When filling out your order form, remember to complete every space. Omissions on the form can prevent your customers from receiving their products on time. So, even if you think your elevator interior partner doesn’t need to know your existing ceiling details, , or front wall information, these details are critical. Without them, a project can stall for days, or even weeks, while an additional field visit is necessary to gather the pertinent information.
A proactive approach, and a small amount of time now, ensures your customers get their elevator interiors on time and that your project can proceed as scheduled.
Measure Twice, Cut Once
Accurate measurements ensure optimal results, so it’s worth taking the time to measure twice. It’s important that your elevator interior partner knows everything about your cab. Some tips to help you get started:
- Always measure from the cab itself – not the drawings.
- Measure to the nearest 1/16th of an inch. Some manufacturers have a built-in safety margin, so if you’re slightly off, it won’t show up on the wall.
- For accurate wall measurements, measure from one corner to the middle and make a mark. Measure from the other corner to the mark, and add those two figures.
- If you’re not sure how to accurately measure a feature (e.g. a radius), snap a picture and email it to your interior provider for more information. A technician will be able to walk you through it.
- Detailed written instructions and videos.
- Drill and driver bits.
- All necessary fasteners.
- Package of shims to ensure panels fit tightly against the walls.
- Construction adhesive and double sided tape.
- Cleaner, paper towels and a garbage bag for clean-up.
- Sort (Seiri): remove unnecessary items from the workplace.
- Set in order (Seiton): create efficient, clearly labeled storage methods.
- Shine (Seiso): after de-cluttering, thoroughly clean the workspace. This makes it easier to spot potential problems before they can worsen and hinder production.
- Standardize (Seiketsu): integrate Sort, Set in Order, and Shine into everyday work. Create a consistent approach for tasks and processes.
- Sustain (Shitsuke): make the 5S a daily habit. It replaces the status quo and becomes the “way we do things around here.”
- Visit the online showroom.
Not sure what you want yet? Search by system, material, accent material, and/or price range to hone in on what you’re looking for. Or, scroll through all model options until the best fit finds you – all from the convenience of your computer.
- Book a design session.
Already have a vision of what you’d like to achieve? Do you need something a bit different than the showroom models? Book a design session to bring your ideas to life. Using highly-customized 3D software, an elevator cab expert will help your vision take shape right before your eyes.
- Call to speak to an expert.
Have questions about alternative material options or design elements? A quick call to one of our Interior Specialists can resolve issues and ensure your project stays on schedule.
- BIM, CAD drawings and CSI 3-part spec..
Take a look at downloadable BIM, CAD, and our CSI 3-part spec to facilitate easy, and convenient, elevator interior system specification.
- Lunch-and-learn session.
Schedule a lunch-and-learn session at your firm to hear more about available materials, systems and what’s cutting edge.
- Request a presentation board.
Get a real feel for materials with samples and a print out of your 3D rendering. See, handle, and interact with the product to ensure you’re making the best choices for your elevator interior.
- Customer support. If you have questions or concerns, at almost any organization, you can call and talk to someone. But you don’t want to talk to just anyone. You want to speak with an expert – and you’ll want to talk to the same expert throughout the project, so you won’t have to waste time explaining and re-explaining your needs. Ask if you’ll have a particular go-to project manager for the length of your project.
- Installation support. Is your elevator company expected to handle the installation alone or are there tutorials or resources they can consult? Whether it’s in-person field-training, videos or written instructions, ask how your elevator interior company plans to support the installation.
- Use and care guide. Now that the investment in your building is installed, how do you ensure its beauty will last for years to come? You should be provided a Use & Care Guide with information on how to clean and maintain all the materials in your new elevator interior.
- Building value. Elevators certainly add value to hotels, office buildings, and residences, but as decors change, the interiors can look outdated. How difficult is it to replace individual panels if they get damaged or make style changes?
- LEED. Do their design options offer multiple opportunities for LEED credits? Do they integrate recycled, regionally-sourced, and low-emitting materials, use ecofriendly lighting options, and create interiors from durable materials that don’t need to be replaced as often as conventional materials?
- Energy-Saving.Can they make their elevator interiors from long-lasting, lightweight materials, so as to not weigh down the cab or interfere with the precise balance it must maintain?
And remember: fill in every space! This includes transom dimensions, COP location, and more. Blank spots can delay your project and cause errors.
