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High standards are within Reach

11 May 2020

When it outgrew its original facilities, Reach Food Service needed to set up a new factory – quickly. Hygiene and high quality equipment were at the top of its list of priorities. 

When Reach Food Service, a supplier of fish and shellfish, fine pastry ingredients and artisanal cheese to the hospitality sector, outgrew its existing facilities it made the decision to relocate to a new specialist food factory and fish preparation unit in Hayes. While this move would meet its long-term needs, the immediate challenge was to ensure the it would be operational as quickly as possible.

Carl Cecil, operations director of Reach, takes up the story: “There is no room for error or the luxury of downtime when managing an upheaval such as moving premises. We had to turn the whole project around quickly and with a minimum of disruption to us or to our customers. 
“We extend the same expectations our clients have of us to our own suppliers so it was imperative that we chose suppliers and contractors who could keep up with our pace, and were able give us the confidence that they would get it right in the first instance. Moreover, we needed partners that could guarantee best in class products, the highest level of customer service and on time delivery.”

Hygienic furniture specialist Teknomek was appointed to work with the construction contractor, KDH Projects, to ensure the project would be completed on schedule and would meet Reach’s very particular requirements.

Reach wanted the new facility to be a statement of intent, not only to put hygiene at front of mind for its staff, but also to highlight the pride it takes in its work to visitors. Consequently, all the furniture had to be finished to a high degree of detail, for both the standard and bespoke items deployed across the site. Carefully considered features such as hidden ingress-free wall fixings on wash troughs combined hygienic design with a showroom finish. 

Teknomek was tasked with specifying and delivering the furniture between goods-in and good-out. This included the changing rooms, sorting food preparation areas and super freezing. Hygienic best practice was the defining consideration for all areas, not just those where food is prepared. The philosophy was that dirt should always be clearly visible. This ensures it cannot be ignored – ensuring that the furniture is easy to clean means there is no excuse not to do so. 

Driving efficiency
Bespoke fish preparation stations were built to support the standards required for Reach’s culinary food preparation and creation. As the company’s clients demand high volumes at speed and their menus change frequently, a very high level of flexibility was needed to meet fast-changing scenarios. 

The ergonomic stations were consequently given a modular design that can quickly be adapted to suit the individual’s working preferences to enable optimum productivity. As is always the case for food preparation, hygiene was again a critical consideration. The troughs for each station were designed to allow waste to flow quickly and cleanly down stainless-steel pipes to the drains which are embedded within the floor. 

Each station features a tough detachable table within an in-built tray, which also houses the food prep tools.

Future proofing was a consideration, so the bespoke designs have been kept on file for posterity to ensure that the furniture can be reproduced quickly should Reach need to scale up its production capability. Even the smallest details have a part to play when it comes to ensuring the production areas are future proofed: a good example of this is the use of magnets to attach dispensers to walls, rather than screwing them in. Not only does this make deep cleaning easier, it builds in greater flexibility in the production area. If the workflow changes, it will be a quick and easy task to move the dispensers to the optimal locations for maximum efficiency. 

Completed on time
The project was completed to schedule, ensuring that Reach was able to move operations into its facility without any impact on service provision.

Delivery – from specification – was achieved in just three weeks and workplace efficiencies in the new facility have been greatly improved thanks to the use of the new bespoke systems. 

In conclusion, Cecil said: “We chose Teknomek from a short-list of four known names in the industry, it became evident from the quality of their advice that they were the right partner. We felt we were in safe hands during the process of developing the custom-made workstations, which have been a game-changing piece of kit in our operation. 
“I would add their attention to detail in converting brief to product design, the robust build quality of their products, and their ability to deliver the project on time. They managed our expectations during all stages of the project, communicated clearly at every stage, and crucially worked collaboratively with other contractors on the job.”

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