Ellis Furniture leverages Autodesk Inventor software to offer greater levels of product customization to its customers and create high-quality furniture that fits their needs. (Photo: Business Wire)
This speed enables Ellis to rapidly explore a number of design options for its customers — ranging from luxury hotels to government institutions — and create high-quality furniture that not only fits their precise needs, but is designed to last a lifetime. “We have a number of standard ranges for our products, but within these ranges, our customers have the flexibility to customize the product as they wish,” said Tom Ellis, director of Ellis. “We see the market increasingly heading in the direction of providing more custom elements, and Autodesk software is helping us meet that need in a timely manner. When all is said and done, we’ve cut our time to market by half.” Using Autodesk software, the company estimates that it is able to clarify initial product design concepts with customers 20 percent faster and establish material sources and material costs 30 to 40 percent faster. Ellis’ manufacturing process — including generating a bill of materials (BOM) and preparing design files for computer numerical control (CNC) machine tools with Autodesk software — takes 80 percent less time. A Continuous Digital Workflow Ellis worked with Autodesk Platinum Partner Symetri to purchase and implement Autodesk Product Design Suite, which includes Autodesk Inventor and other digital prototyping tools such as Autodesk Vault data management software and Autodesk 3ds Max rendering software. Ellis then integrated the Autodesk software with its corporate enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. The rules-based design automation capabilities of Inventor software enable an efficient workflow where intelligent data behind each furniture design is fed into Ellis’ ERP system. This fully digital process eliminates manual data entry, reduces errors and speeds up turnaround time — even as the company gives its customers greater freedom to express their design intent and personalize their furniture offerings.