What’s happening? Live Furnish has helped Culp reduce its production hours and sampling costs and has made the company greener by allowing it to quickly share digital images with customers.
Why it matters: The digital prototypes are now regularly being used by mattress manufacturers in presentations to their dealers to gauge consumer reaction about potential designs before a product ever hits the marketplace or a finished fabric ever leaves a production machine.
“Not that long ago, salespeople leaving our offices for a business trip could barely get out the door because of the huge bags of fabric samples they had to carry,” says Forrest Buck, vice president of IT at Culp. “Even then, whenever we had to travel, we had to send additional boxes ahead to our destination because we couldn’t check enough bags.”
Now, using the Live Furnish platform, the company says it has more customers coming to them to drive early innovation concepts. Customers are more apt to work with Culp in real time, and the entire process has become so much more collaborative and efficient for everybody concerned.
“Think about the fact that on any given mattress there are as many as five different places where fabrics can be applied,” says Live Furnish Founder Preet Singh. “That means there are thousands of potential combinations. In the past, it was impossible to iterate more than a fraction of those out, whereas digitally, Culp can create and show as many combinations as they wish using the 360-degree product configurators that we built for them.”
Products are shown in fully accessorized lifestyle images and videos, leaving the team more time than ever to flex their creative muscles. “Prior to working with Live Furnish, we had a Photoshop guru on our team who used to hand-build all of our mattress renderings,” says Holly Fulton, Culp brand experience manager. “It would take three to five days for her to produce one image in Photoshop, with the right lighting and shadows, puckering the fabric on the mattress to make it appear as though there was quilting. Today she has a different role: She is a full-time fabric designer, innovating and creating winning designs for some of our largest customers.”