There’s no doubt about it, 2014 is going to be a busy year for everyone in the catering equipment sector — and potentially a profitable one, too.
Research commissioned by CESA into foodservice operators’ buying plans for 2014 highlighted the optimism in the market.
While price is the most important buying criteria in every sector, energy is becoming more and more significant. The findings indicate that while buyers welcome the opportunity to compare energy usage figures, the supply chain must find ways to present the data more simply and clearly.
However, growing sales are causing problems across the supply chain because of short-term ordering. After years of recession, manufacturers and suppliers will take time to gear up to increased demand for products as the economy recovers. The supply chain needs to work together to overcome this problem — the customer needs to be educated not to expect next-day delivery when the manufacturer needs three weeks.
The market picking up is having a different effect in the service provider sector, where increased competition and price cutting are having a big impact. Cuts in costs must not be allowed to lead to cuts in corners: the industry has worked long and hard to establish its credentials. If we are to protect them we have to ensure that increased competition between service companies is based on expert, well-trained staff delivering a professional service.
Right now, the legislators in Brussels are deciding how to grade refrigeration in terms of energy efficiency. The objective of the Ecodesign Directive is to improve the environmental performance of energy related products through ‘ecodesign.’ One of the key areas being considered is energy labelling. It would mean that catering equipment would carry labelling similar to that found on domestic equipment, rating it A-G (with A being the most efficient).
The main issue is that this will lead to the requirement for products to be tested. The cost of this testing will need to be borne by the manufacturer. However, operators are increasingly demanding refrigeration that can be tailored to a particular site. In response to this, manufacturers are making many different model variants, in smaller numbers. As things stand, every single variant could need to be tested, adding enormously to the cost.
Meanwhile, consultations have already started in relation to the next category — dishwashers — with the key issues in terms of establishing benchmark standards being functionality, hygiene and energy efficiency. The dishwasher regulations are due to be published in 2015, with discussions on ovens, hobs and grills due to begin in 2014.
BIM: You’ve got to be in it to win it
The UK government has legislated that by 2016 all public-funded projects must be undertaken using BIM (Building Information Modelling) software. For many suppliers of catering equipment it will mean that 2014 will be spent producing BIM-compatible 3D models of their products in order to have them specified.
BIM actually works in 6D: the fourth dimension being time, the fifth cost and specifications, and the sixth facilities management. What this means is that anyone using a BIM model can access a huge bank of information, such as data on consumption and service manuals, as well as information on the unit’s size, capacity and so on.
CESA has been working with BIM specialist Schematic to develop CESABIM, which is designed to make it easy to produce BIM models that can be uploaded into any BIM software format. For planners, specifiers and catering operators, it will offer a free, 24/7 library of catering equipment BIM data.
GPS: Getting the procurement right
When David Shields, managing director of Government Procurement Services, spoke at the CESA 2012 conference he must have felt he was stepping into the lion’s den. At the time, he admitted past mistakes and said: “We know we have to improve — we are here to deliver value, not to make life difficult.” During 2014, GPS will be scoping out the next framework, with help from organisations including CESA, who will be looking to ensure the interface with companies is simpler and more effective.
Show and see in 2014
There’s a buzz of excitement building around Hotelympia 2014, which is set to be bigger and better than 2102 — the change of date and the recovering economy having reinvigorated the show. It is a great chance for the supply chain to network and a showcase for the latest innovations in catering equipment.
There will be other opportunities during the year to find out about new products. The Light Equipment and Tableware Forum in January is the established annual event that allows distributors to find out about the latest kitchen gadgets and gizmos from manufacturers and suppliers. This year, for the first time, CESA is also planning a heavy equipment forum, to run in September. It will give distributors the chance to see the latest innovations in heavy equipment, at first hand. Details will be announced at Hotelympia.