swatchbook, the pioneering platform for material digitization and sourcing, and VNTANA, the industry leader in 3D Infrastructure Technology, announced today a partnership that will enhance brands’ capabilities within digital product transformation. The new integration gives brands like Merrell a competitive advantage, allowing them to deploy 3D at scale across a range of channels from the web to B2B showrooms, the metaverse and more, increasing their speed to market, reducing costs, and boosting sales.
As fashion and apparel brands expand into new markets and become more cross-functional, they face an increasing challenge to provide a seamless experience for both customers and employees, especially when it comes to digital processes that span across the organization. To support this effort, the two tech companies partnered together in a move that will enhance digital end-to-end processes for customers, such as Merrell, which saw immediate success by deploying the two platforms as a part of one unified solution.
swatchbook’s platform allows Merrell to upload their CAD/DCC assets in standard formats for cross-functional collaborations. By using the platform and its innovative “mix” app, design and development teams at Merrell can also directly connect with suppliers — allowing them to source materials more efficiently, calculate costs and streamline their models for manufacturing processes in real-time and on a mobile app while using touch interaction. Something that wasn’t available to brands at this scale. Now that this is possible, brands can create and distribute completed designs to the swatchbook cloud to create design packs with rendering assistance as well as vBOM creation and beyond. The final products from this process are then published directly to VNTANA using the new integration, and instantly converting digital assets from CAD-heavy meshes into fast-loading interactive 3D files optimized for sharing, collaboration, and eCommerce.
VNTANA’s patented optimization software automatically converts high-fidelity 3D models into web-ready formats, instantly reducing their size by up to 99% without a loss in quality – making them ideal for use across digital platforms such as eCommerce sites, B2B virtual showrooms, social media and the metaverse. This process allows for seamless collaboration from design to sales, ensuring the highest quality and accuracy, without any manual effort. With VNTANA, there’s no need to re-digitize products manually at various stages of the design, development, and go-to-market process. Before its integration with VNTANA, Merrell’s 3D artists would spend days manually optimizing and converting each 3D design file to meet various digital standards each time a 3D design needed to be shared to a different platform.
“We watched so many brands waste time and money recreating 3D models for various end-use cases, so we built an automated, scalable solution that could easily plug into a brand’s existing tools,” said Ashley Crowder, co-founder and CEO of VNTANA.
“Our integration with swatchbook is a great example of how VNTANA’s optimization software can be the back-end plumbing that enables a brand to scale 3D quickly, without changing the way they work today. Incorporating VNTANA into the 3D design process allows Merrell to capitalize on the investments they’ve already made in 3D.”
A common goal both swatchbook and VNTANA share is helping brands reduce their need for physical prototypes by using 3D to drive design decisions and impact sales before products are even manufactured. Because of this efficiency, companies can turn around new products faster while decreasing their carbon footprint, saving money, and providing better customer experiences. For example, Merrell has calculated a savings in cost of 81% when utilizing this technology as well as about one month savings in turnaround time per model.
“Our integration with swatchbook and VNTANA has allowed us to maximize the potential of our 3D assets by enabling us to deploy them across design, development, and go-to-market platforms,” said John Burch, SVP Global Footwear from Merrell. “At a time when adaptation and technology adoption are key to keeping up with the modern consumer and outpacing the competition, both of these platforms help us to stay on the cutting edge and improve our ability to make decisions with pace.”
“We always strive to give our customers a software that allows them the ability to tailor their digital journey in order to increase productivity,” said Yazan Malkosh, founder and CEO of swatchbook. “The new integration allows a more streamlined experience for the teams and their customers. We hope this flexibility presents an opportunity for brands to rethink how they design, sell products, and communicate with customers in a more collaborative way.”