Expanding Your Horizons: A Panel Discussion on Navigating Remote Projects

Nov 28, 2023 11:51:26 AM / by Trisha Brookbank

Studio IDC’s journey spans several decades, marked by long-lasting relationships with our clients and suppliers. Our distinctive trait is our heritage, which is grounded in family values and industry expertise. Recently, our Chief Creative Officer Todd Tyler participated in a panel discussion presented by Jerry Pair during South Florida Design Park’s Fall Market. The panel, moderated by Florida Design Editor-in-Chief Luis Rigal, delved into the complexities of managing remote projects and international design. Todd was joined by fellow panelists Phyllis Taylor, co-principal of Taylor & Taylor, and Lauren Czarniecki, founder and principal designer of Czar Interiors. Here are some of the highlights!


Todd Panel

Challenges of International Projects: Rising to the Occasion

While beautiful design is a given, executing that design in another country takes experience and foresight. Managing international projects comes with challenges, often resembling Murphy’s law! Studio IDC, rooted in positivity and problem-solving, relies on past project wins and missteps to navigate the complexities of international endeavors. 


Resources and Relationships: A Distinct Advantage

With our long-standing industry experience, we have a unique advantage. Our extensive network, cultivated over three generations, provides us access to valuable resources often hidden from others. These resources include receiving warehouses, installation services, and specialized trades. 

While we bring in trusted teams from the U.S. for specialty trades, we also prioritize engaging local subcontractors and artisans whenever possible. This combination ensures a seamless integration of global expertise and local craftsmanship.


Trusted Trades: Continuity and Peace of Mind

We prefer using trusted trade services from our network for installation and other specialized tasks. This is rooted in trust and the relationships we’ve cultivated. Sometimes, our clients benefit from using these services and having them travel to the project destination, providing continuity and peace of mind.


Site Visits: Tailoring to Project Needs

Every project is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to site visits. At the onset of a project, we analyze the need for site visits and work with clients to tailor our approach. We need to see the project site at varying stages, whether it’s a renovation or a new build.


Todd panel2


Client Collaboration: Balancing Hands-On and Remote Approaches

Collaborating with clients involves finding the right balance between hands-on and remote approaches. Some clients prefer to be hands-on and actively participate in decision-making, while others trust our experience and provide digital feedback. Flexibility and willingness are key to ensuring our clients’ expectations and visions are met and exceeded.


Shipping Strategies: Customized Approaches for Unique Projects

Our shipping strategies are as diverse as the projects we undertake. Recognizing the uniqueness of each project, we tailor our approach accordingly. Whether it’s advantageous to export everything at once or break down installations into smaller shipments, we prioritize control and efficiency. This meticulous planning ensures goods arrive in the order of installation, streamlining the process for our clients.


Choosing the Right Partners: The Role of Freight Forwarders

When it comes to international projects, finding a trustworthy freight forwarder is crucial. Trust is the cornerstone of our business, as our partnerships go beyond transportation. Our collaborations with reliable consolidators and freight forwarders safeguard our clients’ valuable goods. Working with an experienced and dependable partner in the shipping industry saves time and ensures a mutual understanding of expectations and processes.


Customs Brokers: Your New Best Friends

The customs broker needs to be your new best friend! The importance of our relationships with customs brokers cannot be overstated. We have built strong partnerships with them throughout the years, which has proven invaluable in navigating tight deadlines and unforeseen challenges.

When it comes to customs clearance, timing is critical, and the services of a customs broker are a direct investment by the client. This relationship becomes even more crucial when working on private islands, where coordinating with brokers on the mainland and managing container transportation to the final destination requires a finely tuned partnership. In some cases, freight forwarders also assist in coordinating with customs brokers. 


Import Duties and Taxes: Navigating Complex Terrain

Value-added tax (VAT) regulations can be quite complex, and they differ significantly from country to country (and sometimes even within the same area, depending on the project type).

Our team has extensive experience blending boutique hospitality and high-end residential work, and we’ve encountered diverse scenarios. For instance, boutique hotels often receive “incentives” from the local government to promote tourism. To comply with these incentives, we create a detailed document that lists all the products used in the project, which serves as a standardized record for the hotel’s tax purposes.

Residential properties in the Caribbean intended for rental purposes are similar to hotels in this regard. Owners take advantage of incentives and duty-free status to attract investments. This complicated process highlights the importance of understanding the unique dynamics of each project and location when dealing with taxes.


Understanding Local Characteristics: Regulations and Codes

Although we usually rely on the architect of record, our vast experience enables us to tailor our approach based on the unique characteristics of each location. Our ability to be flexible plays a crucial role in managing different regulatory landscapes.


Back in Florida: SFDP Fall Market

Our recent participation in the SFDP Fall Market was a testament to our commitment to sharing insights and learning from the local design community. We would like to express our gratitude to Jerry Pair for hosting this thought-provoking panel discussion on remote project management. Congratulations to our visionary Chief Creative Officer, Todd Tyler, and esteemed panelists Phyllis Taylor and Lauren Czarniecki, whose insights illuminated the complexities of design execution when working remotely. We also want to thank Luis Rigual for his skillful moderation, which made the discussion dynamic and engaging. Lastly, a sincere thank you to our audience for their thoughtful questions and engagement, which added richness to the dialogue. It was clear to see that great design thrives on collaboration!


Tags: miamiinteriordesign

Trisha Brookbank

Written by Trisha Brookbank

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