Strategic planning for food processors series

Six elements of a thorough situation analysis.

By Gerry Gomolka, VP, business development, Stellar November 20, 2015

A manufacturing analysis is the portion of a strategic plan that focuses on all the processes and materials related to manufacturing. A situation analysis is a major focus of the manufacturing analysis, serving as an in-depth look at the physical layout of the facility. The goal of situation analysis is to ensure that the technology and strategy one plans to implement are feasible in the physical space of the facility.

Be sure to review the following attributes for a thorough situation analysis:

  1. Site considerations- First, one must understand the location of the building site and how it affects the facility’s operations. This includes external soft costs that must be squared away before construction can begin. One will have to comply with permits for zoning, foundation, building and other items.
  2. Physical building and structure- Consider the physical capabilities and limitations of the building, both inside and out. Factor in future changes to the facility, whether it’s expansion or renovation. Food-safety requirements are also a major part of the physical aspects of the building, so consider which sanitation processes will be used and how they will affect the facility.
  3. Utility/process systems- Determine every aspect of utility use, including which utilities are used most, how much is needed and where one will get them. Address utilities including gas, electricity and water services.
  4. Capacity- Production capacity will depend on the facility’s equipment. Can the existing equipment match future production goals? Remember,  plan for growth and expanded production, too.
  5. Material handling- Analyze where certain operations will occur within the facility and how food will move between them. Consider how much automation will factor into food processing as well.
  6. Storage and distribution- Have a clear understanding of food handling, from arrival to distribution. Figuring out storage logistics early on can save costs later.

Gerry Gomolka, VP, business development, Stellar, has over 40 years of engineering, maintenance, and operations experience in the food manufacturing industry. Gerry oversees initial development of critical project criteria and budgets, safety, technical requirements of equipment, proper execution of construction documents, equipment installation, and commissioning. This article originally appeared on Stellar Food for Thought. Stellar is a CFE content partner. Edited by Erin Dunne, production coordinator, CFE Media,

Stellar is a CSIA member as of 11/30/2015

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