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Destination Dispatch Systems : Thumbs Up or Down?

Destination Dispatch Systems : Thumbs Up or Down?

The jury is still out on the marketability and success of elevator destination dispatch systems. Here, we size up the pros and cons to help you make an informed decision for your property.

Destination dispatch system groups together passengers who share similar floors. By simply using a proximity card, keypad or — even better still — a touchscreen interface, passengers quickly and efficiently get to where they need to go. In the meantime, the building benefits from energy savings, traffic reduction and complaints about wait times.

Learn about more elevator upgrades of all scopes in this free guide >>

However, destination dispatch systems remain only a small percentage of elevators operating in the United States. They’re difficult to retrofit in existing buildings (modernization can cost anywhere between $60,000 and $250,000, depending on the building); they’re most successfully installed during new construction. Most are able to adapt to smartphone technology, which allows more convenience for occupants and employees. Is a destination dispatch system the right choice for you? Consider the following.

The overall benefits of these elevators include:

  • Reduced waiting and travel time
  • Reduced overcrowding
  • Quick emergency response with a special swipe card.
  • Saves energy by converting to standby mode during quiet times
  • Often perceived as more modern and dependable than traditional elevators
  • Customization for individuals who need special access, such as VIP service or occupants with pets
  • Fewer elevators are needed (however, under-elevating a building should not be automatically assumed)
  • Safety: restricted access
  • Special features available for people with disabilities

On the other hand, not everybody is on board for destination dispatch systems. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Reduced privacy. Regular passengers will learn where other occupants are going on a regular basis — and sometimes why.
  • A lack or absence of buttons can cause anxiety in some passengers.
  • Passengers often ride with the same people every day, and may not get a chance to network or meet new people.
  • Passengers can push unnecessary buttons, resulting in wasted stops.
  • Waiting time and transit time are two different things: many passengers assume that a destination dispatch system elevator automatically gets to their waiting floor faster; this is not necessarily so.
  • Unfamiliarity with the system can cause confusion or dissatisfaction.
  • The person who is standing in the elevator the longest (who has the furthest to travel) can become frustrated with the length of travel time, despite the stated convenience of the system. This frustration could compound if the passenger uses the elevator frequently.
  • Many people have a preconceived negative connotation regarding elevator systems, especially in tall buildings.
  • The elevator can’t distinguish between a single passenger and a group of passengers going to the same floor. This could lead to overcrowding. One solution to this could be a load vane sensor, which tells the elevator controller that there is a high load in car and doesn’t stop at other floors until the load is low enough to pick up more passengers.

Most occupants don’t realize that elevator dispatch system upgrades don’t make elevators faster — only more efficient. Elevators, no matter how modern, still operate in a physical space, with physical limitations.

Ultimately, a good elevator system, no matter which type you choose, should meet the needs of the people.

Click here to learn more about how to test your emergency phones, and how Kings III can help.

For more information on how Kings III can help you with your communications solutions for both destination dispatch systems and traditional elevators, visit www.kingsiii.com.

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