A survey conducted by YouGov for uptime showed that 30% of people think that the poor functioning of lifts and frequent breakdowns would prevent them from buying or renting in a building if they were to live on the sixth floor. Our teams at uptime have developed an IoT* technology that helps maintenance companies make their digital transition a success. This unique solution assists technicians in order to avoid breakdowns. From building occupants to owners and property managers, what do end customers think of this new technology and how does it impact their daily lives?
*IoT: Internet of Things
Regaining the trust of end-users
More and more lift maintenance companies are taking the plunge and deciding to make the transition to technology and predictive maintenance, some by relying on the expertise of uptime. Bruno Goncalves is in charge of the building of Centrale Supélec, a leading French engineering school, for Engie. He manages the operations and maintenance of this building, which was first opened in 2017. Centrale Supélec welcomes around 2,000 people every day, using eleven lifts, including three goods lifts. "Our supplier delivered lifts with numerous defects and malfunctions, which led to recurrent breakdowns and people getting stuck in the lifts”, explains Bruno. The result? An overall dissatisfaction of the customer and the building's end users, who became increasingly wary of lifts and would rather take the stairs than the lifts.
“We decided to turn to a new player in the lift industry with a new approach and innovative, effective solutions”. During the observation phase, the technology designed by uptime was able to target the underlying problems in the lifts, thanks to the installation of a set of sensors and the regular presence of technicians trained for this innovation. A connected platform allows the user to visualise in real time the status of the installations and also to access the technicians' planning and intervention reports. This information gives managers greater clarity which is ultimately reassuring for users. “uptime’s technology has succeeded in regaining the confidence of our users," agrees Bruno.
A successful transition to a tech-oriented provider
The connected solution created by uptime has been successfully implemented in residential buildings. Jean-Pierre, 57, is the co-owner of a typical Parisian residential building from 1894, in which a lift was installed about 30 years ago. He explains: “We were the clients of a very well-known lift maintenance provider, until we were, in a way, tricked, as the operation of our lift was simply suddenly stopped. We heard about uptime, a start-up providing cutting edge third-party technology to maintenance providers. This was something completely new to us” says Jean-Pierre. “We decided to hire a company using uptime's technology, who has installed their connected device in our lift”.
"We were right to take this gamble on technology, as the experiment is largely successful."
What really appealed to Jean-Pierre and his fellow co-owners was the connectivity. “This technological evolution created by uptime has turned our old lift into a smart lift! The connected device transmits real-time data about the lift to technicians and managers. The lift was back in working order very quickly and at an affordable cost”. After one year, his feedback is more than positive. The transition to the new maintenance provider went very well. “Our lift works great. For now, we have no reason to change, so we were right to take this gamble on technology, as the experiment is largely successful.”
Thanks to uptime, lift maintenance companies can provide their customers a branded online portal with precise information, live status and visit history of all their lifts.
Colette, 83 years old, has been a co-owner in a residential building for more than 40 years. It wasn’t until last year, however, that the residents decided to complain to their lift maintenance providers, frustrated by years of poor service. "We sometimes had difficulties, most of the time when we called them they couldn't come on the same day and usually came for an intervention after two days. We had to call them again and again ! As we had been customers of the same company for 40 years, we eventually got tired in the end."
That's where uptime comes in, as Colette explains: “One day, we learned about the deployment of a new technology by our provider, which, they said could bring a real change in their maintenance methods. This prompted us to renew our trust in our service provider, but this time, using uptime’s device." A diagnosis was made and a tailor-made offer including uptime technology was proposed to the owners. This was enthusiastically welcomed by all the residents, who were curious to know whether it would significantly reduce the number of breakdowns. A beneficial change for the residents, who are enthusiastic about their new maintenance provider: “It's going very well. We don't regret it at all. We are now able to track maintenance visits with precision. We can see that our service provider is very involved and their interventions are consistent. And more importantly, we have no breakdowns ! We are very happy.”
A drop in an ocean of contracts: why users are looking for more transparency
The world of lifts, in general, is very obscure to its end users. Lifts are, in fact, a complete black box to them. The lift is only paid attention to when it does not work. The ISPs client's, such as property owners or managers, purchase means (maintenance visits and breakdown response) and not overall lift uptime results (that guarantee that the lift is actually working).
Marie, 45, lives in a recently built building. The two lifts she uses are no more than 15 years old. “We wanted to change our lift operator for several reasons, the first being that the original manufacturer (who was actually our lift operator) was not very informative and did not provide a detailed explanation of the recurring breakdowns, which wasn't very reassuring. We felt like a drop in their ocean of contracts.”
"Our maintenance provider was not very informative and did not provide any detailed explanation about recurring breakdowns."
This lack of transparency and information is the reason why a change of maintenance provider was decided in her building. “We switched to a partner company of uptime because they offered something new and innovative, with a commitment to concrete results. This will allow us, in case of a breakdown, to limit the maximum downtime. Many families and elderly people live here so, beyond 48 hours, it becomes really difficult to be deprived of a lift. Since the beginning of February 2019, the first maintenance visits have taken place as required, every six weeks, and we have been able to access our first information report via a connected platform.”