Wondering if other companies can maintain your elevator? Let’s help verify if non-manufacturers can service your elevator make/model.
Building maintenance is one of your biggest concerns as a commercial property owner. Having a well-trained maintenance crew on staff that keeps your building in tip-top shape is a boost for your reputation as a landlord. But there is one nagging issue that could keep coming back to haunt you – a broken elevator.
When your elevator is working, the pressure on you is reduced. The potential for it happening again can sit at the back of your mind as a constant worry. If reliability is poor, you may consider changing your elevator maintenance provider. You might think this is a challenging position because your current service provider is also the manufacturer. They may have insisted that only they can perform the service and repair.
Is that true? Or can another company maintain your elevator?
Suggested Read: 10 Tips Before Signing An Elevator Maintenance Contract
Does Your Elevator Service Provider Have You Backed Into A Corner?
In a sense, you feel as though you are being held hostage because the manufacturer operates as though a monopoly. As the owner, you have taken a firm stand regarding the quality and condition of your property. Your elevator maintenance company has left you hanging more than once:
- It can take many days to get a response to your request for service.
- You are often forced to wait until your elevator repair can be fit into their schedule.
- They show up late or not at all.
- The fees they charge are unreasonably expensive.
You wince each time you have to witness a parent with a small child in a stroller staring hopelessly at the “Out of Order” sign on the elevator door.
You have been considering an alternative elevator service company, but feel unsure because warnings were given by the manufacturer. They bluntly informed you that their equipment is proprietary and parts can only be ordered directly through them.
What Does “Proprietary” Really Mean?
Regardless of what your elevator manufacturer has stated, you do have options and it is important you have all the facts.
What exactly is meant by “proprietary”?
By definition, it refers to the exclusive legal rights of the manufacturer related to the production, use, and marketing of the equipment and parts. Unless specified by contract, the manufacturer is not required to disclose any information about the products. It could limit the capabilities of other elevator service providers.
Find out how proprietary your elevator is. Get in touch to get your free proprietary score.
Can Another Elevator Service Company Repair And Maintain Your Equipment?
Servicing your elevator could be compared with servicing your vehicle. Purchasing your vehicle from a car dealership meant that it came with a warranty on the parts and labor for repairs. The dealership will only honor the warranty if you bring your vehicle into a dealer-authorized shop. Once the warranty expires, you have a decision to make. You can extend the warranty and continue maintenance or you can find another shop to do the service – one that is not authorized by the car dealership.
You can choose another car dealership, one dedicated to selling different car makes, or you can choose a local independent mechanic. In either case, both options could be viable if they employed a mechanic familiar with your car. Many car mechanics switch companies and learn to work on multiple types of vehicles.
The same is true for companies that service elevators. Far more options become available to you, once you decide to move past the limitations of the manufacturer’s warranty. You just need to locate an elevator company that’s experienced with your equipment type.
Some elevators are less serviceable than others. Some markets are unable to service specific elevator types when other markets are much more competitive on the same equipment.
How Does A Non-Manufacturer Handle Elevator Replacement Parts?
An obvious concern is whether or not replacement parts can be purchased for an elevator that is considered proprietary equipment. Most brand-name manufacturers have a distribution point for the parts, and these can be ordered by independent service providers or other manufacturer service providers.
Overall, this means the parts needed to repair your elevator are readily available by all elevator companies. There are literally hundreds of elevator parts re-sellers and distribution companies that carry the parts.
What Happens If Your Elevator is Not Working?
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) you are required by law to provide elevator access because it serves the public. This includes:
- Stores and shops.
- Restaurants and bars.
- Service establishments.
- Recreation facilities.
- Private museums.
- Nearly all types of private businesses.
You are also required to pass an annual elevator inspection. For your building to be open to the public, it must be up to code and in working order. If not, there may be penalties involved. The other side to the loss is that your tenants may choose to leave or you may lose the business of customers who are unable to manage the restricted access.
How to Find An Expert Elevator Service Provider?
Similar to vehicle mechanics, there are more independent elevator maintenance companies than there are manufacturer service providers. It may be possible to find a reputable maintenance company that knows your unit type impeccably, and provides excellent services at a fair cost. You may also find a competing major manufacturer that’s more than capable on your equipment.
ElevatorLab is dedicated to helping you sort through the intricate details of switching elevator maintenance providers. If you have questions about elevator service, give us a shout. We can help.
Don’t let a broken elevator be the reason your facility is on shut-down. Your options are broad!
Have you dealt with any elevator issues? Comment below and let us know.