“FABRISTEEL IS PROJECTS. The company encompasses everything that you need in a total solution provider”. That was the reply when we asked Kim Underhill, VP/GM of Fabristeel Private Limited what best describes Fabristeel. Founded in 1979 – Fabristeel today is an icon in the Commercial Equipment Foodservice industry in the region and is still setting the standards and benchmarks in the Hospitality industry today.
Since opening in 1979 they have continuously honed and refined their skills throughout the years – not just in the foodservice industry but have also developed a solid reputation in the niche market of fitting out ambulances and fire engines for the rescue units in Singapore. Their focus and ability to offer turnkey services, from restaurant concepts and facility designs to equipment specifications, in house fabrications, installations and even maintenance has built a track record that is impeccable. With projects completed on homeground Singapore to neighbouring countries in South East Asia and tremendous success into India, the Fabristeel name is associated with some of the largest and most recognised kitchens in Asia today. 60% of their orders derived from projects – be it hotels, to cafes or instituitional eateries. They are also known to provide their services as a Kitchen Equipment Supplier to Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) coupled with providing dependable service and maintenance work.
Yet despite the experiences, there have been instances where even her team were stumped and caught off guard. Recalling a funny incident in India, Kim recounts the story. “We were asked to fabricate and deliver to a site of a 6 star hotel in Jaipur – a resort isolated from the city. The team upon arrival discovered that they had to literally move all the equipment manually. There were no proper roads or even paved or tarred walkways to the site – no forklifts and everything relied on the local strong men. And to top it all, the main contractor have sealed all of the bigger doorways and the bigger machines couldn’t go through the door! At this point – the main contractor had no choice but to break down a wall for us to get into the kitchen on the higher floor, all raised with a good old fashioned manual pulley system!” But regardless the hiccup, the site was delivered on time which experiences played an important hand to coordinate the unexpected scenario.
Walking through their ISO9001 certified factory and production lines, it is evident that Fabristeel represents what it preaches – Total Solution from 1 location. Within its compact production space in Tuas, Singapore – the company manufactures a high mix of equipment – from hot to cold equipment to display units and even uniquely shaped equipment. Its small yet equipped facility sometimes caters up to 35 to 40 projects at one time. “We try our best and challenge the team to go beyond, but we also stand strong in keeping our customers’ feet on the ground. We create what we know will work as many a times, customers do get carried away with their dreams.”
Well, sometimes it is not the carried away but the right word would be – the “out of the norm” products. And one that Kim remembers was a request from a local medical instituition. “We were asked if we could fabricate a unique table – fully stainless steel and it had to come built in with its own exhaust system. We later understood that its purpose was for the research & development work done onto human body parts in the instituition’s laboratory. Despite it being something that we normally never do, we built and completed the tables thus providing the customers a solution that they need”.
And adding to its arsenal now, is also parent company Manitowoc’s international brands of commercial kitchen equipment which offers an extra advantage when they work on projects. Having been acquired by Manitowoc in 2008, their range of products such as a complete meal distribution line to modular meal distribution system and many individual customized fabrication equipment are further complimented and seamlessly incorporated with Manitowoc’s brand of quality equipment – extending their range and cementing their ability to fulfill customer’s needs regardless of cuisines.
HOW THEY WORK
The company’s reputation as a professional kitchen project management company follows a blueprint that the company has identified.
ANALZYE | CREATE SOLUTIONS | IMPLEMENT | COMPLETION
I asked Kim how best to sum these 4 points. “We analyze our customers’ needs while allowing potential for growth by being innovative and creative with the solutions presented. Implementation are kept cost conscious while delivery and service is never compromised.”
How they achieve this is by having the 3 right “Ps”. PEOPLE, PRODUCT & PROGRESS. Their strength lies in the experiences that the people in the company has garnered throughout the years and the sense of ownership that they instill in their team – that every kitchen project they manage is like their own restaurant or cafe. Details are studied and pored over thoroughly while applying sensible approaches when it comes to kitchen design and planning and still making sure that “their” outlet open on time. “We have 150 people in the company. Every person has a duty or responsibility to work towards providing a solution for the customer – be it if you are in the factory, at the front line or during installation or servicing”.[hr]
1979 – Founded as Foodservice Equipment Manufacturer
2001 – Established Fabristeel China (Foshan & Shanghai)
2007 – Acquired by Enodis plc. (UK)
2008 – Established Fabristeel India
2008 – Enodis acquired by The Manitowoc Company Inc.[hr]
WHAT’S TO COME
The year in 2012 have been reasonable. I asked Kim what she thinks it will be like in 2013. “Projects will still be there or on going – albeit maybe a little slower with the soft economy. Every company will be more lean in spending so we would need to counter what might be possible – slower payment, higher labour costs as we would need to offer more value added services on top of what we are doing now and also shortage of labour. “The talent pool is not growing like before as most of the younger generation prefer to be the one standing in the kitchen after its completed – creating masterpieces of food. But what we do is very necessary before they can step into a kitchen”.
And what’s in store for 2013 for Fabristeel?
“We still see projects as the driving factor for our business. We will continue to expand our services in providing preventive maintenance for our customers once we complete fitting the kitchen. This gives our customers the comfort knowing that they can choose to have their kitchen monitored and maintained professionally as commercial kitchen normally goes through intense working conditions”.
Kim adds “Our focus would also be capturing a growing market – putting the kitchen on the road or what some might call “mobile food systems”. With our skills in fabricating stainless steel equipment and incorporating our experience fitting them on vehicles like what we have been doing for ambulances and fire engines, we definitely have an edge. Whereas on the ground, projects would be squeeze into even smaller space and that itself would also be a challenge in 2013.”
With the recent news of securing another notable casino hotel project under their wings, Fabristeel is geared to face the new year with their new plans and development. Definitely not resting on their laurels, they welcome your inquries and are all fired up for the new year![box style=”rounded” border=”full”]
9 Tuas Avenue 10, Singapore 639133.
Tel : +65 6862 3830 Email : email@example.com
255 Yangzhai Road, Bldg 5, 1-2F, Shanghai, China, 200051.
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Plot No. 117, 2nd Floor, Sector-44 Gurgaon 122003, Haryana India.
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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9 Song Xia Industrial Park, Nanhai Song Gang, Guang Dong Province 528324 P.R. China.
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9 Tuas Avenue 10, Singapore 639133.
Tel : +65 6862 3830 Fax : +65 6861 5988