Williams-Sonoma Designs Its Future With Autodesk Inventor

Detailed 2D and 3D Designs are the Key to Effective Communications With Global Vendor Base

LAS VEGAS, Autodesk University, Nov. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) today announced that Williams-Sonoma, Inc., one of the nation's premier specialty retailers of home furnishings, is using Autodesk Inventor software to increase the efficiency of its furniture manufacturing operations. While the company designs and engineers its furniture in the United States, it relies upon a global network of manufacturing vendors to fabricate the pieces. By incorporating Autodesk Inventor 3D models into its design processes, Williams-Sonoma is able to more effectively communicate to offshore vendors details as to what each finished product is supposed to look like, reducing the overall time required to develop new furniture products.

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"Once we get a sketch from the design department, we can quickly and efficiently create a 3D visual appearance model using Autodesk Inventor," said Brad Bransen, manager of Furniture Engineering for Williams Sonoma Home. "The model provides a 3D visual representation of the designer's furniture concept. We wind up saving a lot of time. The more detail we can give our vendors up-front, the more accurately they're able to develop the finished product."

Historically, Williams-Sonoma used 2D drawings containing specs to communicate to its offshore vendors. Because of the inherent challenge of describing a three dimensional object with a two dimensional medium, there were often several iterations necessary to get the finished product in line with what the designers had originally envisioned.

Using Inventor to supplement the 2D spec sheets with 3D drawings helps Williams-Sonoma to greatly reduce the number of iterations with its vendors.

"We now have a high success rate for getting furniture samples built correctly on the first go-around, with minor modifications being necessary," commented Bransen. "We're saving up to two weeks in the sampling process and additional time in the overall manufacturing process, which means we're faster to market with our new product lines."

Moving forward, Williams-Sonoma intends to continue exploring the powerful Inventor functionality and learning new ways that Autodesk can help them effectively collaborate with their global network.

"In the age of global manufacturing, effective communication among partners and vendors isn't an option -- it's a necessity," said Robert "Buzz" Kross, vice president of Autodesk Manufacturing Solutions. "Williams-Sonoma is truly a leader in its field and is seeing the real business benefits of creating a universal 3D language between its partners."

About Williams-Sonoma, Inc.

Founded in 1956, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. is the premier specialty retailer of home furnishings in the United States. Our brands are among the best known and most respected in the industry. We successfully market them through all three major channels -- retail stores, catalogs, and the Internet.

About Autodesk

Autodesk, Inc. is a Fortune 1000 company, wholly focused on ensuring that great ideas are turned into reality. With seven million users, Autodesk is the world's leading software and services company for the manufacturing, infrastructure, building, media and entertainment, and wireless data services fields. Autodesk's solutions help customers create, manage and share their data and digital assets more effectively. As a result, customers turn ideas into competitive advantage, become more productive, streamline project efficiency and maximize profits.

Founded in 1982, Autodesk is headquartered in San Rafael, California. For additional information about Autodesk, please visit http://www.autodesk.com/.

NOTE: Autodesk, Autodesk Inventor and Inventor are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product offerings and specifications at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.

Contact: Carly Herrig 312.233.1356 Alyson Howard 312.297.7430

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