Precision’s keys to cool growth

Precision’s factory is headquartered in Thetford, Norfolk.Precision’s factory is headquartered in Thetford, Norfolk.

If a business is 25% more successful in each successive year, then you know it is doing something right. And this can certainly be said of Thetford-based manufacturer, Precision Refrigeration, which has recorded that level of sales growth since it was established in 2008.

When Catering Insight was invited to participate in one of the company’s dealer days, MD Nick Williams detailed to the attendees what he believes are the cornerstones of Precision’s success: “The market for commercial refrigeration itself certainly isn’t growing at 25%, so we put our figures down to four main factors: giving customers the best possible product at the best possible price, flexibility as a company and of the products themselves, customer-driven product development and our partnership with dealers.”

Expanding on each of these points, he first emphasised that all of Precision’s refrigeration appliances are constructed from solely stainless steel, which he said was in contrast to competitors who use stainless aluminium inside their cabinets. “We strongly believe that stainless steel is the only way to go, because stainless aluminium corrodes,” Williams explained.

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On the subject of price comparison, he feels Precision is consistently slightly less expensive than its competition when stacked against their combination stainless and aluminium products, but that when compared to like-for-like entirely stainless steel refrigeration, the price gap can rise to thousands of pounds.

Another key product differentiator is the meat temperature possibilities, according to Williams. The usual meat temperature range of -2 to +4°C is available on all its appliances. “This makes designing kitchens much easier because you don’t have to think about which unit you’re going to use,” he said. “Once the end user decides, they can set it up as they wish.”

He also pointed to all Precision models being equipped with hot gas defrost, which is said to be more efficient than off cycle defrost and virtually eliminates a cabinet icing up in a busy or hot environment. Another feature which could help with servicing is an extra probe going into each unit’s condenser which sounds an alarm if the condenser gets clogged and therefore runs too hot.

Reporting that refrigerated counters are some of the manufacturer’s best sellers, Williams detailed: “A counter is a fridge plus it’s a work surface, so with kitchens getting smaller and smaller, and space becoming more expensive, counters are very much the way people want to go.”

Highlighting a flexible counter product line, he believes one of the counters’ most compelling features is that they have front breathing and venting. “This means they can be completely built in, up against a wall or next to other pieces of equipment. That isn’t something that’s available with our competitors’ products. They always have to leave some sort of ventilation gap, either underneath, on the side, or at the back of it.”

In terms of flexibility within the overall product range, Precision calculated that it has around 16,000 variations, after it had to create individual model numbers for each configuration when it invested in SAP as a business software system a few years ago. This includes various finish types for the front of the cabinets to enable them to blend in with other counters.

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