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After publishing a series of articles five months ago outlining our contrarian vision of the elevator market, we received a great deal of attention from top executives, industry experts, and equity investors. They asked us similar strings of follow-up questions, which can be summed up as follows:

  • Isn’t it simply a matter of time before the Big 4 are able to replicate uptime’s innovation?
  • How does uptime scale?
  • Are you the only company on the market doing this?

Because we believe the industry is on the brink of a revolution, we decided to make our answers public.

Predictive maintenance will shift the value from labor operators to tech operators.

As we detailed in our previous articles, the entire industry will pivot on its service business model disruption. The disruption equation has three…

How predictive maintenance can solve the global elevator problem, if executed with the right product vision.

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Our previous article explored how the elevator maintenance business model is in bad shape:

  • It revolves around an outdated means vs. ends model in which the customers purchase maintenance visits and breakdown response.
  • This model encourages an inefficient productivity hunt by service providers, driving up breakdown rates and reducing the quality of service.
  • These productivity gains then entail structural churn of the portfolio units and a decrease in maintenance prices — we call this process the commoditization of the market.
  • This commoditization is barely counter-balanced by the new elevators installed and converted to maintenance services, as too many old lifts churn to local players. …

The maintenance model of the elevator industry, providing for 75% of its profits, is outdated and the four main OEMs are not countering the downturn.

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The global elevator market is a hidden niche worth more than $90bn (source: Freedonia research), yielding massive cash-flows. The well-off elevator group of manufacturers, made up of Otis, Schindler, Thyssen and Kone has recently been shaken. Two major events happened in two months:

  • Otis span off from the United Technologies conglomerate and listed on the NYSE on April 3rd,
  • The elevator branch of Thyssenkrupp was sold to buyout firms Advent and Cinven for €17.2bn …


Augustin Celier


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