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The Art of Value Engineering: Redesigning a Food Facility Project to Meet Your Budget

value engineering

Have you ever had a situation where you’ve planned a major project for your facility and the quote comes back a bit higher than expected?

What should you do at this point? Cast aside major aspects of the project’s end goal? Or just abandon the project altogether?

By working with Stancold’s Food Projects team, food producers can still reach their facility and production goals while operating within a specified budget.

As part of the food facilities fit-out offering, Stancold’s Food Projects division can provide UK food and drink producers with value-engineered solutions. ‘Value engineering’ is a term we use a great deal when it comes to our whitewall partitioning and cold store projects, but what exactly does it mean and more importantly, how can it benefit your food facility?

Simply put, value engineering is the ability to redesign a project to fit within the client’s budget without sacrificing the quality of the finished fit-out or the functionality the food or drink producer is looking for.

It is Stancold’s 75+ years of working in food and drink production environments that allow us to find ways to value engineer projects for our clients. Our Food Projects Specialists have seen and worked in all types of food-safe production sites, so they know every trick in the book to create a cost-efficient installation solution for your facility.

There are three ways that Stancold can value engineer a project to suit a food producer’s specific budget.

Product & Specification Value Engineering

This method derives from Stancold’s strong relationships with a portfolio of suppliers for the materials needed to complete food facilities fit-out projects.

In many cases, food facility managers have in their plans a certain brand they want for their whitewall fit out, but going with a different supplier could be more cost-efficient while still maintaining the highest level of quality.

Our extensive network of suppliers and experience using various materials over the years gives us the ability to search for alternative options that could make a project more cost-efficient.

Functionality Value Engineering

Functionality value engineering combines two elements: using the materials the end user already has in their facility and suggesting alternative solutions that account for the client’s budget but still achieve the overall goal.

In many cases, our team can identify elements of your existing facility that can be repurposed for the new project. For example, if your facility has a door as part of an unused area, we can determine whether that door can be used for the new configuration both in terms of functionality and quality. If it can, this can be incorporated into the scope of works of the new contract.

We’ll stick with the doors in a food facility as the example for the second element of functionality value engineering. Let’s say the initial plans call for a hi-tech rapid-rise door, but the quote we return is over the desired budget. Stancold’s Food Projects Specialists can have an in-depth conversation with you about your needs and intended usage. If your facility’s day-to-day operations only call for this door to be opened a few times a day, then it seems over the top to have a rapid-rise door, and we can suggest an alternative type of door to lower the overall cost.

value engineering

Scope Reduction Value Engineering

Rather than approach value engineering a project from the angle of the materials used, this method calls for us to analyse the space in the client’s factory that is being fitted out for a specific process.

With this method, our team will work with the client and determine whether a different amount of space in the facility can still safely and effectively achieve the production goals the client is aiming for.

In several instances, the client can use a differently-sized area in their facility than originally planned to accomplish the intended production result. This has two benefits. First, it will leave the client with an optimised installation layout that works with their specific budget. Second, it leaves more of the facility open for future expansion.

Our team has worked in so many food facilities and we’ve seen countless examples of production spaces being used both effectively and ineffectively. We can apply this knowledge to your food facility to value engineer an effective, efficient solution within your team’s budget.

At what stage should value engineering tactics come into play?

As we mentioned, food and drink manufacturers often dream big for their facility plans without considering how these plans are going to affect their budgets, and we don’t discourage that by any means!

According to our Food Projects Specialist Andy, it’s actually more efficient and beneficial for food and drink producers to work with our team to value engineer a project AFTER they have seen how much their initial plans will cost them.

‘When considering a project it is always better to kick off by aiming for the stars, include everything you want with extra gold trims’ says Andy, ‘That way you know and understand what your ultimate vision will cost and if that budget isn’t achievable right now, through a process of value engineering you can clearly see which elements of the project are most essential to your end goals and which can be reduced in scope. If you compromise before this point, there is a huge risk and you’ll be in a position where you’ll end up spending a whole load of money on something that may not ultimately fulfil your needs.’

Our Food Projects division’s ultimate goal is to help UK food and drink producers expand without breaking their budgets. A value engineering approach to planning your project allows producers to adjust the priorities of a food or drink facility project to fit within budget without forgetting quality or production goals.

Contact Stancold’s Food Projects Specialist Andy Connell to get the ball rolling on your site’s next whitewall partitioning or cold store project:

07768 670150