I see elevator operational cost overruns all the time. Usually, they are the product of simply not knowing what we don't know. To help control your costs, here are a couple of tips to follow:
1) Understand the billing you receive. Pay attention to the line items and understand what you are paying for. This information allows you to see potential trends in the asset's performance/reliability. Additionally, it allows you to understand if you are paying for services you should not be. Conservativley, 70% of all clients I represent have paid for servies they should not have.
2) Directly related to #1 above, read and know your contract terms!! Do NOT pay for services which are covered under your contract!
3) Maintain your own service and repair records. Review them and understand trends forming so you can properly plan and schedule.
4) Maintain your own inspection and testing log. Assure that you are fully compliant with your local AHJ requirements. Do not allow your elevator equipment to become non-compliant and subject yourself to AHJ penalties. You own the equipment and you own the tracking responsibility.
Now the seamless plug, have a trusted Elevator Consultant on your management team. Rely on that consultant to navigate the industry for you. You cannot be an expert on all aspects of your building. The elevators are one of the most costly assets you have in the building...rely on someone who understands them and has your best interest in mind. Lastly, understand what an Elevator Consultant is versus an Elevator Inspector. The two ARE NOT the same and the two DO NOT have the same interests and allegiances!!