Strategic planning and ‘thinking outside the box’ might best describe the business ethos of a recent client of ours, Service Foods Ltd, headquartered in Auckland. The food service provider has made its mark in New Zealand, capturing the market that caters primarily to the hospitality industry. This means they are getting premium quality foods directly to restaurants and their chefs, along with airlines and other specialty food outlets.
At the core of their business model is their in-house distribution arm, that operates throughout the country. This is where Calder Stewart was to fit in. We were commissioned with the erection of a new food processing and distribution centre for them, their largest to date and new home of their main offices.
The new 15,000m2 facility took nearly 2 years of preplanning, and at its earliest stages was designated to be built by another contractor. We nonetheless provided input along the way and once things got rolling in our favour, we were able to forward design iterations to their management team that finalised the scope of the project.
Overall, the draft terms presented several requirements, the first of which was meeting a predetermined budget that was already in place. Secondly, preferred subcontractors, particularly in the refrigeration industry, that Service Foods previously worked with, needed to be included in the build. And lastly, contractual terms for meeting the target deadlines needed to be put in place - ones that all parties could agree on.
In all three categories our team was able to meet Service Foods’ expectations. A partnership with Engenium, an engineering firm that Calder Stewart has long had a relationship with, was pivotal to coming to a solution in terms of design and implementation. Our pricing and contract teams worked closely with Engenium to arrive at a workable solution that Service Foods accepted. Calder Stewart’s own Adrian Mathieson was instrumental in bringing everything together as project sponsor.
The facility itself is large by any standard with the main building measuring in at 172 meters long and 60 meters wide. The fact that it includes 16 truck docks, gives an idea of the size and scope of the client’s operations. The layout included a 3520m2 two-level food processing area with mezzanine floor, capable of processing a full spectrum of food types - from fish, beef, pork, poultry and lamb to a full range of vegetables and fruit and other produce. Our team worked closely with the equipment vendors for this section during their installation, whilst providing a suitable load bearing solution in advance from which to proceed. The refrigeration area includes two massive chillers measuring in over 800m2 each and a 14-metre-tall 1784m2 freezer, containing full height racking. At the other end of the complex, a 3600m2 drystore is in place, capable of storing a wide range of specialty food types. To ensure food safety and hygiene requirements were met, an environmental loadout area was also part of the build. And at the front of the facility, stands a three story 1500m2 office, designed to a high architectural style and specification.
This is a project all can be proud of, which includes our Project and Site Managers and crew, that worked long hours to meet expectations and cross the line..