By Jeff Eriks, Cambridge Companies
April 1, 2018
You have an opportunity to expand your operation. Where do you start?
In particular, the initial phase is an important piece of the project. You must get this right because there is only one chance. No one wants to go back for more money, and miss their projected open date. So, the project can be more successful when you have a knowledgeable team.
An initial phase includes many different pieces that must get collected early on and accurately. Some of the items accomplished in this phase include:
- Operational review and assessment
- Analysis of needs to determine options for expansion/new facility
- Initial permit research
- Initial utility availability
- Existing building review/assessment
- Site environmental assessments
- Site zoning and setbacks
As the owner during this phase, you must be able to analyze operations in terms of past, present, and future so that your project partner(s) can come up with solutions relevant to your immediate needs and consider future growth. For example, the right team members should get included, allowing the right amount of time and setting aside some capital to prepare the necessary items to be used in the business case.
Several stakeholders have important roles and must be included in all discussions to get the best results. Not all parties will apply to all projects. The stakeholders could consist of:
- Local Employees/Team Members
- Local Management (GM or equivalent)
- Regionally Based Management
- Corporate Team
- Designer or Design/Builder
- Financing Partner (if required)
- Local Permitting Agencies
Let’s walk through the various roles of each stakeholder. Please keep in mind that these roles are different for every organization, so I am using general terms for this article.