The future of the European elevator market
The European elevator market consists of 5.95 million elevators, 150 000 new elevators each year and 155 000 persons working every day. There are some megatrends.
These megatrends will affect the elevator market and ensure growth for the foreseeable future:
• Aging population
• Increasing security requirements
• Increasing environmental demands
Dual effect of the market
Most of these trends increase the demand for new elevators and modernizations. The aging population has a dual effect of the market. The first is the need to bring new concepts to the market to be able to give accessibility to houses lacking elevators. The second is a challenge, when a lot of technicians go into a well-deserved pension.
Therefore, the need for new technicians to be familiar with many different types of lift of older and newer brands at the beginning of their work in this sector would. In addition, the price is also in circumstances of rising demand and pressure from the property owners to reduce the cost of elevators. The answer to this challenge is to improve the productivity of the installation companies. Analysis shows that the most important way to do this is to save time.
Helping the technician on-site
Improving productivity is something that the elevator industry will have to do going forward. How can this be done? Here are some possibilities:
• Moving the information and tools on-site
• Specialization in each field
• Automate information flows
• Proactive maintenance to avoid uncontrolled stand-still
Moving information and tools on-site: The person that knows best what to be done is the technician on-site. Almost everybody is having a smart-phone and we can give the technician all needed information in the shaft. It can be instructions or technical documentation, and it can be a fast way to find a component to replace a broken one. Using the same logic as Google one can help finding the material needed, searching on brand, article number, measurements or through smart guides to help the technician on-site.
Specialization in each field
The technician has a vast technical knowledge. The manager has a number of technicians that he needs to support and try to optimize the work load. Finding unknown material can take a long time. A picture tells more than a thousand words, therefore using images and letting experts that are 100% dedicated to source material find out what it is, saves time to focus on the other things. A wholesaler can ensure that the right material is in stock as it can look at the whole market and ensure that the right spare parts is kept and can be delivered within 24 hours.
Automate information flows: It is easy to buy things via the internet. That is one way to automate standardized information. Now the rest of the information flow is getting automated; Order acknowledgement, delivery time, tracking ID and finally getting the invoice connected to the work-order as well as automating the authorization process. A conservative calculation on the cost of a manual invoice is 50€ per invoice. As each service-technician initiate 2-5 purchases per day one can rapidly see the potential saving.
Un-planned break-downs will always take more time than planned service. Just as the driver is reminded by the car of the next service appointment, the mechanics can inform the customers about the lifetime of various wearing parts. The most common call out are doors. One possibility is to offer the customer a "medium service" on the cabin and the entrance landing door; changing the hanger rollers, counter rollers, lock roller, contacts and guide shoes.
The other doors can have a "mini service" changing hanger roller and guide shoes. Making that change beforehand will help the customer to keep their total cost as well as stand-stills down and the installation company to better plan their work.
The suggestions above can lead to an improvement of the productivity of all functions within a company. Making a low estimate of 5% productivity increase: 5% increase in turn-over and a 5% decrease in cost of staff will have a dramatic impact on the results. The solution is already out there, why not try it?
Daniel Nyman is CEO at Hissmekano