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Russ Ward

Elevators are Easy – Projects Aren’t

You learn a lot by listening. Like mom always said, we have two ears and just one mouth for a reason. So, last week at the World of Modular conference held by the Modular Building Institute we got a chance to listen.

We found out what people were thinking when it came to elevators from their perspective. How does the architect, engineer, project manager, owner or designer really feel about elevators and the elevator industry? And especially what do they think of modular elevators.

Well let’s be blunt, we did not hear many positive things about the elevator business as a whole. Some folks actually joked we were the most hated industry at the conference! Wow tough crowd. But I can see why.

Elevators are Easy

See in simplest terms people in the construction industry know an elevator is just a box moving up and down inside another box. You have a cab, a hoistway or shaft, doors, a control system and a means of conveyance. Pretty simple. But, when it comes to making all of the intricate pieces of the puzzle to work together in a project, that is the hard part. And thankfully that is our specialty with experience and knowledge with decades in both the elevator and construction industry.

Pop Up Park used the MEM Elevator System as a highlight.

Unfortunately, though many have been led to believe (by elevator folks) that the elevators are the difficult part of the equation. Couple that with a reputation for unresponsiveness and you have a recipe for agitation and mistrust. Hence the negative comments about the elevator industry.

Overall we got much higher marks for the MEM Elevator System and innovation, flexibility and responsiveness. Those we spoke to realize we are different from others in the elevator business and that even high-quality modular elevators are relatively easy…it is the project integration that is complex and that is where we have an opportunity to shine.

So why are things seemingly so cloudy and murky in the elevator end of the business? Why all the hate? There are several reasons and believe it or not it often earned and not all an evil plot (just some of it is).

How the Elevator Industry Fails

  1. Really you are not buying an elevator. Large elevator companies want the maintenance agreement. The entire process guides you to a choice that requires an expensive long-term maintenance plan. The mode of transportation you are directed to, the use of proprietary parts and the maintenance agreement are a part of an intentionally confusing package…on purpose.
  2. With some companies details are left until last. The push is to put ink on paper (signing a contract). You will be led to believe things are well in hand, but only later will come to realize they are not. Elevators are easy, but details are important for project success.
  3. Keeping you in the dark helps them. The only choice the elevator company wants you to make is on the cab interior. To push away questions the elevator company can be condescending or talk in jargon and obfuscate. They have the power and withhold to maintain that power.
  4. It is someone else’s call. The architect wants the elevator chosen early in the process so the footprint can be set. However, engineering takes time. These two forces work in opposition to each other. The elevator company does not help with communication at all because again it is about the maintenance.
  5. Getting answers is like pulling teeth because sales is detached from the project. The truth is that often the sales team has no vested interest once the elevator is sold. Commitment and service is not in their vocabulary. You end up waiting as the phone rings or for returned messages. They do not answer as you are not a priority.
  6. Lack of knowledge. Turnover in the industry means the breadth of knowledge needed to pull off project complexity is never built, stored or recalled.

How MEM Succeeds!

The Modular Elevator Manufacturing Elevator System is different. When you are talking to someone about an elevator at MEM, you are talking to the project manager. Your elevator is not going to be passed around like a hot potato. Also, from the outset your elevator and your project are combined. That means one person is working on the details.

Here is how we are different and succeed:

  1. You are buying an elevator! There is no ulterior motive for selling a bigger maintenance contract. You will get an honest assessment every time for what makes the most sense for the specific project you are working on.
  2. We care about the details and work things out early. For instance we want to know and help determine how the elevator is tied in with the building to if there are special finishes inside or out. We ask for and listen to project specific details.
  3. We want an informed partner. Explaining everything and answering your questions honestly comes second nature to us. Education regarding elevators and modular elevators is what we do.
  4. Our team works with everyone (GC, Architect, Engineer, Developer, Project Management and more) and coordinates information between the various parties. This helps the project go smoothly.
  5. The sales team member is the project manager. There are not a dozen phone numbers to call or departments to track down. You have one dedicated contact that will help answer all your questions. This is a difference that matters.
  6. We have decades of experience, seen everything, answered every question and solved every problem. Others can’t say this. We have a wealth of knowledge regarding elevators, modular construction and the construction industry.

Time to Join the Revolution

So the World of Modular conference presented by the Modular Building Institute was a learning and listening experience. We hope that we were able to hear what you were saying and you see us as your elevator solution. MEM is doing things differently and is starting an elevator revolution where easy, fast installs are the norm and all the details worked out ahead of time. Is it time for you to join the revolution? It is never too late.

Modular Building Institute MBI Supports MEM

As you make your elevator choice remember the MEM System is perfect for any low or mid-rise application and it is very easy to set and start up as we take care of the heavy lifting.

The MEM System is commercial quality elevators installed when you need them in about four hours. They can be started up once we have power and can be used as a construction elevator. Also, they are not just for modular building. Any type of structure can utilize our elevators as a way to get quality installed quickly and off the critical path.

It is time to change how things are done and seriously consider modular. The Modular Building Institute is a great resource if you have questions in general. Or if you would like more information about us specifically and how we can ease some of your elevator pain points feel free to contact us. If you have a project in mind, to get the ball rolling just click the Fast Track Quote button below. You can also see how we produce our elevators with a Live Virtual Tour of our facility. We would love to show off a bit so sign up today.

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