JELD-WEN increases its online product display from 30% to 90% with a custom Forge tool
by on August 13, 2019•
Since 1960, JELD-WEN has been a leader in the door and window manufacturing business. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, the company operates manufacturing facilities in 20 countries located primarily in North America, Europe, and Australia, and is one of the largest companies in its industry. With a reputation for world-class service and industry leadership, JELD-WEN is always seeking ways to improve its customers’ experience.
Architects, designers, and homeowners alike turn to JELD-WEN for custom door and window solutions. The company’s website offers a glimpse of its extensive product offering. But for a long time, a “glimpse” was all that customers could see. Having an impressive and extensive catalog meant that uploading clear visualizations of all window and door feature combinations was difficult and time-consuming. JELD-WEN decided to tackle this challenge by leveraging its new Enterprise Business Agreement (EBA) with Autodesk, creating a custom tool using Autodesk® Forge® software. The new tool uses data to quickly and accurately upload product visuals to the site, increasing the number of offerings displayed on the website and improving the overall customer experience.
JELD-WEN is proud to offer its customers a wide range of window and door products. Architects and homeowners can select from a wide variety of window sashes, glass types, wood grains, and more to create a custom look for its home design. But having many options creates a challenge for displaying these products on the website. Offering millions of products translates to billions of possible product configurations. Uploading a visualization of each possible combination was a daunting task.
A single product configuration could require up to 120,000 assets that needed to be generated manually. Once generated, the assets than needed to be named, managed, uploaded into the cloud, and entered into a database. Executing this process for each product was a huge task, and at the time, only 30 percent of JELD-WEN’s product catalog was available for viewing on the website. For every new product launched, it could take between six and nine months to get the offering up online for customers.
Accurately displaying products in this way is a common problem that manufacturers face, especially in the window and door industry. JELD-WEN realized it had a real opportunity to pioneer a new way of working, streamline the process of uploading product to its site, and set a revolutionary standard for excellence in customer experience.
JELD-WEN was an Autodesk customer for several years, but recently became an EBA customer. Using Forge, Autodesk delivered a custom product configurator for JELD-WEN’s new marketing website launch.
Autodesk first helped JELD-WEN execute a pilot program, a test phase that lasted four months. The team worked directly with Autodesk developers to customize the Forge tool, ensuring it met JELD-WEN’s and its customer’s needs. With the proof of concept demonstrating the tool's success, it was time to scale up the new tool to the entire business.
With the new Forge configurator, product models still originate with JELD-WEN’s design and engineering team. Now the final team connects design models to the Forge configurator using Autodesk® Fusion 360® product development software. The Forge application program interface (API) manages all the relevant data, so customer product choices can quickly and accurately be displayed. Visualizations are now generated automatically, eliminating the original manual process.
The partnership between JELD-WEN and Autodesk successfully generated a new tool that is unique to the industry. For existing products, the artistic effort required to take a model from engineering release to the marketing website was reduced from six weeks to only four hours per product. This translates to 700 hours of total working time saved in the overall workflow for existing products. For brand new products, this process was reduced from up to 10 weeks to now a maximum of three weeks.
The product offering displayed on the website has increased from 30 percent to 90 percent—and JELD-WEN anticipates it will have 100 percent of its offerings on the site by the end of the year. This increased and accurate visibility of products means customers can see exactly what they are purchasing. Architects can fully visualize a design, streamlining their own workflows and decision making. JELD-WEN customers have reported the improved visuals increase opportunities for creative design thinking—whether it is professionally or by the individual homeowner.
Always committed to growth and improvement, JELD-WEN is now in phase two of this the project. The next step will be to automate the process of feeding data into the configurator, eliminating another manual process, and freeing up even more time for employees to do more creative thinking. JELD-WEN’s continued pursuit of innovative solutions is what sets it apart from other window and door companies and will help its business grow well into the future.
“Within our industry, no one else is doing this. It was a pioneer project for us. That's why we partnered with Autodesk and why we used Autodesk engineering. Our customers love it. They love the fact that they can see the product online, which allows for more inspiration. It gives architects and designers a much broader scope, and they can really get a good idea of what JELD-WEN has to offer in the market—that's great.”
- Terry Davis, Director of Digital Marketing, JELD-WEN