When it comes to building and design, food businesses can minimise the possibility of problems and defects by working with builders through the planning process. Total Construction is well-equipped to take them on this journey.
Plant building and design – just like lean manufacturing, automation, and food safety – are critically important for food and beverage makers. Having a well-designed, well-functioning manufacturing plant is crucial to their success.
So when these businesses are looking to either construct a new facility or upgrade an existing one, they need to find a good builder. On top of that, according to Rob Blythman, business development manager – food & beverage at Total Construction, it is important they find someone who is willing and able to work closely with them.
“The client is key in deriving the ideal design and process flow. We involve all stakeholders (including chefs) from the client side to develop the design and layout that fits perfectly with their operational needs,” he told Food & Beverage Industry News.
“Total Construction likes to become part of the client’s project team as early as possible, and not be just a ‘supplier’ of services.”
The company prides itself on the “value add” it can provide to clients. It doesn’t just do the building but provides full design and process engineering services. According to Blythman, medium-sized businesses in particular are attracted to this model.
Total Construction was established in 1995 by current directors Steve Taylor and Bill Franks. From this time, when it operated out of an 8m² office in Sydney’s Wetherill Park, the company has grown to the point that it now has three state offices, employs 120 staff, and has an annual turnover of $150 million.
The food and beverage sector accounts for about 20 per cent of the company’s work. Apart from this, it also operates in the aged care, hospital, industrial, renewable energy, and education sectors. Within the food and beverage sector, most of its clients are medium-sized business with an annual turnover of $10 – $30 million.
“Having process engineers on staff and our experience in live food and beverage projects puts us ahead of run-of-the-mill builders,” said Blythman.
On top of that, where necessary, Total Construction works with other businesses on construction projects. To date, these partners have included Beca Engineering, Northrop Engineering, MCHP Architects and more.
The company has extensive expertise in delivering food and beverage projects throughout Australia. Its capabilities in the industry include cost planning, design, construction, and fit-out. On top of that, there are plans to soon add “asset management/equipment supply” and “install” to this list.
To date, Total Construction has completed projects in the beverage, bakery, dairy, and meat sectors. One of its major clients has been Alpha Flight Services, an in-flight catering provider owned by Emirates Airways.
Projects for Alpha have included design and construction of extensions and the construction of a new catering facility at Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne; construction of a new flight catering facility at Sydney Airport; roof replacement and refrigeration of the production area at Alpha’s facility at Brisbane Airport; design and construction management of a new purpose designed in-flight catering facility at Adelaide Airport; construction management of new extensions at Perth and Brisbane Airports; and construction of a new flight catering facility at Cairns Airport.
Total Construction’s clients in the bakery sector have included the likes of Goodman Fielder. One notable project for this client, “Project de Vinci”, involved upgrading works and management of plant and equipment installations at an existing facility in NSW.
Also in the bakery sector, Total completed the design and construction of a new Tip Top bakery facility for George Western Foods in NSW.
The total package
Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach to building projects, Total Construction tailors services to clients and offers a range of project delivery models. Experienced at working in “live environments” (i.e. operating factories), the company knows how to take the necessary precautions to eliminate safety risks as well as minimise noise, dust and vibration.
With every project, the company looks for innovations to improve “buildability” and offers value engineering solutions, where possible, to ensure the best possible outcome for clients. It values safety in design as a top priority and takes the responsibility to raise safety issues throughout the course of construction and suggests methodologies to reduce them.
In other words, as the name suggests, Total Construction delivers the total package. “Our key positioning is we are not just a builder, but a solutions provider for the food and beverage industry,” said Blythman.
The company’s client retention rate of 80 per cent suggests this approach of value add, communication with clients and starting the building journey early is just what the food and beverage industry is looking for.