The Ups and Downs of Elevator Maintenance Contracts


By: Harry Nielsen, Property Manager, PSCC 888 – Stonebrook

From the WB Condo Connection, Volume 8, Issue 2

Recent articles about the decrease in elevator service and the increase in entrapments in the GTA would normally concern us… but PSCC 888 has a solution… they have an Elevator Consultant!

During budget preparation in September 2015, PSCC 888 realized that their 5-year elevator contract was coming due in May 2016. PSCC 888 talked to a local elevator consulting company about how they could assist in negotiations. Before the Corporation had even read their brochure, the consultant reviewed the existing elevator contract and quickly pointed out that there was a requirement to notify the incumbent 6 months in advance if PSCC 888 wanted to go out for bid and avoid auto-renewal.

PSCC 888’s Board of Directors agreed that they needed assistance in negotiating such a long term and binding contract. The current elevator company seemed to be doing a pretty good job but they were unsure if they were paying too much or getting the right level of service. The Board agreed to engage elevator consultants, F. Shaw and Associates, for $750 per year for each of the three elevators.

PSCC 888 has found that you don’t have to pay more to get better service

The elevator consultant began by conducting a comprehensive inspection of the elevators and found several thousands of dollars in recommended improvements. Then came the call from the elevator service company: “We’ve got some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that you need a few thousand in repairs and it will require some down time on your elevators. The good news is that it is covered under your comprehensive maintenance agreement.” Hmmm… wonder when they had planned to tell PSCC 888?

Next the consultant reviewed the invoices and said that the Corporation should not be paying extra for entrapment charges or the annual Fire Alarm Test (F.A.T.). What? Really?

The consultant selected two other service providers, along with the incumbent, to receive a request for quotation (RFQ). The incumbent ended up with the lowest bid, more than 30% ($500 per month) lower than the existing contract… and no extra charges for entrapments or F.A.T. The incumbent even agreed to start the new contract, along with the reduced rate, one month prior to the end of the existing contract.

Today when there is an issue such as a strange noise or slow closing doors PSCC 888 notifies their elevator consultant. When they want to repair a panel in the elevator or install cameras they call the consultant to obtain quotes.

Back to those recent articles about elevators in the GTA; PSCC 888 has found that you don’t have to pay more to get better service. And regarding those entrapments? Turns out the abundant safety features in elevators today trigger the elevators to stop proactively until the situation can be verified. Like warning lights in vehicles, they are bound to engage occasionally. For PSCC 888 the occurrences are rare and the response from the elevator company is typically less than 45 minutes.

All aboard. This car is going up!