Issue Issue 4 2008
Keeping it cool
KMG Partnership’s approach to warehouse design is ‘from the inside out’
Founded in 1986, KMG Partnership provides a range of technical services to the construction industry. The company specialises in structural engineering, industrial architecture and infrastructure design for clients in a range of sectors but with specialist expertise in the food distribution and warehousing industry. With origins in structural engineering it has developed a respected client base throughout the UK and Ireland. The company has been continually expanding during its 20-year history with diversification into logistical planning and project management roles and developing partnering relationships with other consultants, specialist contractors and clients alike.
With a client list including 3663, Spar, Tesco and Sainbury’s, KMG has established a reputation for delivering service and value – the same performance standards as the clients it serves. Although catering for a range of markets and needs, it is in the food and distribution industry that the importance of longterm relationships with national clients is realised. The competitiveness and high standards within the food and distribution industries are reflected in the performance levels of KMG. Clients are assured of a quality, cost effective service based on in depth knowledge and skills gained from many years of industry experience. Its wide range of capabilities ensures clients receive a complete package service, from initial logistical planning to site feasibility, surveys and investigations to complete building design through to construction supervision – KMG can provide it all under one roof.
It is acknowledged in the specialised field of food distribution, particular building designs and structures are needed for the storage of frozen, chilled and ambient foodstuffs, and KMG’s capabilities ensure that every client’s temperature controlled needs are fulfilled with exactness. Typical projects include distribution warehouses for the advanced food distribution company, 3663, with locations throughout the UK, and with recently constructed depots in Birmingham, Stowmarket, Harlow and now under construction at Paddock Wood, Kent. Other temperature controlled warehouses have been provided for Iceland Frozen Foods, The Wine Society, Midlands Foods and NFT to service ASDA and Tesco.
Each development differs even where a national distributor seeks to repeat a known storage or distribution format. The constantly changing consumer trends, regional differences and individual site constraints require buildings with ‘designed in’ flexibility. This can include scope for varied amounts of temperaturecontrolled areas, expansion potential, various office and ancillary space allowances.
Kevin McGahan, director of KMG Partnership responsible for the industrial and warehousing project work explains the company’s strengths: “We endeavour to fully understand the clients’ needs, expectations and budgets and recognise the trust and reliance clients place on us to achieve these goals. Storage and distribution is not a revenue stream to many clients and simply a means to an end. Profits are only made at the point of sales – not in the distribution warehouse, our job is to design facilities, which store and move goods as cost effectively as possible over the required life span of the facility. Every pound spent must be challenged for cost benefit.
“Our approach to warehouse design is ‘from the inside out’- our engineering roots are a big advantage in optimising structural solutions around the all important racking configurations and construction. The core of the design revolves around the throughput process, warehouse logistics, bulk and pick faces storage requirements, loading dock design and HGV movements – so only when the optimum operational internal design is achieved is the external appearance considered. Warehouse design is constantly changing as new materials and construction techniques evolve. We have to keep abreast and take advantage of these technological changes and also to incorporate the increasingly important sustainability and renewable energy requirements.”
Looking to the future, Kevin concludes: “Our predominant experience in temperature controlled warehouse design and similar fit out projects keep us at the forefront of the industry. The fact that we can carry all required skills in-house combined with our cost benefit design approach helps to ensure longevity and partnering with our clients. I believe this structure will continue and we look forward to growth and development within the industry over the next few years.”