GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, NJ (UKTN) — Many rely on elevators to move and get up and down a building. But due to shortages of parts, more elevators remain in place.
Things are going up for South Jersey Elevator, but owner Bill McGrath says their chances of finding the parts they need to build and maintain their elevators are declining.
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“Oh, you name it,” McGrath said, “they’re relays because we just had a problem getting new door detectors on buttons, even if someone called you back from a manufacturer.”
Not only family businesses are affected.
According to company documents, major manufacturers Otis, Schindler and Kone are also struggling with supply chain shortages.
Manufacturers blame the pandemic. Countries like China, which makes many elevator parts, are still implementing COVID-19 lockdowns, forcing factories that temporarily close those parts to shut down.
“Instead of buying overseas products, we now buy American products to make it a faster process for us,” McGrath said.
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And if an elevator fails, it means longer wait times for replacement parts.
In the past year, McGrath has hired someone whose sole job is to buy equipment and parts.
He is also working with other independent elevator installers to develop a spare parts exchange system.
“‘A’ may have it and ‘C’ may need it, but ‘C’ has something that he needs and so we, as independents, have survived to help our clients and our customers move forward,” McGrath said.
Or perhaps, more accurately, let his customers and clients continue to rise.
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McGrath encourages building owners and landlords to be transparent about the challenges they face with their tenants.