By Jeremy Walker, Food and Beverage Market Leader
The thought of starting a new construction project for your manufacturing business can feel daunting. Initially, the questions are likely to come fast and furious:
“How much will this project cost?”
“How long will the project take?”
“How will this effort impact productivity?”
“How do we stay on budget?”
Never fear! It’s common to feel a bit overwhelmed at first, however, knowing a few valuable insider tips before beginning your venture will help you understand how and where you can identify cost savings and efficiencies—both during and after construction—and facilitate a more collaborative building process.
Tip 1: Begin with the End in Mind—Assemble the Right Team Up Front
If you are considering a new construction or expansion for your facility, strategically pick partners that grasp your operation, culture, and values. Referrals are excellent, but due diligence on your part is required to assemble the right team for you. Only through shared vision will you achieve an efficient and modern facility where the environment, process, and products are a reflection of your brand.
Tip 2: Integrate Process Design and Layout with Overall Building Design
Ninety percent of project success is determined during the planning phase, when the scope and layout of your facility are determined. A natural first thought is to get a process engineer on board to propose a plant layout, then follow up with an architect to work out the design details and then get a builder to construct the property. This approach can lend itself to inefficiencies and duplicated efforts. You’ll spend time and resources with an engineer to help with your plant processes. You’ll spend more time and resources with your architect. Then, you must communicate both plans to the builder.
Value the combined effect of the team and consider putting your designer, builder, and process engineer side-by-side. By doing so, you not only create the most effective process to maximize square footage and ensure efficient manufacturing, but also allow for a more cost-effective floor plan and likely a shorter timeline from concept to completion.
The number one goal is to systematically design a building footprint to maximize your product output and deliver the most return on investment. The smaller the footprint, the lower the cost of construction. Pulling in the appropriate talent early on to determine an efficient layout will yield total cost savings throughout the entire design activity—and long after construction is complete.
Tip 3: Get your Architect and Builder Working Together Early
Getting your architect and builder collaborating from the start, and developing and adjusting the budget in tandem with the design, will help manage costs and expectations.
A good architect will start with a space needs analysis, then design the building using the results of the analysis to lay out your facility in the most cost-effective way possible. The builder’s knowledge of current material costs and utilization keeps the architectural design relevant, focused, and efficient. Together, the architect and builder develop a realistic and functional building product without the sticker shock.
Next Blog: Your up-front planning is in place. Now it’s time to execute the perfect building project for your company. We’ve got three tips to help you do just that.