West Flanders is famous all over the world for its quality fabrics. BekaertDeslee, a company with 2,600 employees and branches worldwide, is a shining example of our textile industry. They sell fabrics to mattress producers – and just like fashion, these fabrics change every year. To visualise new designs, BekaertDeslee and Bagaar developed an online 3D configurator that lets producers digitally cover their mattresses with the company’s designs.
Did you know mattress cover designs change every season and have regional touches? That’s why BekaertDeslee’s lead designers come up with new designs every year, which mattress producers want to integrate into their production as quickly as possible. To simplify that process, BekaertDeslee launched the cocreation platform BD Cloud for its customers a year ago. An accurately detailed 3D configurator shows what the new covers would look like on their mattresses.
“Of course, the designs are still digital drawings, but we wanted to make the visual representation as realistic as possible. Compared to our previous configurator, BD Cloud focuses more on the visual aspect of the mattress - with depth of field and stitching patterns, for example. We can also add accessories, edit sizes, upload pictures of showrooms or bedrooms, you name it”, says Digital Tools Manager Evi Brilleman.
“This visualisation tool helps to speed up the fabric selection process. We want to show as many visual representations as possible before we start producing samples. This tool is meant to speed up our production time and time to market.”
The 3D configurator was developed by BekaertDeslee’s long-term digitisation partner Bagaar. Brilleman: “We’re working with Bagaar to realise our digital transformation within the company and on the market. We develop ideas based on our customers’ feedback during a functional analysis, after which Bazaar turns them into a technical blueprint. They’ve taught us how to work agilely, which is crucial during a digital transformation.”
BD Cloud helps to protect the company’s intellectual property, because mattress covers get copied and reproduced illegaly too. Customers can only see online samples after logging in to BD Cloud via BekaertDeslee’s website.
As soon as they’re logged into their account, they can browse the sample library or virtual showroom, where they can get inspired by colour trends or technologies such as sweat regulation. When BekaertDeslee’s designers upload samples into the BD Cloud, they add metadata with a sample wizard, which makes it easy to find relevant samples.
If desired, customers can upload their own designs in the 3D configurator. “We want to let our customers collaborate easily. That’s why we developed a cocreation platform that lets customers create and evaluate designs and bed simulations together”, says Evi Brilleman.
BekaertDeslee also developed an app that lets customers, salespeople and designers scan samples and automatically add them to a project. When customers at a trade fair are interested in a certain sample, they just need to scan the fabric’s label with the Sample Scanner app; their smartphone or tablet will save the details to their personal BD Cloud account. The app captures data from the label in the background and retrieves them from the product information system (PIM).
Customers used to take pictures of the fabrics and labels and look up the necessary information manually. That’s not only inconvenient for the customer, but it also made it hard for account managers (AM) to follow up commercially. Now everything is in their account or the AM e-mails them their selection.
BekaertDeslee launched the tool in May 2017 at the Interzum fair in Cologne (Germany). Evi Brilleman: “Our customers were impressed. We put a lot of thought into the user experience based on the feedback our customers provided. The BD Cloud selection and cocreation platform is gradually used and integrated more into our daily tasks, internally as well as externally.”
“Bagaar has really taught us how to work agilely, which is crucial for our digital transformation.”