No matter how well-planned a food plant project is, it can still present challenges, notes Justin Landowski and Matt McGrogan of Stellar. Two tools — frequent communication and flexibility — can help design-build teams overcome these hurdles. And, while they are not tools in the traditional sense, they are essential business resources nonetheless. In its “Food for Thought” blog, Jacksonville-based Stellar explains how the company used those resources during the design-build of a meat manufacturing plant for an international company.

When you have a new food plant project, construction teams, subcontractors and equipment vendors will all be working together, say Landrowski and McGrogan. Frequent and effective communication will help ensure that your construction team has all the information about the equipment that will be installed in the space. With the right information in hand, they can factor in details that could impact the design and processes.

A simple lack of communication can result in huge inefficiencies throughout the project—especially during construction. Bring in all stakeholders on the team, including the plant owner, design-build firm, equipment vendors and subcontractors.

Design-build projects often can best succeed when approached with a willingness to adjust to current conditions. In their blog post, Landrowski and McGrogan note that many of their clients — owners of food or beverage manufacturing facilities — may want to take what works in existing plants and apply it to new facility designs. While there are sound reasons to unify processes and equipment throughout an enterprise, food and beverage plant owners must be flexible to ensure their facility works best for its necessary function, they say.

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