Dallas, Texas-Daltile has entered into a collaborative program with students from The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), widely known as the No. 1 interior design school in the country, the company said. As part of the SCADpro program, Daltile recently worked with a team of students on a specialized research and development project. The goal of the partnership was to help the brand understand the nation’s generation of z graduates who will soon join the architecture and design firm (A&D) workforce as key players in the all-important sample libraries and consider what a post-COVID -19-world sample library presence should be.
“We were excited to partner with some of the nation’s most talented young creative minds to address these questions,” said Whitney Welch, Dal-Tile Corporation’s vice president of commercial sales. “This collaboration was designed not only to provide valuable research, but also to develop the best solutions and tools to best serve our A&D customers. The bottom line is that in everything we do, we help our customers bring their design visions to life as effectively as possible. Providing the right sampling tools to meet the needs of everyone during the design process in an A&D company is of great benefit to our commercial customers.”
Welch added that the new generation of z graduates are entering A&D firms as interns and junior designers. The company wanted to know what types of products appeal to them and how they best fit their unique design needs. “As interns and junior designers, many of these genzers will be responsible for selecting and retrieving the tile product options from sample libraries eligible for a company’s projects,” she explained. “We want to make sure we present Daltile’s products, product samples and product information in a way that will be most helpful to the generation’s and make their time as efficient as possible in selecting tiles in the company’s sample room.”
The other direction of research focused on answering the question, Welch said. “What should Daltile’s presence in an A&D sample library look like in this post-COVID-19 era, where 25% of companies have announced that they will not go back to 100% office presence in the future, but will allow employees to work more from home. A very large part of the commercial specifications – 40% – comes from architecture libraries. Working with the SCAD team, Daltile wanted to come up with a solution that would allow the specification sales manager to easily select their tile samples to easily take to the remote customer meetings or to their home office. Again, the end goal is to help our commercial customers make tile selections quickly, easily and confidently.”
Welch said Daltile received the research on these topics from his student team, along with a fantastic new sample tool solution for his customers. “Currently, things are progressing well in the development phase with the unveiling of this new sampling tool in the near future and full launch set to take place nationwide in 2022. As a leader in the tile, stone and countertop industry, Daltile is excited to bring another innovative first in the industry that will take our customer service to the next level, benefiting our customers.”