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Exploring the Distinct Roles of Project Managers and Project Engineers in the Food & Beverage Manufacturing Sector

Exploring the Distinct Roles of Project Managers and Project Engineers in the Food & Beverage Manufacturing Sector
June 25, 2024

At TEG Projects, we specialise in providing seconded project managers and project engineers to premier clients in the food and beverage manufacturing sectors in New Zealand and Australia. Our team of Project Managers and Project Engineers play pivotal roles in ensuring the success of capital projects, each role bringing unique skills and perspectives that complement one another.

Project Managers and Project Engineers At TEG Projects

Generally in the Food & Beverage Manufacturing industry Project Managers and Project Engineers are defined by the areas they oversee. Project Managers are generally the driving force behind the leadership and coordination of every project. They take the helm in planning, organising, and controlling all project aspects, ensuring that everything is completed on time, within scope, and on budget. Project Engineers however dive deep into the technical aspects of the projects. They bring robust technical expertise, crucial for the intricate details of design and development within the food and beverage manufacturing sector. However the way we work at TEG Projects is often quite different. Roles are not as segregated or clearly defined as you would find in the textbook definitions. For example, during a major engine room upgrade, TEG Projects Senior Project Manager Altan Gurevin was instrumental in outlining the project’s phases, coordinating the efforts of cross-functional teams, and maintaining strict adherence to timelines. However Altan emphasises that TEG Projects’ strength actually lies in bringing together experienced Project Managers with engineering backgrounds. “TEG Projects has a good knowledge base across the board as all of our project managers are engineers. The majority have worked in manufacturing plants and have an exceptional knowledge of the food and beverage industry”. So while their title may be ‘Project Manager’, they bring detailed engineering thinking to the project.

Role Types and Communication

However, within a project the different roles do demand different levels of communication in specific areas. While Project Managers act as the primary liaison with stakeholders—effectively communicating project progress and aligning with stakeholders’ goals—the Project Engineers focus on the technical communication. They ensure that all technical teams are synchronised and that technical challenges are addressed swiftly and efficiently, facilitating smooth project execution.

Risk Management Considerations

Risk management also showcases the distinct but collaborative roles of both positions. The Project Manager identifies potential project risks and develops strategies to mitigate them, ensuring that the project remains on track despite any obstacles. Meanwhile, the Project Engineer focuses on mitigating technical risks, ensuring that all engineering solutions are robust and reliable. During Fonterra’s Chemical Compound Upgrade the chemical plant needed to remain operational to provide the required chemicals to the site. Therefore our Project Engineers and Project Managers worked together to come up with a safe and compliant solution for project completion. You can read more about this project here.

Documentation For Food Manufacturing Projects

Finally, both roles are crucial when it comes to the financial and documentation aspects of projects. Project Managers handle the budgeting and resource allocation, closely monitoring expenditure to keep the project within financial constraints. They also oversee the creation of comprehensive project documentation (such as Master Plans), ensuring accuracy and accessibility for stakeholders. On the other hand, Project Engineers contribute to this documentation from a technical perspective, providing detailed specifications and engineering drawings that are essential for project integrity. 

At TEG Projects, the collaborative efforts of our Project Managers and Project Engineers, and the engineering expertise of many of our Project Managers allows us to exceed the expectations of our clients, ensuring every project is not only successful but also a benchmark in quality and innovation. Are you looking to outsource your project management? Or are you a Project Manager or Project Engineer keen to join our team of experts? Find out what it’s like to work for TEG Projects here.