Archive for the month “June, 2012”

Australia

Australia

So earlier this spring I made  my annual trip Down Under. GAL has a great partner / representative in Australia (and New Zealand to keep technically correct) ALC – Australian Lift Components are the guys we have teamed up with. They are part of the Dewhurst  Group  – a mini-conglomerate owned by David and Richard Dewhurst  – get to know them if you don’t.

Anyhow, on arrival in Sydney, I connected and shot down to Melbourne (down / South equals colder in Australia – closer to the poll)  where I met up with Chris Carroll, the Chief at ALC: Wayne Brown – ALC’s Interstate Sales Guy: and John Tripi – an X Otis Adjuster who now is ALC’s Tech Support guru – and a good one.

The 4 of us called on customers for a day or so, threw a dinner and party for a group of consultants, and then got on a plane in order to rinse and repeat in Brisbane. Brisbane is up North where it’s warm – nearer the equator.  After calling on all of Brisbane’s elevator contractors and again having a night out with the consultants , we returned to Sydney and duplicated the routine on a little larger scale.

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Elevator U

Last week I was in East Lansing Michigan Monday, Tues, and Weds, where I got to attend the annual gathering of Elevator U. If you are a supplier to the industry, a contractor, or a consultant, you ought to have this group on your radar. The Elevator U types all have some degree of responsibility for a campus worth of elevators. Most are from universities but there are also places like the Smithsonian represented.

I am not going to try to recap the happenings at this event – but if you want the details, I highly recommend that you go to www.elevatorradioshow.com and check out Tommy’s report.

In the mean time, I had a bit of an awakening during their gathering and want to beat a little different drum. A lot of the Elevator U types do their own (read that In-house) elevator maintenance. Because of this, they could be (and were, not too long ago in the past) viewed as competition to elevator contractors. For them, being sort of a hybrid elevator type has kept them from finding acceptance anywhere in the ranks of NAEC. – and this in turn has made participation in the CET program prohibitive.

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Consultants in Quincy

Spent the first part of this week in Quincy at the Hollister Whitney factory. Every year for the last 9 years, we (GAL & HW) have invited a group of elevator consultants to come and visit. It is a crazy good event. We get to showcase all of the GAL and Hollister products and an opportunity to develop great relationships with a lot of the key players in the industry.
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Emergency Operations Committee

I am sitting in the ASME Emergency Operations working committee meetings in Calgary Canada. If you ever have criticism of the way A17.1 is worded or of the speed (lack there of) that code changes are made – if you have ever said to yourself “whew, how could this have ever gotten written into code” – If you think our code is too complex —- you have to come and sit in on these deliberations.

What most people don’t understand is that we are required to respond to inquiries submitted not only by contractors, mechanics and inspectors, but also from controls designers. People who write the code for elevator controls need to have every detail about what is expected to happen even in circumstances that are extremely unlikely in the real world.

There is a very dedicated group of people – including several from the fire fighting community – who struggle mightily with the rules that surround fire fighters service on elevators – trying to make our equipment safe and usable by the public and the fire fighter. Go walk a mile in their shoes.

Elevator Consultants

I got my June issue of Elevator World today. In it, Editor and my good friend Bob Caporale has written in his Editors Overview column an article titled “The World of Elevator Consultants”. In his article Bob gives a brief history of the elevator consulting – interesting stuff as always.

There is one point that Bob doesn’t make that I think played a great role in the emergence of the elevator consultant. I’m not really sure when it started, but at some point, the building management types decided that they could save a lot of money if they took bids on their elevator maintenance annually. Every year, they would gather competitive bids from as many elevator contractors as they could attract – and let the work to the low bidder – and many times they found that the cost of the maintenance went down. Somebody was almost always willing to underbid the company who did the work last year.

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