Planning factory expansion? Here’s the 6 main pitfalls to look out for…

14 March 2023

Meet Tony… he is the owner of a food manufacturing business experiencing a period of growth, making the step from being a small regional business to a nationally recognised supplier. Tony has a vision to be the leader in his sector, with a world class food manufacturing facility that he can be proud to show his customers.

With the business taking on larger contracts, including supplying supermarkets, Tony needs to expand his manufacturing capacity and upgrade the standard of the production facilities to continue their growth trajectory and future-proof the success of the business.

However, Tony feels extremely out of his depth taking on an expansion project with little to no experience in carrying out a project of this nature. He is concerned that if he manages the project himself, his lack of experience could result in pitfalls which could seriously damage his business’s growth as well as causing the quality of the finished project to go downhill.

There are several unexpected pitfalls which can arise during an expansion project which can cause serious delays in the project schedule, result in spiraling costs, and make your expansion project an extremely stressful experience! A few of these are…

  • Lack of knowledge in certification criteria (eg. BRC/SALSA) means production areas aren’t built to spec resulting in lower grade audits which could impact demand.
  • Incorrect timescales are assigned to tasks, meaning the programme is completely unrealistic with deadlines not being adhered to. This results in friction between subcontractors and ultimately causes the costs of the project to spiral.
  • Lack of project management skills can create friction between teams as there will be a lack of coordination and structure to the project. Health and safety measures and documentation on-site isn’t up to standard which can increase risk of accident and injury.
  • Constantly distracted by ongoing business operations. Trying to juggle continuing to grow your business as well as manage contractors on-site, chase material orders, keep works on schedule, uphold H&S standards, and keep track of hire equipment on-site to save unnecessary cost can be an extremely stressful experience.
  • Using the cheapest subcontractors or general subcontractors with no food industry experience might be a tempting way to cut costs, but this is very likely to lead to poor quality of work and not up to the higher standards required for food production.
  • Without a comprehensive design process, details of layout and finishes has to be decided whilst works are happening, often leading to misunderstanding and friction with subcontractors.

These unforeseen challenges can have a direct impact on the success of your expansion project especially if your business is currently going through a major period of growth. They can lead to a production area that’s not up to standards as well as affecting your focus on managing and growing your business.

If, like Tony, you’re planning expansion but recognise these challenges; good news – there is another way!

Get in touch with us today to explore whether our turnkey approach to food factory design, build and fit-out could be the answer you’ve been looking for.