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July 6, 2012 -
Once facility managers have evaluated the existing elevator equipment in their facility and the available budget to address needs, they will have the framework for determining what type of services to seek from providers.
When searching for a provider, facility managers should look first to see that the contractor is accredited to work in a given market. Accreditation requirements vary around the country. Some states require service providers to have a contractor's license. Others have specific licensing programs for the vertical transportation industry, which includes elevators and escalators. Research the company to make sure it has proper insurance coverage because elevators open the owner to substantial liability. The provider also should have the financial strength to follow through on its service commitments for the life of the contract.
Next, review the company's engineering experience. Ask whether it has an adequate inventory of spare parts and the logistics to get them to the job site. Find out how many service technicians are available to respond to calls, even if the call comes at 2 a.m. Pin down prospective service providers on response time. Experts say a typical response time during normal business hours should be 30 minutes or less.
Ask too about the contractor's technical training program and be cautious of partnering with service providers that don't have an ongoing tech training program, as they will likely not be versed in the latest industry developments.
The company's technicians should be intimately familiar with the building's original elevator equipment and have access to spare parts, necessary software, wiring diagrams and other documentation.
A good service provider, however, will do more than just meet the technical requirements of a contract. Service providers should be willing to make recommendations for upgrades and improvements to meet current or future standards.