November 9, 2022
Webinar Recap: How Industry Leaders Integrate New Visual Merchandising Technology into Existing Operations


Here at Outward, some of the most common questions we get about the Aperture Platform are related to the rig: Where can I set it up? What would be the most convenient location for it in my workplace? Once I have it installed, who will be able to operate it? With these questions in mind, we sat down with industry experts from Phillips Collection, Steve Silver Company, Elements, and Exclusive Furniture to have them weigh in with their experiences in our webinar, Prepared for Success: How Industry Leaders Integrate New Visual Merchandising Technology Into Existing Operations.

Rig Setup: From Warehouse to Back Room, It Fits Where You Need It

As we opened the discussion, we took a look at some of our customers’ installations and where they decided to set up their rigs. While some put the 20’x20’ smart studio in their warehouses or distribution centers, others with less space opted for back rooms and storerooms — because with the Aperture Platform, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for where to install the rig.

Phillips Collection
Phillips Collection
For all of our panelists, placement of the rig was strategic and chosen to help introduce the Aperture Platform seamlessly into their respective workflows. Jason Phillips, Vice President of Phillips Collection, described how the team at Phillips opted to put their rig in their most centrally-located warehouse and created a workflow that enables their team to photograph products as they arrive before storing them.

This wound up being a common theme among the other panelists, who placed their rigs in their warehouses or distribution centers in areas that made it easy to photograph their incoming product. Susie Wurster, Vice President of Marketing at Elements, said that their team chose to put the rig in their warehouse and introduced photography with the Aperture Platform into their existing processes. “We had space within our warehouse that we put it in, really centrally located between our sample processing and staging area,” Susie said. “We review any new samples coming in and going to market, so since we were already opening product in that area of the warehouse, it made sense to incorporate Aperture into our existing sample inventory processes.”

Fawad Zavary, VP of Operations at Exclusive Furniture, said that his team set up the rig in their distribution center near their receiving offices and docks. This not only makes it easy for them to capture images of their newly-arrived product, but they’re also using Aperture to take photos of older stock to ensure consistency in their product imagery across their site.

With their rigs installed, our panelists then had to decide who would be the one to run it — and the ease-of-use of Aperture made it simple for people without any photography experience to be the ones to do it.

The Aperture Platform: Intuitive Image Capturing and Editing for All

From marketing to purchasing and warehouse work, our panelists’ rig operators work on a variety of different teams and none of them have any professional photography experience.

Boyd Barnhardt, Director of Marketing at Steve Silver Company, described how a member of the marketing team is currently in charge of both the photography and photo editing with Aperture, despite not being a photographer. Over at Exclusive Furniture, they’ve tapped a member of their purchasing team to handle the photo taking, while a member of their web team handles the photo editing. Similarly, Jason has divided the photography and photo editing responsibilities.

“We are down to one person operating [the rig], which is great,” Jason said. “We had two people doing photography before we had the rig; we had a trained photographer and an assistant with no formal training. The trained photographer no longer works with us, so the guy with no experience who came from our warehouse is running the booth.” Meanwhile, Jason’s team in Romania handles all of the photo editing and prepping of the images for use on their site.

As our panelists revealed, both the Aperture rig and software can be operated by anyone who receives the training, and the same person doesn’t need to be the only one handling both processes. Whether a retailer or manufacturer prefers to divide the work between more than one person or have only one person doing it all, Aperture provides the flexibility and simplicity to make both options possible. If you want to learn more about installation and operation of the Aperture Platform from the industry experts who joined us on our webinar, be sure to watch Prepared for Success: How Industry Leaders Integrate New Visual Merchandising Technology Into Existing Operations! And if you’d like to book a demo to see Aperture in action, head to our website!

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