Marcello Martino Design, a small London design firm, epitomizes the efficiency and capability that can be gained in moving from using a hodgepodge of applications to an integrated design suite. In general, design suites offer optimized user experience, efficient user-based workflows, and simple and economical purchasing.
I met Marcello, founder of Marcello Martino Design, at Autodesk's Analyst day a few weeks ago, and he was clearly anxious to tell his story. Prior to using Audodesk's Design Suite, Marcello and his designers were forced to sketch customer concepts which ultimately had to be scanned and traced to then be translated into a CAD drawing. Now, SketchBook, a tool that even Carl Bass, president and CEO of Autodesk didn't initially see the value in, has revolutionized the way he does business.
Marcello can now sit with a prospect, have a conceptual drawing within minutes, and get approval on a concept to move into the next phase of design. Marchello will then utilize other tools in the Suite such as Alias to evaluate functional requirements the design and address aesthetic qualities, and move into other tools such as 3ds Max to create cinematic-quality visualizations for his prospect. At the end, being able to download Showcase right on to his prospects' desktop without a license key, and then share the design to allow the prospect to experience it first hand, has in his words, "been amazing".
"Customers sometimes don't have the vision," says Marcello, "and now we have the tools to bring that vision to 3-D reality, practically before their eyes." Marcello and his team have classically been a design firm that outsources manufacturing to bring their customer's requests to life. In this environment, they normally supply a 2-D drawing to a supplier-partner that could sometimes take 11 months to produce. Now utilizing their new design tools and work flow, they have had prototypes in as little as two weeks time.
In fact Marcello and his team of designers have been so impressed with their new capabilities that they have recently decided to design and manufacture their own line of eye wear, inspired by a custom project they were told several others couldn't accomplish easily. While Marcello is having preliminary success with his new design, he is also realizing the added complication of moving away from his company's core competency - design.
For Marcello, the major advantage of using the Design Suite is that it does not get in the way of his or his teams' creative work flow. For his business, the benefits can also be measured in terms of increased revenues (by 26% in the first half of 2011), reduced time to market, and markedly increased customer satisfaction.