It may surprise you to know that Schindler doesn’t just oversee the operation of its own elevators and escalators. In fact, thousands of building owners around the world choose Schindler for maintenance, even when they use other manufacturers’ equipment. A reputation for providing seamless, low-profile services that minimize passenger disruption makes Schindler a world elevator and escalator maintenance leader.
The Schindler personnel responsible for looking after these multiple brands of equipment are known, sensibly, as the multi-brand team. As an experienced Project Manager within this group, Li-qun Meng is very clear about their mission: "Although the elevators or escalators themselves may vary considerably, our focus doesn’t. We’re there to help every customer get maximum uptime and minimum disruption."
"Every single unit we oversee, whether installed by us or a third-party manufacturer, receives the same level of high-quality service and safety assurance."
But staying on top of best practice for every manufacturer’s equipment, as well as any technological advances industry-wide, is surely a monster job? How is it possible?
Li-qun has the answers.
"It is a big job," explains Li-qun. "Third-party (non-Schindler) units comprise around 45% of Schindler’s global maintenance portfolio. This means we have to equip our service force in every region with the tools, the knowledge and the confidence to deliver multi-brand service excellence."
It starts with great training. Service technicians have to continually update their knowledge to keep delivering service excellence on every brand Schindler maintains. Ongoing technical training that makes use of the most advanced technology is the key to technicians delivering efficient elevator and escalator maintenance.
At Schindler, this training is delivered by expert master trainers through the multi-brand Service Training Academy.
Realistic elevator simulators for every major non-Schindler brand are integral to this training. "Working on the simulators helps our teams prepare and practice on different units with no disruptive downtime," Li-qun explains. "And we’re increasingly delivering remote technical training to ensure our teams can learn and share expertise wherever they are."
Schindler has a global network of technical specialists whose combined expertise is readily available to maintenance teams. But thanks to the painstaking work of Li-qun and his colleagues, Schindler field maintenance technicians also have instant access to thousands of technical documents on third-party systems.
With this vast library of knowledge available to them wherever they are, field technicians can arrive on-site with easy access to all the maintenance and troubleshooting instructions they need.
"With the more modern units, our technicians also connect directly to third-party systems, check their status and error logs, and resolve issues just as efficiently as they do for Schindler equipment. All of this information is collated centrally and is used to improve the efficiency of any future callbacks, anywhere in the network. It all helps buildings run more smoothly, with passengers experiencing fewer disruptions to their daily lives", explains Li-qun.
This last point brings us to the future of successful multi-brand service – digitally connected elevators and escalators. Schindler is at the forefront of using data provided by these digitally enabled mechanisms to identify, diagnose, and address any issues with the equipment.
Schindler monitors and analyzes this data at its Technical Operation Centers (TOCs), translating it into actionable insights and preventive maintenance that maximize uptime. This approach is entirely brand agnostic. If the unit provides data for remote monitoring, the TOC can use it to provide an enhanced service – irrespective of the manufacturer.
"The TOC can see what’s happening in real time with every connected elevator in the world. This means faster response times for callbacks (sometimes before customers even know there’s an issue) and less disruption and downtime on all the equipment we maintain."
The pace of expansion into the connected, digital era is accelerating everywhere. And Li-qun and his team are ready, willing, and able to ensure their customers, whichever elevators or escalators they use, receive maximum benefit from this digital revolution.
Actually, it’s not really a secret, it’s pretty simple: great teams and great technology. That’s what it takes to deliver multi-brand customer service excellence. Which is what it all comes down to for Li-qun and his colleagues: "The most important thing is to give passengers a reliable, uninterrupted service. Our service technicians worldwide have the confidence and the tools to deliver the same professional excellence for Schindler and non-Schindler units," he concludes.