Jack Sharkey, MD of Vision Commercial Kitchens, feels that project management within the commercial kitchen sector will need to evolve, and that to make a success of projects, the right organisational structure needs to be in place:
Will project management exist in the future within the commercial kitchen sector? The short answer is yes, but project management will have to evolve to meet the ever-increasing demands being placed from the sector.
Several companies in our sector have decided to move away from project-based business to concentrate on replacement and light equipment only, and it is not surprising that they have taken that decision. When you begin to look at commercial kitchen projects in detail, they are incredibly complex and require specific skillsets and organisational structures.
The sector demands that for projects to be successful, efficient and profitable, companies must have to invest in their personnel. They must ensure that employees have the relevant qualifications, skills, training and development.
Project management has been a critical business discipline across multiple market sectors as well as the commercial kitchen sector for decades, and with the fast-paced societal, environmental, economic and technological changes on the horizon, it is important that companies consider how these changes will impact how they manage their organisation and execute projects. More importantly, enterprising businesses should consider what they can do to proactively be prepared for these changes.
We have seen a technological evolution over the last several years in the development and implementation of Building Information Modelling (BIM) but we are currently only scratching the surface of the benefits that BIM can bring to successful project delivery. Currently BIM is seen as more of a design function, but it is capable of so much more including costing, sequencing, programming, and scheduling.
Five years ago, the acceleration and deployment of BIM in the delivery of successful projects in the private sector was probably only one in 10/one in 20 projects. The sector is seeing an increase in the use of BIM, as approximately one in five projects now require it. In my opinion, and a word of warning to the sector, companies cannot just buy a piece of software and implement BIM into the organisation. It is necessary that organisations review and overhaul their way of working such that their systems and processes integrate BIM into the organisation and its subsequent deployment.
In conclusion, project management and the role of project houses will continue to exist in the commercial kitchen sector, although the qualifications, accreditations, insurances, systems and process required to deliver a successful commercial kitchen are becoming and will continue to become more and more onerous every year. Consequently, those organisations that spot the future trends in technology, can use the technology to successfully deliver projects, and can invest in their personnel, will succeed in the sector. Furthermore, companies must constantly evolve and adopt new technology in the sector as the industry changes, and so it will become the future and the norm for fewer companies as we evolve the sector.