As a commercial flooring solutions provider of choice for decades, the Patcraft brand is well known to facilities planners, interior designers and design firm principals seeking options for soft and hard commercial surfaces. Patcraft’s representatives in the field and its internal designers are accustomed to working with corporate, education and healthcare clients to create unique designs or work through total solutions with tight timeframes. Realizing a market opportunity that also diversifies Patcraft, its team created TransFORM Studio.
Shannon Cochran, Patcraft Vice President of Marketing & Design and Katie Myers Wender, Patcraft Interior Design Service Specialist, answered Eileen McMorrow’s questions about TransFORM Studio, what it means to facility managers and why now.
Shannon Cochran: TransFORM Studio is very connected to Patcraft as a brand—we’re always listening to our customers and working to provide solutions that meet their different project needs. When we first launched TransFORM Studio in 2020, it was an effort to understand where our customers were at that moment while striving to support them in different ways than we had in the past. We were focused on building a suite of resources and expanding our virtual offerings to enhance the customer experience and meet people where they were, which looked different for everyone at the time.
And three years later, we have learned a lot about how to best collaborate and provide these services, as we’ve seen opportunities to help better connect the dots and offer additional resources. We’ve seen how different projects have been installed and used, and we’re seeing the impact of this type of support. This influences how we look to expand upon resources now and in the future, staying connected to what our customers might need.
Katie Myers Wender: We collaborate with both end users and design firms differently. Typically, with the end-user, TransFORM Studio helps provide a connection to an interior designer, allowing for different opportunities to explore design. With design firms, we typically function as more of a design aide—a facilitator who helps with projects that are already in progress, for example, helping in scenarios where a project is limited on time.
TransFORM Studio offers such a broad range of services and there is so much that we can help with—whether it’s curating color palettes to matching existing fixtures or even working on full design concepts. There are various platforms and resources to meet project needs at all stages of design. We listen and learn to provide useful solutions, working together to meet project goals.
Myers Wender: Helping our customers identify the needs of a space is always top priority, and collaboration is a big part of what we do. We generally take a user experience approach to projects, thinking through how the space will be used and who will be using it. Our Patcraft account managers have the knowledge base and the insight into how to select the right flooring solution to match the needs of a space—considering performance attributes including cleaning, maintenance and durability in addition to sustainability attributes including materiality and product circularity. The whole team is focused on asking the right questions so we can provide the right solutions: What are the goals of the space? What will the experience be for those who use it? We’re helping to connect the dots throughout the design process.
Cochran: In this first level of service, our Design Services team is offering product suggestions or color recommendations—focusing on product coordinates that provide inspiration. Our team can help with selecting colors, patterns and constructions for complementary products, while also assisting with product recommendations based on the needs of a space. Our Design Tray Tool often supplements this service, allowing customers to mix and match products and paint swatches to then order a customized sample box of various styles that will arrive the next business day.
Cochran: Tier 2 can have a different road map based on who we are working with and the depth of design that is already in place. This level of service is more collaborative, showcasing varying levels of involvement based on introductory concepts. In Tier 2, the Design Services team will discuss what the customers are looking for, providing palettes and rendering services—everything from product selection to floor plan consultation. The team works to provide options, narrowing the design direction. From room scene views to design and inspiration moments, Tier 2 guides clients in the creation of unique and personalized professional environments.
Myers Wender: Tier 3 is often where I come in, helping to provide specialized design services that range from digital presentation packages to directed visualized spaces to bring a project vision to life. Tier 3 builds upon the selections from Tier 2 and provides a higher level of design that is specific to project needs. With a deeper understanding of the design concept, we offer renderings that are more directly related to the project’s spaces. We can collaborate on concepts and models to offer distinctive solutions—using photos and plans to showcase the materials selected—ultimately presenting the final concept as it would be designed.
Cochran: It really could be any level of service depending on the scope of the project. For example, if it is a client who needs to add a new flexible space, refreshing the design to enhance the experience, we will partner to give options that work with fixtures that already exist within the space. TransFORM Studio is a resource that can meet our customers where they are—whether that’s helping with product coordination or providing more refined design concepts.
Myers Wender: TransFORM Studio is a service that collaborates with designers to create efficiencies and provide services that enhance the work they are doing. Oftentimes designers will come to us with a general idea, and we form a consultative partnership. We are an outside set of eyes, helping to narrow product selections or provide suggestions if needed, always considering the initial design vision. We can help with everything from an understanding of flooring product complexities to visualization services, allowing more time for designers to work on other project tasks.
We’ve worked with designers with very short turnaround times, such as with projects needing product recommendations in less than a week. The designers were selecting palettes and reached out to us for options that could coordinate with existing products. We were able to quickly step in and provide support, helping to execute their vision.
Myers Wender: We worked with an existing Patcraft client to design a project from concept to completion. A school facilities team came to us at the very beginning stages of a project, and we worked with them to identify the project necessities, partnering with an architect to create a path forward. We all collaborated to create the solution, sorting through each of the parts and pieces to make a dream a reality. The design concept we created together became the standard throughout the school district and is being used in multiple spaces beyond the initial building.