Archive for the category “Industry”

Return to the Land Down Under

I’m just back from a whirlwind tour of the East side of Australia. When I left NY it was still cold and very snowy – you can imagine the relief on landing in the Southern Hemisphere. Steve Husband (VP Canada for GAL) and I were down under attempting to stir up some more sales for the GAL Canada linear design door operator as well as the Hollister Whitney PMAC Machines.

We began calling on customers for two days in the Brisbane area. Our stay concluded with Iian Elliot and Wayne Brown from Australian Lift Components, our partners in Australia, hosting a dinner and presentation to a group of the local elevator consultants.

The next morning, we jumped aboard a Quantas flight down to the thriving area surrounding Melbourne. Here we did a repeat – a couple of days stopping in to see customers and then a night out with the consultants. There were a lot of construction cranes reaching for the sky in Melbourne and the elevator types confirmed that the market there is very robust.

I’ve been to Australia often enough that some of the consultants have become friends. John Whitfield and Ross De La Rue have both come to NY to visit and it’s always fun for me to catch up with them when I get to their back yard.

Next, we were off for Sydney. Steve and I spent part of one day there helping ALC straighten out their GAL parts inventory. The consultants night out was moved up to Monday so that I could attend before heading to the airport Tues for the long trip home.

It was a very promising trip. We still do not have the market share that we believe we should – but along with some good moves from ALC, we think we will grow more quickly in the future than we have in the past.

So here’s one for you: I left Sydney at noon on Tues – St Patricks Day. After flying for 13 + hours, I landed in LA at 8:00AM Tues – St Patricks Day. Flew from LA to JFK and landed at 5:30 on Tues St Patricks Day! When the clock struck Midnight on Tue Mar 17, my St Patricks Day had been 39 hours long! There ought to be a way to take advantage of days like that!

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Nebraska Ho!

Ah, the glamor of business travel. Last week Monday, I left the office at 8:30 AM headed to LaGuardia and out to Lincoln NE for the annual Elevator U gathering. I finally got to my hotel room at 11:20 that night. The airline gods really had it in for me. Mechanical problems, delayed flights, missed connections, cancelled flights. I experienced probably every possible snafu – and all in one day. To get to Lincoln, you need to go to either Detroit or Minneapolis – then to Omaha – then it’s an hours drive. Whew.

That’s the bad news, the good news is the time we had at Elevator U. Mark Yako was along, as was Brian Musholt from Hollister Whitney. Our companies are specialists in non-proprietary products, and most the University types demand non-proprietary products. This group is great for us which makes our time in the booth fun – we have a lot of member support.

There were some 110 plus attendees who benefitted from all of the education and enjoyed the social events. David Smarte (Delaware Elevator) gave the attendees a complete review of the NAEC’s CET program, and its benefits for the university elevator types. Shawn and Kathy were there in an NAEC booth and said they found several prospective new members – this is the way things are supposed to work – each group feeding off of, and into, the other.

Nebraska Capital Dome - A recent historical mod by O'Keefe Elevator

Nebraska Capital Dome – A recent historical mod by O’Keefe Elevator


We had some great interaction with O’Keefe Elevator – they are the powerhouse contractor is this part of the country. First of all, we stayed in a Marriott in which O’Keefe Elevator had modernized the equipment and all the cars were all running on GALaxy controls – a feather in the cap of the good guys. As part of the education, a group from O’Keefe gave us a tour of their historic modernization at the state capital building, and then Mark and I went over to Omaha and had a great evening with the whole crew (less Brett Ables who was tied up). O’Keefe is an impressive company in every aspect.

Terri Flint (U of Michigan – President) and Martin Culp (U of Maryland – Chairman) are to be congratulated. Elevator U is a contributing and growing association representing a vital portion of our industry. Nice work

NAEC / Elevator U Update

If you have been following this blog you will remember that I wrote about Elevator U back in June after attending their annual meeting. They are a faction in our industry who would really benefit from access to the NAEC educational program (CET) at reasonable cost. If these entities were part of NAEC, they would also likely attend the annual convention and get the benefit of exposure to almost 200 exhibitors as well as interact with many Contractor companies with whom they could do business. I have always contended that this is a win-win. The Elevator U types get education and a closer relationship with the NAEC members, and the NAEC members get to meet and mingle with yet another faction of the industry that buys both equipment and contracting.

