Controlling opportunity costs

A flexible answer to temperature controlled storage for prepreg takes risk out of opportunity for composites businesses

Demand at Wotton Farm Shop changes with the seasons so, to take advantage of high season without incurring additional costs across all seasons, proprietor Paul Grimes uses flexible cold store capacity from Team Refrigeration. It also means that Paul can be flexible; hiring a trailer one year and a higher capacity container the next as the business grows.

Many businesses want to grow; growth confirms that products and approach are right for the market, generates income and adds value to the brand. However, growth can be a mixed blessing. Presented with the opportunity of a new order, most businesses will grasp it, especially if it offers the chance to break into a new market or become preferred supplier for a new customer. But what if that new customer is also ‘testing the water’ with a new product or in a new market? What if the opportunity doesn’t work out?

The other side of such an opportunity is business risk, especially if increased capacity has to be housed in additional space requiring more premises. If it all goes well, marvellous: if not, there could be more space than production can justify which will soon put pressure on the business and limit future plans. Capacity that can be expanded when needed but avoids additional premises costs if the need is no longer there will mitigate that risk.

Team Refrigeration offers what a number of businesses and academic institutions using composites have found to be the ideal solution for grasping an opportunity without risking long-term premises commitments before new long-term production levels have been established. It applies particularly to the handling and storage of prepreg which needs to be kept in cold storage to avoid premature curing before it can be used.

Fridge trailer inside a workshop

Refrigerated trailers can be stored inside or outside – whichever is the most convenient.

Instead of incurring additional costs for larger premises, composites engineering businesses can hire a fridge trailer or hire a refrigerated container from a range of sizes as additional prepreg cold storage capacity while fulfilling an opportunity order. If the order becomes a long-term commitment, there is a choice. Take additional or larger premises, or continue in the current premises for the remainder of the lease at the current rent, and retain Team Refrigeration for cold storage – freeing up premises space for additional manufacturing capacity and with the ability to vary cold storage capacity in line with demand.

A flexible cold storage solution doesn’t only meet capacity needs but also supports the agility that growing businesses value to be able to plan ahead but not tie up capital or commit to expenses which could limit the room for future manoeuvrability.