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From Process to Permit to Manufacturing: Partners Every Step of the Way

Building relationships is the foundation of Tamarack Grove Engineering’s practice. The firm’s desire to build people, projects, and places permeates every project because building relationships is just as important as bringing a project to life. The accomplishments of each client and investment in that success translates into success for all — a true partnership.

Getting to Know You

For over a decade, Tamarack Grove Engineering (TGE) has worked hand-in-hand with KPS Global/Custom Cooler Inc. (KPSG/CCIG), the now combined national leader of customized walk-in coolers and freezers, building trust through super-communication and transparency. The relationship didn’t evolve simply because the engineering firm created a calculation package and sealed documents. They provided additional value by going above and beyond the basics, giving KPSG/CCIG additional processes, reporting, and oversight of their 3rd-party testing companies, LARR updates, value engineering, steel beam charts, and review of overall engineering best practices.

When the two firms began working together in 2009, turnaround time for a customized cooler/freezer project designed and delivered averaged 2 – 3 weeks. The panels for each custom install were produced in KPSG/CCIG’s factory on a case-by-case basis per TGE-design specifications. The engineering team worked with the cooler design team to review and specify beams and support requirements to adequately accommodate the cooler and installation based upon the location of the project.

As the teaming relationship grew, and Tamarack learned the KPSG/CCIG business inside-out, an internal design process was honed that decreased turnaround time by 95% to just 24 hours! This significant shift in delivery time—from order to install—made KPSG/CCIG more highly competitive in their market and allowed them to compete on a global scale delivering their final product to their clients in a timelier fashion.

TGE was instrumental in perpetuating and has supported that growth year over year by adding staff when needed to keep up with demand, setting standards for their projects and designs, refining engineering, and assisting in product development to help KPSG/CCIG deliver across the globe and grow into the industry leader in this space.

As their go-to engineering design firm, most recently TGE assisted KPSG/CCIG through a corporate merger working to integrate structural design from both organizations into consistent and compatible processes that resulted in comprehensive improvement.

“Since the beginning of our relationship over 10 years ago, Tamarack has been an important member of our team. Their technical knowledge, expertise, and responsiveness helped fuel the growth of Custom Cooler. Since the merger, the Tamarack team has been an instrumental partner in consolidating the design capacities of the KPSG/CCIG combined product lines and the testing of new products we have introduced,” said Steve Pearson, KPSG/CCIG, VP Manufacturing.

The relationship is reciprocal–with each company investing in the other. TGE often provides value or complimentary work up front to help KPSG/CCIG approach a client and secure the sale. Once the product is sold to an end-user, it is specified and drawings are turned over to the TGE design team to verify interior loads, and lateral loads if an exterior install, and to make sure the structural capacity can accommodate the cooler’s design requirements.

The relationship has been nurtured over time, solidly dependent upon the engineering firm’s first-rate responsiveness in this niche market. “We understand the product and its applications so well that our team is able to adapt the design to meet prevailing codes and compliance whether installed regionally, nationally, or internationally with ease. The impact of such quick turnaround allows KPSG/CCIG to be highly competitive in a very demanding industry,” said Doug Hardin, TGE’s Director of Engineering. In many cases, TGE is called in at the last moment to fulfill an immediate need.

This model is highly appealing to big-box retailers who have to be up and running very quickly but may not have given much advance thought to what goes into preparing a set of shop drawings for final engineering. In certain remodel situations, time is always money, so the quicker that KPSG/CCIG and TGE can get a client up and running, permitted, and installed, the happier the end-user client is.

Additionally, mortuaries, medical, warehouse, and grocery/food service that require such specialized spaces can be accommodated on an emergency basis. The catch-phrase of ‘hot rush’ was born and bred within the CCIG leadership and continues today within the KPSG/CCIG infrastructure. TGE’s singular expertise in this space stems from over 450 projects completed with KPSG/CCIG in 2020 alone! Both firms have looked throughout the year for continued opportunities to partner and help each other grow, often in ways they never even anticipated.

“Working in collaboration with a partner like KPSG/CCIG has allowed Tamarack to continue to grow and learn within the industry. We have challenged building officials and we have educated owners. We are very humbled to be a part of such a leading-edge company like KPSG/CCIG,” said Brian J. Sielaff, MSCE, P.E., P.Eng., CEO, Tamarack Grove Engineering.
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