Keep Quality, Cut Cost


Photo courtesy of Gregory Campbell

School’s back in session and one classroom tenet is simple: if there’s any doubt or confusion, don’t hesitate to ask a question.

The same principle applies to food processors, warehouse operators and distributors. For those experiencing extraordinarily fast growth— or expanding quickly to leverage an opportunity—the next few steps can be confusing.

How does a company quickly allocate precious capital resources and realize the best quality value in a new facility, retrofit or expansion? How does it leverage the latest technologies and reduce energy costs and maintenance? The solution in all those situations is simple: Ask ESI Group USA a question. Get help.

With more than 20 years’ experience in food processing and distribution center facility projects, ESI knows how to design, construct and/or retrofit facilities within a short or limited time schedule. Moreover, ESI recognizes that any prospective facility—and the accompanying capital—all belong to the client. That’s why ESI understands that its role is to advise and provide options to receive the best value for the investment.

Then again, ESI also does its homework, to leverage the best market cost. ESI competitively bids all work to numerous subcontractors and material suppliers. During the bidding phase, ESI asks vendors for alternative pricing to allow for different levels of quality on certain materials, then advises its clients about the pros and cons associated with any alternatives.

From experience, ESI also knows there are two common and critical trouble spots for fast-growth companies.

Accurate Accounting: Budget accuracy is a factor that’s critical for every owner. A client is making possibly one of the biggest decisions related to growing its business. Officials also use this budget to prepare “return on investment” models. An inaccurate budget can either kill a project or leave the owner without adequate funds.

Inside-Out Design: Any facility—whether it will serve distribution or food processing— needs to be designed from the “inside out.” In a distribution facility example, that means the rack layout first must be designed to satisfy the owner’s order selection process. Once complete the remainder of the building will be designed around the rack. It’s better not to simply declare: “I need a certain amount of square footage.” Unfortunately, many owners don’t thoroughly think about the interior layout and actual work space/process needs.

It’s vital to use a knowledgeable firm like ESI throughout this process to ensure the facility design meets all your needs.

Brad Barke is president of ESI Group and a 30-year veteran in the design-build services industry.

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