With billions of dollars’ worth of projects delivered, PCL is a North American leader in the planning and construction of a wide range of manufacturing facilities. PCL’s leadership is driven by experts with extensive experience in manufacturing – experts like Andrew Ahrendt, director of national manufacturing.

While some people shy away from challenges, Ahrendt embraces them. He excels at collaborating with manufacturing clients and providing solutions. With his extensive experience, he has become trusted advisor to global manufacturing clients across North America. These include repeat clients such as 3M, Cargill, Land O’ Lakes and General Mills. His specialties include capital project development, operations, budgets, account management, new work development, and project operations reviews. Thanks to Ahrendt’s commitment to developing and fostering relationships with national manufacturers, PCL has completed more than 48 million square feet of manufacturing space valued at more than $6 billion.

In the early 1990s, Ahrendt discovered his niche while serving as project manager on his first manufacturing project. He was quickly drawn to the unique challenges associated with manufacturing-plant construction. The fast-paced, schedule-driven, speed-to-market nature feeds into Ahrendt’s strong sense of urgency, initiative and competitive drive. The manufacturing industry’s drive for continuous improvement — doing things better, faster, more efficiently and safer — does as well.

Ahrendt also enjoys helping clients overcome the challenge of having multiple stakeholders with differing objectives. He finds it rewarding to collaborate with different groups, such as engineering, operations, safety, logistics, and plant maintenance to provide solutions. “Stakeholder collaboration and alignment to develop cost-effective solutions to meet customer demands is exciting and rewarding,” Ahrendt says.

He also appreciates that the values of manufacturers align well with PCL’s core values. An unwavering commitment to safety and quality — doing things right the first time — is consistent with PCL’s goal of zero incidents and its philosophy of “build it right, build it once.” For example, on a recent global food supply chain realignment project, 12 production lines had to be relocated from two closing plants to a third expanding plant. The project required precision timing for the line relocation to not delay production. From his experience, Ahrendt knew that relying on just-in-time deliveries was too risky for a project of this nature in which production start-up is critical.

To ensure the schedule, Ahrendt helped develop a plan to utilize a off-site warehouse located half a mile from the job site. The warehouse was used to receive, clean and prepare equipment for final installation. By securing and dedicating an off-site warehouse, he minimized on-site disruption. Ahrendt leveraged lean and 5S practices (a methodology that results in a clean, uncluttered, safe and well-organized workplace) to achieve a highly efficient equipment logistics workflow, eliminating any loss, damage or unscheduled downtime. The project was a success, with an on-time production startup and an appreciative client. 

Dev Jan, managing director of RSP Architects Limited, is one of many clients to appreciate what Ahrendt brings to the team. “At an early stage in my career, I worked with Andy on a very tough capital investment project for a multi-national client (a joint venture between a Japanese and U.S. conglomerate),” Jan says. “Andy’s leadership was exemplary. He defused many hot situations, managed budgets with good documentation and led by example.”

As an industry subject matter expert, Ahrendt leverages his experience to help manufacturers meet their objectives. He shares his expertise at speaking engagements such as Advancing Construction Operational Excellence Conference, the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering Expo, and the Process Expo. He is a LEED Accredited Professional with certification in Building Design & Construction and a Board of Certified Safety Professional, Safety Trained Supervisor.

Staying up to date with current manufacturing practices and continually changing regulations is another way Ahrendt provides value to clients. He actively participates in associations such as the Construction Industry Institute, Manufacturing Life Science Committee, National Association of Manufacturers, Manufacturing Leadership Council, Colorado Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Food Industry Roundtable, and Lambda Alpha International.

“Helping support resilience in our North American manufacturing industry is exciting and rewarding.” says Ahrendt.