Elevator interiors should be easy and convenient on installation day – but that’s not enough. The entire process, from start to finish, should be designed to help your team get the job done on time and on budget. The ordering process sets the tone for the entire project. Is it simple? Expedient? When it is, not only will customers be highly-satisfied with their interiors – they’ll know who to turn to for their next project.
Elevator Interior Quoting SimplifiedAccessing a quote can be convenient and quick, and with the SnapCab system you don’t have to take cab measurements before getting started. All you have to do is provide the cab capacity (i.e. 2500 lb, 3500 lb, etc.) and the approximate height of your elevator (usually around 8’ tall) and, based on these figures, the standard size can be estimated. From there, SnapCab only requires the detail on the interior selections your customer has made before we can prepare the quote. Typically, this includes style of wall panels (for example Classic II, Sahara I, Acero, etc.), handrails, bumpers, and ceilings. This information should be enough for an accurate estimate that is typically turned around in less than a day. Our Quick Quote Form is the tool for compiling this information. Prefer an online form, check out our Build-A-Quote. It’s not unusual for other elevator interior companies to take up to two weeks to complete this process: they book a meeting to visit the site, take measurements, and audit the cab. Only then can they create a quote. Meanwhile, the clock’s still ticking on your client’s project. You need a partner who gives you the information you need to get started at the, you know, start of the project. Want to learn more about the expert? Read Brian Godshall’s bio here.
“To be competitive, we have to look for every opportunity to improve efficiencies and productivity while increasing quality. Lean manufacturing principles have improved every aspect of our processes.” -Cynthia Fanning, GE Appliances
How do responsible companies reduce waste and cost? How do they increase quality and efficiency? How do they do what they do – better? For many highly successful organizations, the answer lies in Lean manufacturing. Though many clients do not know it, Lean manufacturing directly benefits them. To learn more about what Lean manufacturing means, how it benefits you, and which Lean philosophies help companies achieve maximum results with minimal waste, read on:
Introduction To The Lean Philosophy
Lean is a methodology and a set of tools to identify and remove sources of waste, or “non-valued added activities” in organizations. This, in turn, improves quality and reduces both production time and cost. The goal is continuous improvement; Lean Manufacturing eliminates unnecessary steps or processes if they do not contribute to overarching objectives.
While the term “Lean” was first coined in 1990 (The Machine that Changed the World by John Krafcik), its roots extended back to the old Model T assembly line. Henry Ford revolutionized manufacturing by keeping standards high and streamlining processes so they “flowed” optimally.
Subsequent manufacturers adopted and improved upon Ford’s ideas. Taiichi Ohno, of Toyota, for instance, developed the Toyota Production System (TPS). TPS overcomes the inflexibility that flawed Ford’s system. (After all, the Model T assembly line only produced Model Ts and unsold inventory drained profitability.) Ohno pioneered the Just In Time (JIT) methodology (among others) to increase efficiency, boost flexibility, and eliminate extraneous and costly inventory.
How Does A Lean Organization Benefit Consumers?
Lean thinking benefits elevator maintenance companies, designers, architects, and, by extension, building owners and end-users. How? Systems and processes are optimized to ensure only the highest-quality products are shipped – on time, on budget, to your specifications.
SnapCab products are made-to-order with reliable lead times. They’re manufactured and shipped just in time, along with everything needed to complete the job, so you stay on schedule. Materials include:
For additional speed and convenience, SnapCab labels their panels and thoroughly inspects them. Elevator mechanics don’t have to waste time looking for missing parts and pieces while the clock is ticking on the job.
By operating with a Lean mentality, SnapCab eliminates material and manpower waste – creating cost savings that can be passed on to the customer. With an emphasis on continuous improvements, they are always looking for ways to create even more value for elevator maintenance companies, specifiers, and the end user.
So how exactly does SnapCab incorporate Lean philosophies into every part of the business?
SnapCab’s Lean Journey
SnapCab’s owner Glenn Bostock has always focused on simplification and continuous improvement. In fact, that’s why he started the company: from his experience in elevator remodeling, Glenn knew the conventional method of remodeling interiors was needlessly complex, time-consuming, and wasteful.
He developed a system of interlocking panels that streamlined the entire process. Elevator Interiors Simplified. Which isn’t just a slogan, but really, a way of doing business. Glenn is an ardent proponent of Lean manufacturing, and its principles of continuous improvement, knowledge sharing, and waste elimination are infused throughout SnapCab’s culture.
