SAN JOSE, Calif. – Outward, Inc., an independent Williams-Sonoma Inc. company, has transformed the way Whalen Furniture conducts its product photography process with the Aperture Platform. Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., with a permanent showroom in High Point, N.C., Whalen has been utilizing the Aperture Platform at its High Point showroom to expedite product sample imagery for customers more cost effectively.
Whalen Furniture, which was founded in 1991, is a manufacturer of residential and commercial furniture. The company’s customers include Sam’s Club, Walmart, Target and Costco, in addition to many other national retailers.
Due to Whalen’s extensive SKU count, it’s very focused on getting new and existing products photographed and posted on its website quickly for buyers to view.
“We’re market leaders and volume leaders when it comes to the number of SKUs that we’re putting out into the marketplace,” said Kurt Berlin, Vice President of Design and Marketing for Whalen Furniture. “We’re transitioning our business from more of a retail scope to an e-commerce, omnichannel play, which is why Outward’s Aperture Platform seemed like a perfect fit for us. It allows us to provide our retail customers with high-quality images quickly and efficiently.”
Berlin said the company was spending about $8,000 a day on traditional photography, while the Aperture Platform costs them less than $70 a day – improving efficiency and cost effectiveness by as much as one-third when all is said and done.
“The Aperture Platform allows us to create images days quicker when compared to CGI imagery and weeks quicker when it comes to traditional photography, greatly reducing touch ups and editing,” he added.
Whalen has been utilizing the Aperture Platform for about a year, with four employees from different divisions of the company readily using the system. “The Aperture Platform is very user friendly and intuitive. The ability to capture images quickly and be able to send them to the retailer is going to be the biggest advantage when it comes down to e-commerce in the furniture industry,” Berlin said.
As the company strives to create a stronger online presence and eliminate third-party photography, the Aperture Platform is assisting in various ways. “We’re starting to capture all of the pre-production and production samples as they come into our High Point showroom to easily showcase them on any retailer’s website once they’re captured on the Outward rig,” Berlin said. “From the system we had in place before, it’s a speed-to-market play in getting our assets to the retailer’s website or to our retail customer/buyer that much quicker than we were able to before.”
While Whalen currently utilizes CGI imagery for all lifestyle imagery, as well as some traditional photography, the Aperture Platform is assisting with documenting physical samples at the High Point showroom in a more time-efficient manner for less than a quarter of the price.
“Whalen Furniture is a representative of the many manufacturers and retailers in the industry who are uber focused on getting quality imagery online in a quick and efficient manner, which is what the Aperture Platform does best,” said Gaurav Sethi, co-founder of Outward, Inc.
Outward, Inc. is a visual transformation and technology company. Since 2012, the company has been reinventing the way product photography is created, presented and consumed. Inspired by its deep experience working with home furnishings lifestyle retailers and manufacturers, Outward has developed a fully automated photography solution, the Aperture Platform, which makes it easy to produce and publish high-impact product photography for a variety of visual merchandising uses. After completing an initial training session, manufacturers and retailers of all sizes and skill levels can produce a large volume of product images at the push of a button and publish them in any format — from e-commerce to traditional media. Outward is an independent Williams-Sonoma company. For more information, visit www.outwardinc.com.