Stop, Look, Listen
In this Readers’ Platform, your author describes the birth and evolution of Lift Control Engineering.
Our story is one that will feel familiar to anyone who has ever started a company, whether or not it has been successful. When I first came into the elevator industry, I didn’t realize how interesting, rewarding, essential and fun it would turn out to be. Now, years later, I’m very glad I made that pivot.
While working at a leading elevator control manufacturer, my co-founders and I, who were managers at that company, saw the need for another choice in controllers. Over the years, elevator contractors had told us they felt stuck with just a few suppliers and wished there were more options. This got us thinking.
In 2019, we started talking among ourselves and very casually explored the idea of creating a new company. It was just a thought and distant possibility at that time. Then, in 2020, the pandemic and some other events happened that pushed us to take action.
Lift Control Engineering, Inc. was formed in late 2020, after our founding team members resigned from their previous positions. We then set out to create our vision of a high-performance, non-proprietary controller. A few elevator contractors soon found out about our development efforts (it’s a close-knit industry with lots of networking), and they reached out to us to share what they wanted to see in the product. We listened.
Lift Control Engineering is headquartered in the Dallas area, which puts us in close proximity to our customers. This reduces the transit time for getting materials from suppliers and products to customers.
Running contrary to the recent trend in the industry, we are not owned or funded by a private equity group but are independent and 100% privately owned. The owners all work in the company.
Our mission is to create and provide better elevator controllers, and a better, easy-to-work-with controller company.
Our first product is an advanced, microprocessor-based, non-proprietary controller with a number of contractor-friendly features unique to this model. These attributes aim to provide faster controller installation and set-up, easier maintenance and service, and to reinforce the desirable perception of quality and reliability in the minds of building owners.
The Lift Control hydraulic controller is currently in a period of extensive field testing, and the full product release is expected in the fall.
For us, it wasn’t enough to just make a better controller. We also felt the industry would benefit from an independent company that listens to the customer and designs products with their input.
We set out to make much greater use of time-saving technology and modern software. With this goal in mind, we have developed internal systems that will add customer-centric functions to the quoting, ordering, production, support and financial functions. These will help speed up transactions and enable timely exchange of useful information with our customers, who will no longer be in the dark regarding the status of orders, shipments, etc. Our systems will automatically keep the customer informed at every stage, from quote to delivery.
It all comes down to reducing or removing friction, which is the hassle and time-wasting aspect of working with a supplier.
We design, build and support our products 100% in the U.S. When customers call for support, they won’t be connected to a foreign help desk.
Some people prefer to do most of their business online with easy-to-use apps for convenience and time-saving. We provide those, as well as the more traditional methods of phone and email. You can always speak with someone.
In 2022, Lift Control Engineering will release a non-proprietary traction product that uses much of the same hardware and software architecture built into our hydraulic controller. A stream of other related products for the elevator industry will come in due time, after thorough development and field testing in actual elevator installations. We won’t be the fastest to release products, but, when we do, they will be solid and reliable.
We invite any elevator contractor or consultant with suggestions for product features and improvements, or better company tools and practices, to contact us. By visiting our website at liftcontrol.us, you will see an easy form on the homepage to share your suggestions.
Our founding management team brings to this venture more than 45 years of combined knowledge and hands-on experience in the elevator controller industry. When it comes to something as critical as an elevator controller, there’s no substitute for deep experience.
- Richard Linn, CEO. Linn has more than 30 years of management and leadership experience in a variety of industries. The only non-engineer on the management team, he is a licensed CPA with an MBA degree. He is a former general manager and CFO, as well as the founder of three companies, one of which was successful for many years.
- Ryan Pavusko, VP, sales and support. A former controller company VP, Pavusko has many years of elevator support and field experience. He is a safety code expert and electrical engineer.
- Eilborn Farhad, VP, operations. Farhad oversees engineering, production, shipping and related operations. He is an electrical engineer.
- Sam Neel, VP, product development. Neel is a former controller company R&D manager and has extensive elevator support field experience. He is an electrical engineer.
- Hamid Bidhendi, manager of hardware development with 15 years of elevator product hardware design experience. Behendi is an electrical engineer.
- Keith Soneda, manager of software development. Soneda is a software engineer.