Schindler Lifts Australia’s digital transformation

by Rob Seakins
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Digital technology continues to transform the elevator and escalator industry in both manufacturing and in the way that maintenance services are organised.

Recent advancements in technology have led to improved reliability, better performance, greater sustainability, superior scheduling methods and more intelligent equipment.

Now, digital technology is raising the bar even higher and Schindler Lifts Australia is committed to being at the forefront of this revolution.

By harnessing the capabilities of leading digital technologies, Schindler Lifts is enhancing the reliability, speed and safety performance across a wide range of product offerings.

The industry has undergone widespread transformation in tandem with digital technologies that significantly increase mobility and enable communication with clients and equipment 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Servicing elevators and escalators has certainly come a long way from the days when field technicians would carry numerous binders and folders with them to building sites to undertake scheduled maintenance on critical equipment.

No longer are technicians forced to search through the traditional, heavy manuals for equipment information, or required to make regular trips back and forth to their office to carry out paper-based tasks.

Field technicians have become more mobile and responsive than ever before as digital technologies have been implemented and utilised throughout the industry.

The Schindler approach

At Schindler Lifts we believe that by digitising the company in Australia we are able to deliver a greater level of service within the elevator and escalator industry, both now and into the future.

For the past two years the digitisation of Schindler in Australia has gathered pace. This transformation is on track to culminate with the completion of an upgrade project that will see our systems integrated into one seamless platform during the first half of 2017.

However, the company has already developed into a real-time service business where technicians are leveraging mobile technologies to communicate more effectively with customers, colleagues and directly with the equipment.

The majority of Schindler’s workforce is made up of field technicians, who spend a substantial amount of time at building sites and properties around Australia working with the company’s clients.

Equipped with the latest handheld devices on-site, such as iPhones and iPads, our technicians are providing commercial building clients with a level of mobility and real-time responsiveness unheard of in the industry just a decade ago.

Modern day technologies like smartphones and tablet devices also present opportunities to develop custom applications that bring our technicians and clients even closer together.

Having access to real-time information through these custom applications increases the interaction technicians have with the equipment they are servicing. It also allows them to access information for clients live on-site, in terms of engineering information, drawings and up-to-date maintenance progress.

Mobile service advantages

By combining the latest technologies with the expertise of highly trained technicians, our team provides services and repairs on the spot when required, with fewer callbacks and inconveniences for tenants and visitors.

This capability has not only shaped our current service offering, but also how our technicians communicate, the way they provide maintenance and how the company functions together as a business around Australia.

Real-time scheduling and alerts for maintenance jobs has become a reality for our workforce through these devices. This includes when equipment requires immediate attention or if it is due for routine maintenance.

With real-time scheduling, our supervisors and technicians identify and prioritise needs with minimal disruption to operations. It also allows them to optimise travel routes, meaning technicians spend less time on the road and more time on-site working with customers and equipment. With this capability supervisors and technicians can change schedules as required, to meet urgent needs.

The digitisation of Schindler Lifts has also had a positive impact on the environment by reducing the need for printed material and decreasing travel time, thus lowering fuel consumption, leading to an overall drop in our carbon footprint.

Upgraded systems

While improving the mobility and responsiveness of technicians was a major step forward in the digital transformation, there will continue to be opportunities for the company to leverage technology to communicate more effectively, both internally and with customers.

The backbone of this ongoing development will be the new SAP platform, which will add to the harmonisation of our processes across the country, further improve the connection we have with clients and align us more closely with Schindler’s operations globally.

When the system goes live next year Schindler’s clients will be able to access new applications from their iOS and Android devices that provide real-time information about the lifts and escalators in their buildings, including the equipment status, maintenance and callback history, as well as a range of other enhanced reporting functions.

The new SAP platform will ensure that our technicians have the right information when they need it to fix a lift or escalator, minimising downtime and increasing productivity for the building’s occupants. As part of the digital technology commitment, Schindler plans to also apply the technology to older equipment to improve reliability, safety and performance.

Most importantly, the new platform will provide the foundation for Schindler Lifts to return equipment to normal service much more quickly than in the past. When fully implemented, the new technology will have the capability to prevent breakdowns, by predicting when the lift may require intervention.

Technology partners

To consolidate our commitment to digitising the company, Schindler Lifts has established partnerships with high-profile technology companies, including Apple, GE and Microsoft. This will ensure that our workforce remains at the forefront of the digital movement with access to the latest technology and devices being developed by these companies.

It also positions Schindler for the next stage of the broader industry’s digitisation, which will likely involve further integration with the Internet of Things (IoT), a key element in the evolution of smart buildings on the Australian landscape.

In Australia we are at the beginning of the industry’s next wave of technological change, which will almost certainly take us into the realm of remote monitoring – something we are already seeing in overseas markets.

With new offerings, like remote monitoring, shaping vertical transportation services and maintenance in the future, Schindler Lifts Australia can assure building owners that the company is committed to setting a digital standard for the industry.

For more information on how Schindler is digitising its business, visit

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