Supply chain management: A fully integrated approach

CLIO, CA—When the Lodge at Nakoma here was being designed, the owners had to be very selective with the companies it chose to be involved with the project because of its design lineage.

The Lodge at Nakoma is a complementary extension of the resort’s clubhouse, an original masterpiece designed by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. “Preserving and extending the extraordinary genius of Frank Lloyd Wright is a special responsibility,” said Ryan Schoff, president of The Schomac Group Inc., which developed the property.

Supply chain management platform White Space was selected to create all of the interior furniture, casework, lighting, and architectural finishes for the project. “We entrusted White Space with an essential part of that process and the results are uniformly magnificent, fully delivering on the mountain-modern aesthetic that Wright (and our team) conceived,” said Schoff. “White Space worked closely with our designers to maintain the integrity of their vision, and also with our construction team to coordinate all installations. They brought the project in on budget and on schedule, which were both quite aggressive.

White Space founder/CEO Aytan Litwin said that his company was actively manages the manufacturing of custom interiors for hospitality and commercial spaces, on a global scale. “Twelve years ago, I identified an opportunity in our industry—to redefine global production by marrying craftsmanship and quality to the speed and scale the industry demanded. Years later we decided to re-name our company based on that simple idea, reflecting how we’re filling that white space with a new business model.”

Litwin said that works to achieve transparency in the supply chain process. “We live in a world everyone wants to know how and where things are made. The philosophy of ‘farm-to-table’ in cooking is being applied across the board. So it’s only natural that people will expect the same from the manufacturing industry. Meeting those demands requires a fully transparent supply chain, where every element in the process is trackable. It’s all about trust and end results.”

He is a believer in global production. “No one doubts that global production has always made more sense, financially and operationally. But a lack of transparency has hindered the acceptance of global production—no one wants to take a leap of faith, especially high-end hotels who cannot compromise on quality and design. Their reputations rest on that. Full transparency into the process—visibility into what’s happening at every step—replaces shallow promises with firm commitments, knowledge and insight.”

White Space is also working to change some people’s negative perceptions of Asian manufacturing. “To correct that we had to both shine a light on the quality of Asian manufacturing, and to address the lack of transparency that existed in that market,” said Litwin. “We have worked hard to accomplish both. Through a collaborative relationship we are helping to redefine the reputation of an entire continent and more than a billion people. That is very gratifying.”

When the company is involved with a project like the Lodge at Nakoma, it is involved from consultation until the items are ready for installation. “We carefully create a purpose-built supply chain from scratch, for every project,” he said. “We source the right materials and pick the perfect factories so we can deliver the ideal solution for every design, budget and schedule.  And we are transparent about the process, making the entire manufacturing chain fully visible to our customers. Our expertise with complex custom architectural woodwork is also unique.”

Litwin continued, “We organize, control and take accountability for the entire process. This includes collaborating with designers and architects on their initial work—including value engineering and quick prototyping. It goes on to include production in specialized factories with White Space quality-control experts working on site. We proudly micro-manage the production process. We go on to optimize logistics, from containerizing and warehousing to on-time shipping.”

Schoff was pleased with the way the project turned out. “From our first discovery and design meeting to the final piece of furniture being installed, White Space proved to be a reliable business partner that consistently delivered results. Further, the fit, finish, and quality of the product is outstanding.”