Catering Insight caught up with Precision Refrigeration MD Nick Williams to get the lowdown on the Thetford-based factory’s latest overhaul.
How is the Precision factory being altered as part of the latest £250,000 investment?
We have recognised that with our projected growth, we needed to look at the way the factory currently works, and see how we can improve to meet the future demand and increase efficiencies.
We have reorganised the flow of materials within the factory, making the most out of the space we have, how and where components are stored, and improving the way we work as a team. This all helps the company to speed up production, and increase the overall output of the factory.
Our team of in-house expert engineers can focus on a particular product line, and really understand the ins and outs of how these products operate; they essentially become specialists within that product range. This in turn, speeds up the assembly process, whilst providing our staff with career progression and further growth opportunities.
What benefits will the overhaul bring – to both Precision itself and its dealer customers?
Customers will see shorter lead times. It also means that they can order more, and we will have the capacity to meet the demand.
The factory investment programme allows Precision to prepare for the future. We are taking on more staff to accommodate the increase in orders, and this in turn will help to support the local community’s job market, and allow us to continue to grow together as a team.
The growth ambitions for the company are impressive. We believe we can double the capacity with the new factory layout – that is good for the company, the staff, and for customers.
What roles will you be recruiting new employees for, and why are these extra personnel required?
We will be recruiting extra staff on the new production lines, to help with the increase in output. We also anticipate that we will need additional staff in the testing areas of the factory, to carry out our thorough 6-8 hour testing procedure. This, together with future MEPS standards being introduced, means that increased staff will be needed in the R&D department.
The additional number of employees will help to keep the flow of product moving through the factory efficiently, and ensure we continue to fulfil orders successfully.
What’s the current status of Precision’s drive to increase its refrigeration products’ energy efficiency label ratings?
Improving our product energy ratings is a great way of reducing our customers’ ongoing running costs, which for some could be thousands of pounds a year. By focusing on the energy ratings, we are supporting the needs of our customers who not only look at the initial outlay, but also their ongoing costs. One such example of this, is the recent announcement of our first A+ energy rated product, the HSS 150 1 door space saving undercounter.
Precision has invested a lot of time and money in recent years into their testing facilities, to abide by the requirements of MEPS, which started in July 2016. As more standards get added to the regulation, we can see that we will need to increase the resources allocated to the testing facilities.
The R&D team are working on new exciting technologies as we speak, to further reduce our customer’s product energy consumption, so watch this space.