In September, I made a plea (and wrote a blog about it) to the combined NAEC and CECA Supplier faction at the United event.  A By Laws revision will be necessary in order for Elevator U types to become NAEC members.  After consideration by the NAEC BOD, the NAEC Bylaws committee will convene sometime soon to review / develop the clauses that need revision to accommodate this change. I continue to believe the inclusion and welcoming of the university and institutional organizations has great potential to boost their growth as well as NAEC’s.

So, my hope, although maybe ambitious, is to see a proposal from the BPSI_EU_55552_Sign_EUlogo4cy Laws committeeNAEC go before the BOD for consideration at the meeting which will be held during the Spring Conference – in April at Dana Point, CA. Great news, Great progress.

NAEC Board of Directors

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Ken Garst (Great Lakes Elevator), Doug Witham (GAL), Hugh Bertschin (Premier Elevator) enjoying some down time

I am very privileged once every year to be able to accompany Teresa to her Mid-Year Board of Directors Meeting. The members of the BOD have 3 meetings a year, one each during the Spring Conference and the Convention and this Mid-Year (half way through the fiscal year) Meeting. This is the only time a BOD and spouses are together separate from the general membership.  It is the NAEC’s way of saying ‘thank you’ for all of the volunteer time and effort that the board members expend during the year. Read more…

Tough Stuff

Some of you probably know that my son Dustin is also in the elevator industry – Midwest Elevator in St Louis. He called me last night and told me this story and then sent me this email today. Yikes – that GAL sure makes some rugged stuff!
See Dustin’s email and photo below:

Dad,

Last weekend one of our technicians on call responded to a service request at the Post Office Annex downtown St. Louis.  He found the car on the lowest landing.  When he opened the hall doors, he saw that the car doors were already open (or so he thought).  Then he realized the car doors weren’t there.  He thought for a second that the person who placed the service call mixed up buildings or addresses and that we were in the middle of a modernization.  Then he looked up for the header and door operator and saw everything wedged in the hoistway about 36” above the car top.

See attached picture.  We determined that a contractor working in the building on the 3rd floor had an arm full of 18” 2×4’s and one had fallen off on the way out of the elevator.  The contractor kept going with his arms full intending to come back for the piece that fell.  When he returned he found the elevator down. Read more…

Goose Hunting

Doug Witham, Michael Bonardi, John Mundt with 6 time world champ Josh Neuwiller and Remington (the Lab)

So what do you suppose happens when you get an elevator contractor, a consultant, and a supplier in a hotel room discussing elevators – (BTW we invited Jack Daniels to be the moderator). Yes – we solved almost all of the elevator industries problems in just two nights!

Actually, what happen was I went goose hunting with two good friends – Michael Bonardi of D & D Elevator and John Mundt Jr of Sterling Elevator Consulting. So goose hunting is over at kind of mid-day and what are you going to do? In our cases, you are going to talk elevators – and boy did we talk elevators. Read more…

MAEC Christmas Event

Mark and and I showing off our 50 / 50 tickets

Some 100 elevator types attended the Mid Atlantic Elevator Association’s vendor expo and Christmas party on Tues. A very nice event that is gaining in popularity every year. 25 Vendors set up table top displays early on Tues and the doors opened at 11:00. Everybody enjoyed a good buffet lunch at noon. Attendees mingled with the exhibitors thru the afternoon and it was a great opportunity to talk elevators with a lot of the DC area contractors.

Read more…

Murphy Celebrates 80th Anniversary

The “Murphy Elevator Family”

What a night – and for good reason. Murphy Elevator of Louisville KY – the epitome of an Independent Elevator Contractor – hit its 80thanniversary – and they did it in grand style.

Greg and Maria Carlisle – the current generation in charge – brought together a great mixture of family and friends for a night of reflection and revelry. Family included both the Carlisle clan, literally family, and the Murphy Elevator family – the extended company family who are making Murphy Elevator what it is today. Read more…

Euro Lift

Well, Euro lift did not disappoint. It was a well organized and well attended elevator exposition. Some 110 exhibitors participated. Show management said that they would send me the attendance numbers after they are totaled – but we stayed busy for all of the first two days saw some visitors on the third. Probably really would only need to be a two day show. Read more…

MADE

Well, I guess that’s why they call it an experiment – doesn’t always work

I am at the MADE (Milano Architettura Design Ediliziz) show – in Milan Italy. For years there was an elevator only show here every year. This year, that show got cancelled and the lift association here threw in with this huge architectural exhibit. The show is a monster, they are expecting some 350,000 visitors – the elevator portion is definitely not. Read more…

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