Investment to bring storage in-house, which includes the addition of cold storage and other temperature-controlled solutions, can bring a wide range of benefits to those manufacturers that have the vision to invest now for a longer-term return. Michael Sansum, project development manager at Dawsongroup TCS (DGTCS) discusses the reasons to consider taking control of production processes.
Why are more manufacturers investing in cold stores?
There are many reasons why bringing a greater number of storage processes in-house, and managing storage on-site, can be beneficial. Quickly consider no longer having to work with third-parties and all the regulations, safety, and quality checks that come with them. Or, imagine being able to maximise the space available on an existing site rather than having to consider moving which, of course, has a huge associated cost and the likelihood of lost labour.
As well as offering an alternative solution to these problems, investment in facilities such as cold stores can vastly improve quality control by improving food safety and stream-line processes, often by reducing or removing double handling.
Common challenges of storing produce on-site
Over the last seven years, our team has worked with international bespoke ingredients supplier Pecan Deluxe Candy (Europe) Ltd. The project, which saw an investment of approximately £3 million, has enabled the company to bring most of its storage requirements in-house with amazing results.
Historically, the company’s storage options onsite in Leeds were fragmented and often used third party solutions which made the streamlining of processes almost impossible. This hugely impacted its prospects for growth and its navigation of any challenges associated with Brexit.
After considering the move to a new facility, managing director Graham Kingston and operations director Andrew Pitt, instead decided that the existing site had untapped potential. Improving the current location, rather than relocating, was an attractive option due to the large cost involved in moving, the challenge of finding a suitable site, and the ability to retain skilled staff that were mostly from the surrounding area.
Investing in a permanent construction build
The construction of a single, permanent office and operations building was a crucial milestone. Enabling the installation of secure perimeter fencing to protect the entire site. This allowed the company to expand its sales team and encourage further internal investment from its American owners in addition to having the profit in place to self-fund further investment in cold storage.
DGTCS provided an initial seven cold stores to support the growth of new product lines and departments, as well as a complete construction build and wash room to ensure stringent hygiene standards.
This first stage of development also enabled the majority of product storage to be handled completely on-site, delivering savings by significantly reducing the need for offsite storage and distribution and therefore associated handling costs, as well as the time taken to audit third parties. This also contributed to its carbon reduction and zero waste to landfill ambitions, which are important not only to Pecan Deluxe as a progressive company but to the multinationals and other customers that it supplies to.
Graham Kingston, managing director of Pecan Deluxe Europe, has attested to the fact that the cold store provided the greatest saving in terms of efficiencies in comparison to its use of old units located across the site.
This initial investment laid the foundation for on-going expansion over a seven-year period with the recently completed permanent build containing a frozen chamber, tempering room, and chill room, which are linked to the existing factory.
As well as improved efficiencies, these onsite facilities deliver tighter control of production levels and delivery times. It’s also meant that the factory perimeter can be enclosed to improve security and future-proof the business with Threat Assessment Critical Control Points (TACCP) in mind. This has been incredibly valuable to the Pecan Deluxe team and its work to future-proof the business as TACCP is expected to remain high on the agenda for industry as terrorism through the food industry becomes a growing risk.
The value of the investment is already clear. Pecan Deluxe now has a purpose-built manufacturing facility which it’s proud to show to customers. It can be confident that it’s leading the way in food production from a processing perspective. It has become a real differentiator for them as a business. It’s a powerful message about the strength of their offering. In the words of the managing director; “the permanent cold store has been a crucial element in creating the slick operation we have now. There are very few, if any, sites like this in our sector across the world, never mind in the UK.”
The investment that Pecan Deluxe has made over the last seven years has given it the ability to oversee every element of the manufacturing process whilst building confidence with customers as well as internally with investors. The key being the importance of working in collaboration and building a long-term relationship with someone like DGTCS to develop bespoke solutions that meet the specific requirements of the manufacturer.
Not only has the investment in cold storage and other facilities provided financial benefits but ensured its products are of the highest possible standard.
Creating a bespoke cold store solution
To speak to Michael about your project call 01623 516 666 or send the team a message via the contact page.