Construction tips for efficiency in the food and beverage industry
Like any other industry, the food and beverage industry has its positives and negatives. They are faced with different issues daily and then take on the task of solving them in the most efficient way possible. There are two huge threats to the food/beverage industry with their construction budgets: misaligned project scope and underestimating commissioning requirements.
Every part of the project is important, regardless of the impact, or lack of impact, that you may think the particular piece will affect the overall outcome. It’s vital to make rules and expectations for everyone in on the project before actually starting the design phase. This way everyone is on the same page which will assist in a smoother process. Without defining the project scope, it’s possible to run into the issue of not being able to decipher wants and needs. This can cause budget inflation and extend the time spent on the project. To get everyone on the team on the same page, ask yourselves some of the following questions:
- What does our client want from us with this project (output, cost, length of project)?
- What assumptions are the foundation of the design solution?
- What are the key performance indicators?
- How will we measure success?
A fully integrated firm has all project teams working together. The benefit of this is that everyone knows what their job is and how to work with each other. Some of these teams would include architecture, mechanical, electrical, and construction. For example, one of the most significant budget risks in a project involved infrastructure costs to support packaging and equipment. In an integrated firm, the processing and packaging employees are working right next to each other, which increases communication, making this part of the project more manageable. Working with a fully integrated firm would give you the upper-hand in this situation. Having this type of structure during the project allows for controlled costs. Having a detailed, well-planned project scope leads to more efficient project completion.
Another issue that’s problematic for the construction budget is underestimating commissioning requirements. Some owners are blind to the fact that they are disregarding many costs when getting started with a project. Mostly looking at equipment costs, they tend to forget about the startup and training costs. Without factoring in these costs, it’s easy to go over the estimated budget, which could cause many more problems within the project. While you have to pay attention to costs before equipment, you also have to be aware of costs after equipment. Some questions to ask yourself in this step to determine how the budget will sway include:
- How will you inspect the equipment?
- How will you schedule tests runs for the equipment?
- What are necessary training protocols for operations and maintenance?
- How will you ensure that you hit throughput levels?
There are a plethora of issues that can occur during a project, specifically with the budget and projected time on the project, but these two seem to happen the most. By following the tips provided, you will make the construction process less stressful and more successful.
As co-owner of Galbraith/Pre-Design, Inc., Mark Galbraith is responsible for the construction of commercial facilities in nine states. Continuing his family’s tradition of commercial and industrial construction in south central Pennsylvania and beyond, Mark’s experience includes site analysis and selection, pre-construction services, field engineering and project management.