you contract with a traditional elevator company job completion becomes blind and random.

It is the nature of how the elevators are installed in the old-fashioned way that makes them so untenable and unpredictable. Let’s face it, you do your end of the work. The hoistway and pit are made ready according to specs. There they sit for months. Because, once the cement dries you lose any and all ability to complete the elevator on your time schedule. And now your project completion rests with an elevator crew showing up when they want, completing the work on their time schedule not yours.

Instead of a fair game where everyone knows the rules you end up playing poker with a dealer that can make up cards wild at their discretion. You might as well throw out all of your laborious planning and scheduling.

Strategy and Planning Becomes Pointless

Your strategy becomes the hand you were dealt. Begging, pleading, arguing, yelling, threatening and coercing are the only tools at your disposal. There is only hope and nothing is in your control. For the proactive project supervisor or superintendent this becomes maddening to say the least.

All the planning goes out the window. Not only do you have to wait for the elevator on someone else’s time schedule, you have to work around all their tools, elevator components, excuses and the elevator guys when they decide to show up.

But beyond that, due to the traditional elevator process entrances and door frames go in last multiplying problems. It falls to you to reschedule or call back the rock and tape crew, painters, floor prep and flooring contractors, even electricians and sprinkler workers. They are all delayed until the elevator is finished.

Raking in the Pot

But there is a better way. What if the elevator were 100% in your control with no wild cards? You decide completely when the fully installed elevator is placed. Beyond that what if that elevator could double as a construction elevator?

Suddenly you could have all the trades pushed forward in sequence as all the entrances arrive completed, not when the elevator contractor can get to it. The result is a significant savings (click here for an amazing account from a project superintendent).

The MEM elevator system can make that happen. The commercial quality elevator and hoistway arrives as one finished product off of our assembly line. It comes on a flatbed truck when you want it. Here’s a video of one being placed. Your responsibility is largely the pit poured to our specifications. You tell us when you want it to arrive. That’s a big deal in an industry that thrives on timelines and completion. All that is needed regarding the elevator is time for start up and inspection.

In addition to the dollars and cents savings, there is an overall reduction in the mental stress and aggravation caused by traditional as well. There is peace of mind knowing the full installed elevator is placed often at the beginning of the build.

No Limit

The benefits are clear and going with MEM is no gamble. We have been providing the best elevator solution for low and mid-rise projects for decades.

Also, there are no limits to the types of projects that we can assist with. The MEM elevator system can be used in new construction or retrofit. We have simple models for ADA compliance to full-sized hospital elevators. Our elevators can be used in parking garages to apartment complexes. Anywhere a traditional elevator can go we can too, only you control when it is delivered.

So end the high-stakes gamble on traditional and go with the your best bet; the MEM elevator system. To get started, click the button below to get a budget price or schedule a virtual tour of our factory and see how we consistently deal a winning hand.

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