Article from Other Magazine: Issue 2
We spend a lot of time telling our co-design and ideation stories, but we want to shed more light on or installation process because it is just as valuable and streamlined. We spoke with our Lead Foreman, Armando Rodriguez, and Bryan Orozco, Lead Installer, to get the full picture of what it looks like to work with Studio Other throughout the project installation process.
After manufacturing is complete, how do you get the product to site and install it?
First, we contact the supplier and schedule a truck when the products are ready for pick up. Then, we obtain a pallet count to schedule a truck arrival to the SFS warehouse. Our team checks all count documents and sorts items according to the products’ labels that indicate phase and floor. To simplify install when it arrives at the job site, we sort everything by PO, floor, area, and color to correlate with location. We then pull the load, double check for truck capabilities, and deliver to the job site. Lastly, it is important to note that Studio regularly works with five different suppliers for glass, wood, and upholstery to arrange the initial product pick-ups.
Why is the installation process important to the overall project?
Simply put, having everything organized beforehand correctly minimizes issues on site. Because making the install run smoothly is our top priority, we spend hours clearly labeling all items and tagging them to help identify the products on site.
What has been the biggest install challenge and how did your team overcome it?
One issue that can arise is a missing item on site. The goods news is that we have the ability to track this item through our diligent loading process that tells us where everything was placed and on what truck. This allows us to mitigate any issues in advance.
The other possible issue is damage that occurs in transit. For example, we had a truck that was in a near accident and the load shifted in the back of the truck and damaged several desk legs. Prior to shipping, we take pictures of all loads to ensure we have proof of how items are loaded. When this type of issue arises, we redirect products back to our Santa Fe Springs warehouse or to a local manufacturer to repair any damage before items arrive on site, and we deal with the shipping company separately.
What do you do when the install isn’t local? How does your process change?
For installs beyond our reach, we check will call timelines on all products, focusing on the timeline specifically and constantly checking in with our suppliers for pickups. Additionally, we take images of all items before the order ships to that state’s local dealer who will be handling the install from there. In this special case, we truly act as the manufacturer.
Live Nation is a good example of a national client that we do not use a dealer for install. In special cases like this one, we send our Foreman or Project Manager on site to make sure everything is installed correctly and up to the Studio Other quality control standards.
How do you ensure all products are installed and delivered to Studio Other’s standards and on time?
Studio Other establishes timelines early with our sales team that carry through the entire project, and we schedule trucks accordingly to the construction company or end user needs. If we are off timeline or the area isn’t ready yet, then we are in constant communication with the client to reschedule the shipment immediately.
Have you faced any supply chain issues in today climate?
Fortunately, we have generally mitigated this issue by scheduling more check-in calls with our suppliers throughout the week to make sure the logistics are on schedule. However, when we’re shipping products nationally, we have certainly been affected by the current market supply challenges. The good news is, since we create custom furniture on the design and engineering side, we have the flexibility to pivot to products that are readily available to avoid supply delays. So should we face product delays, we will provide in-stock options to our clients to avoid project setbacks. We are frequently calling our suppliers to see who has availability on certain products that may be available now so that we can avoid delayed install timelines at all cost.
What if issues arise with the product or install after the install is complete?
Should any issue arise, we send a Studio representative to confirm inaccurate measurements and plan to replace it. We handle all issues internally for local installs and will find a local supplier to correct any issues for national installs. Additionally, Studio provides a 12-year warranty for veneer and desktops and a seven-year warranty for height adjustable bases. We frequently check the market trends to make adjustments to every warranty policy to match industry standards.
What is your favorite project you’ve worked on and why?
Armando: Live Nation – Stephanie and Bryan coordinated it diligently and it was an easy install with no on site issues.
Bryan: Insomniac Games– This was the first project where I handled the Installation role fully on my own. It was a huge accomplishment for me.
What’s the best part about working for Studio Other?
Armando: The team atmosphere throughout the design, manufacturing and install process. Our team is more like family than co-workers which makes my job so enjoyable.
Bryan: I love that everyone is easy to work with and willing to get their hands dirty to do whatever it takes to get the job done.
Charlotte: I love that everyone on the team has an equal voice. Our projects are successful because each person brings something unique and necessary to the table. It’s incredible to watch the team rally together to install on time and within budget on project after project.
I love that everyone on the team has an equal voice. Our projects are successful because each person brings something unique and necessary to the table.
What do you enjoy or makes you feel the most fulfilled about your specific role?
Armando: Receiving a minimal punch list is always exciting. Also, it’s fulfilling to see products go from a drawing to an actual product being installed. Getting to be a part of bringing items on paper to life in a space makes it all worthwhile.
Bryan: Seeing it all come to life with the final product gives you an immense sense of accomplishment, and I love to celebrate with the team when getting a minimal punch list.
Charlotte: At times, having our client onsite overseeing the install can be stressful, but also so rewarding to share in the excitement with them when it all comes together. It feels good to experience how happy clients are with the products as everything is installed and live in the space. Ultimately, we all share in the process. Our team cares as much as the client cares about their beautiful new space and all the new furniture in it.