Five-Star Solution

Nov 05, 2005


BDS crews unload containers from the barge that travels weekly from Honolulu.

Finding your way to paradise is one thing. But finding a way to furnish paradise is another thing entirely.

Over a ninety-day span beginning in August, BDS Worldwide orchestrated a logistics solution for one of the world's most enticing destinations, the five-star Four Seasons Resort at Manele Bay on the remote southern shore of Lana'i, Hawaii.

"This is one of the most complex challenges we have ever mounted," says Bill Dickerson, Director of Installations. "It's like putting together a thousand-piece puzzle while some of the pieces keep moving."

The project scope under normal circumstances would be daunting, with 200 luxury rooms plus common areas requiring ready-for-occupancy furnishing within a narrow time frame. Add to that the complications that accompany pulling together an inventory from multiple international points of origin, plus the constant attention required to cue a thousand-plus pieces so delivery and installation are as efficient as possible. But perhaps the biggest hurdle is the location itself.


BDS Project Supervisor Steven Dickerson receives inventory, a daily task that involves an accounting for the contents of 5 to 7 containers.

"Seclusion is a big part of what makes the resort so attractive," says Bill. "But it is also a big part of what makes logistics so demanding."

Bill says that everything is first shipped to a warehouse in Los Angeles. From there it is parceled into rooms and loaded into 20-foot sea containers. The total job comprises 70 such containers.

"At Honolulu the containers are transferred from steamship to a barge that makes a weekly trip to the port at Lana'i," says Bill. "There is no warehouse on the island, and we can only stage three containers at a time. So we must take extra care to cue them in the right order."

At destination, BDS crews are assisted by a select team of local workers. Deliveries require extensive dollying and hand maneuvering across the terraced, cliffside grounds. In the final stage, BDS crews perform complete installation of TVs, artwork, mirrors, case goods, furniture and bedding to make rooms ready for occupancy.


BDS Project Supervisor Jeff Brittingham reviews handling and placement details with crew members.

Synchronized Information Systems

To perform the physical aspect of the project, BDS maintains tight control over the information that affects times and events.

"The complexities of this project required that we upgrade our information systems," says Stephanie Brown, Vice President, BDS Operations. "As a result, our system interfaces with the client's system through a daily file transfer that informs both of us. An efficient system for sharing and using information is vital."

Stephanie says that BDS and Four Seasons began working together about three years ago. "Our relationship has become a partnership, with BDS providing a resource for complete logistics solutions including freight management, warehousing and installation."

Currently BDS is serving Four Seasons on a variety of hospitality projects involving both new construction and renovation—and is bidding on several more. Four Seasons Design and Procurement has listed BDS as a preferred vendor on its web site, a recommendation producing leads to other quality-conscious hospitality clients.

"We work well with Four Seasons in that our commitment to service excellence fits their need," says Stephanie. "When we take a project on, we do so with the full commitment to work through all the little wrinkles and deliver according to our client's trust. In the process we have earned the respect and trust of their other vendors. All of this contributes to our mutual success."



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