Giving customers insight into the heart of a manufacturer is an important part of doing business, especially when so many companies conduct business with a kind of “scorched earth” strategy.
One way Draper lets people see the real us is through what we call The Draper Experience. We invite them to our Spiceland, Indiana, facility for in-person tours, discussions with management, product training, and if the weather cooperates, maybe even a few spins around a nearby professional go-cart track.
Not everyone has the ability to travel to us, though. So we decided, to paraphrase an old saying, that if the people can’t come to Draper then we’ll take Draper to the people. In February we invited a video crew from the television show “Office Spaces: Inside the Blueprint” into our facility to show what goes on behind the scenes in window shade production. The resulting segment will air this Sunday, March 25 at 4:30 p.m. EST on the Fox Business Network.
Here are some highlights from the day of filming:
A partnership made in America
Alabama-based shade fabric weaver Phifer co-sponsored the video to highlight our partnership and commitment to manufacturing our products in the United States. While Draper and Phifer have very similar origins and philosophies many of our shade competitors have moved production outside the country. Those competitors are also promoting imported shade fabrics at the expense of domestic weavers like Phifer. The value of a close partnership between American manufacturers is a key takeaway from the video.
Gone are the days of hand-measuring and -cutting every shade panel. Today Draper uses such modern technology as digital component tracking, RF seamers, automated cutting machines, and even built-to-order packaging for each product. As pointed out in the program segment, these advances mean an order that would have taken weeks a few years ago now ships within days.
Our biggest asset
The real stars of the show are the Draper employees who graciously gave us their time, allowed us to interrupt their workflow, and smiled as we got in their way. And when it was time to help the TV crew understand what was going on and how things worked, they performed admirably! A couple of our metal shop workers may even wind up with some screen time!
A star is born?
Before shooting began, we had to decide which fortunate Draper employee was going to be the on-camera host for this video trip behind the scenes. That job fell to (or was thrown at) Jeff Miller, Draper’s solar control product manager. To his credit, Jeff took on the daunting aspect of national TV with gusto and turned in what many of us believe is an Oscar-worthy performance!
Although this segment is focused mainly on solar control shading our AV and gym equipment product lines also get a mention.
To catch Draper on the small screen, tune in to “Office Spaces: Inside the Blueprint” on Sunday, March 25 at 4:30 p.m. on the Fox Business Network. Meanwhile, you can click here to see our previous appearance on “Office Spaces,” when we provided projection screens for a project being profiled.