Founded more than 160 years ago, Otis Elevator Co. has come to be the world’s leading manufacturer and maintainer of people moving products, including elevators, escalators and moving walkways. The company moves more than two billion people worldwide every day through products sold and serviced in nearly 200 countries and territories.
Jodi Hynes, associate director, public relations and communications, says Otis is dedicated to continuous innovation. “We increased our investment in research and development by 25 percent in 2016 and plan to significantly increase it over the next few years.”
These resources, she says, are directed at developing transformational technologies that deliver greater energy efficiency, enhanced service, and increased comfort, convenience and connectivity for passengers.
Otis’ Gen2 elevators, for instance, provide sustainability, architectural flexibility and outstanding ride quality, she says. “Otis changed the industry with the Gen2 elevator’s flat belts, which replaced traditional metal cables, and has sold more than 500,000 Gen2 elevators since then. Today, options include machine room-less or mini-machine room, heavy duty and high-speed elevators.”
The company’s CompassPlus destination management system provides fast, personalized elevator service while improving system performance by replacing standard up-down hall call buttons with a system that knows what floor a passenger is headed to, and can direct them to the optimal elevator.
“There is also our Otis SkyRise high-rise elevator that is designed for the world’s tallest, most prestigious buildings and is available in single, double-deck and super-double-deck models,” Hynes says.
In addition to this innovative product, Otis is transforming its service business globally to incorporate smart, connected technology that delivers personalized, proactive, quick and effective diagnostic and repair services. The transformation, she says, is an investment in digital tools, mobility solutions, apps, IoT and operational excellence to enhance customer experience, and accelerate business productivity.
The company works with all building segments including commercial office buildings, residential buildings, hospitals, hospitality and manufacturing. Its products are in structures all over the world, including the Empire State Building, Eiffel Tower and CN Tower.
“At Otis, we strive to offer the best in terms of products, people and safe work practices. We have taken part in some of the largest projects in Canada, which makes us suitable for projects of all sizes and complexities,” Hynes says.
The company has a strong Canadian presence, with new equipment and modernization projects growing steadily, supported by a robust tech sector and major infrastructure projects.
Understanding that safety is of the utmost importance for employees, project partners, and passengers, Otis works constantly to improve the safety of existing products and to develop safer technologies for new products. The Bristol Research Center in Bristol, Connecticut, is home to the Otis Quality Assurance Center and one of North America’s tallest elevator test tower—383 ft. (117 meters) high.
“With our employees, Otis emphasizes a corporate policy of safety first and implements standardized procedures to ensure that every installation and service task is performed the safest way, every time,” Hynes says. “We feel strongly that safety is every employee’s first responsibility, and that it’s the company’s job to make sure employees make it home safely to their families every day.”
As a company of United Technologies Corp. (UTC), Otis is part of a diverse workplace that fosters respect, inclusion and opportunities for all employees, and she says that a by-product of that diversity and inclusion is innovation.
The UTC Employee Scholar program is one of the most comprehensive company-sponsored employee education programs in the world, including full tuition, academic fees and books at approved educational institutions. Since 1996, UTC has invested more than $1.2 billion in employee education.
Otis uses the services of DataBid to connect early on with project partners and to identify opportunities that might meet the company’s range of products and services.