6 Ways to Incorporate Lean Ideas?
Eliminate waste, reduce cost, improve efficiency, increase quality: these principles guide Lean organizations. A few key Lean concepts that drive the work at SnapCab are:
1. 5S: Make An Efficient Workplace The Status Quo
Seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke.
5S, a Japanese methodology, helps reduce waste and optimize productivity by maintaining an orderly, streamlined workspace. There are five key pillars:
When employees apply the 5S steps to their workspace, they can meet a number of critical goals, including reducing waste and inventory, cutting downtime, reducing the square footage needed for their work, ensuring they have the proper tools for their tasks neatly organized, and improving final output.
2. Total Productive Maintenance (TPM): Avoid Breakdowns With Proactive Maintenance
TPM philosophy states everyone within an organization is responsible for proactive equipment maintenance to reduce downtime. People at all levels should work to improve the efficiency of their workplace. For instance, spotting and fixing minor problems, such as corrosion on a piece of equipment, can prevent a much costlier failure in the future.
Workers often perceive maintenance as a “non-profit activity” because it doesn’t help turn a profit. But TPM challenges that assumption and proves that making small investments in improving equipment can yield significant returns – and reduce unnecessary costs.
3. Standard Work: Implement Best Practices To Drive Improvement
Kaizen is the practice of continuous improvement, and this philosophy hinges on standardizing work. Documenting current best practices and keeping them updated provides employees with the best, most efficient processes for given tasks. These repeatable processes provide a new baseline on which organizational leaders can guide further improvements. Kaizen is a never-ending cycle.
4. Kanban: Streamline Workflows With Visual Cues
Henry Ford’s assembly line followed a “push” system: they churned out cars regardless of customer demand. Toyota recognized the waste and implemented a “pull” system. They were driven by customer demand, which reduces unsold inventory. Kanban is a Lean tool that facilitates Just In Time delivery and allows companies to match their inventory with actual demand.
Kanbans are visual cues: employees have cards that signal steps in their processes so they can visualize the flow of work. Through these cards, they can communicate effectively, telling coworkers what tasks to complete and when. This, again, improves efficiency and reduces downtime.
SnapCab relies on Kanbans to re-order stock materials and supplies. This ensures they have the right amount at each station and never run out – or run over. Too much product is as costly as too little.
5. Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI): Use Data To Optimize The Supply Chain
VMI allows manufacturers to optimize their supply chain. Typically, when distributors need a product, they place an order with a manufacturer. The distributor controls the size of the order, as well as the timing. With VMI, the manufacturer receives data on the distributor’s sales and inventory levels and maintains an optimal inventory plan. It’s the manufacturer, not the distributor, which creates the order. VMI helps create a Lean, demand-driven supply chain.
6. Value Stream Mapping:
A value stream map is essentially a flowchart that maps the manufacturing process. It helps organizational leaders to identify areas of waste, reduce production time, and make continuous improvements. As with many Lean methods, value stream mapping is highly visual. This makes it easier to follow and analyze how products get from Point A to customers’ hands, as well as which steps are non-value added and can be safely eliminated.
The Added Benefit Of Lean: A Fun and Engaging Workplace
While Lean thinking helps organizations operate efficiently, it also helps eliminate fear. SnapCab rewards their employees for mistakes and experimenting. If they’re not afraid of making mistakes, they’re empowered to make improvements and solve problems creatively. If they’re not afraid to point out waste or problems, they’re part of the solution.
SnapCab encourages their employees to give feedback – and they’re expected to help the company evolve, improve, and find new ways of working. Tim Isleib, a SnapCab team leader, says, “Our No Fear company culture gives us power, it seems like it’s not all up to the office, now we have a say in what’s going on.”
And they’re using this voice to ensure customers receive high-quality products that meet their design and functional goals. A No Fear company culture and Lean philosophies have helped land SnapCab on Inc magazines 5,000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America list yet again. More importantly, it allows them to provide high-quality, high-value products and services that elevator maintenance companies, architects, designers, and property owners can rely on to get the job done right.
Ask the expert! Contact Joe Danko here.
Ready to start the incredibly simple process of specifying a SnapCab? You’ve got 6 worry free options to get all the information you need.
Elevator interior specification. Simplified.
To learn more about the author, Jason King, please read his full bio here.