At Steinhafels Furniture, all the Store's a Stage with Facilis TerraBlock

By Ira Klusendorf, Video Production Manager Steinhafels Furniture

SteinhafelsA family owned business since 1934, Steinhafels Furniture is a leading furniture and mattress retailer. With 16 stores throughout Wisconsin and Illinois, we attribute our continued growth and success to our 700 employees and their dedication to "doing it right the first time". Over the years, Steinhafels Furniture has also made a point to continuously invest in the latest technologies and best practices. A few years ago, this philosophy led us to bringing all our video production facilities in house.

In an average year we shoot, edit and produce over 300 television commercials as well as staff training and web videos. We used to work with an ad agency and while they did a great job helping us create brand recognition, it made sense to use staff who live and breathe the company every day to make the commercials. It also allows us to save money and pretty much create content on demand.

We have a big turntable that enables us to take 360 degree panoramic shots of all our furniture from sofas to dining chairs so our customers look online at all their options as if they were in one of our showrooms.

While DSLRs capture some of the content, many of our videos are shot in 6K with a Red Dragon camera so we can share the high resolution content directly with our in-house graphics and photography department that is responsible for creating all of our company's print ads, brochures, billboards, delivery vehicle graphics etc. Shooting in 6K gives us tremendous flexibility, but naturally puts high demands on a storage system.

With hundreds of hours of high-resolution content and an ever growing photo library containing over three quarters of a million images, we needed a robust high performance storage solution. Working with Systems Integrator Key Code Media Central in Chicago, we decided to invest in two 48TB Facilis TerraBlock 24D shared storage systems that enable both our video production and our graphics departments to organize all this data and also allow various team members to share and access it. Having dual connectivity to both Fibre Channel as well as Ethernet is a major benefit of the system.

Right now we have at least 8 people who need to access all this content at any given time, using a Fibre Channel connection. We have created separate volumes for our training videos, for our TV commercial campaigns, as well as for all our graphics work. Using an Ethernet connection, we can also give access to other members of the marketing team who are located in a different building when they need to access images for publicity purposes or other creative projects.

Using FastTracker, the Facilis system's integrated tracking application, we are able to easily catalog, search and view any media within the TerraBlock Shared Storage System.

This is just the right amount of media management for our workflow, because we didn't want to take away time from creating content to manage all of our data. We needed fast, intuitive search with the ability to instantly view what we’ve found, and immediately access that on our editing systems. FastTracker has made us more productive. There’s no training required, it just does what you expect. I was surprised how easy it was to find a clip, and simply drag and drop it into my project with no additional steps.

The learning curve with our TerraBlock's has been pretty smooth and the support we have received from Facilis has been stellar. The systems are solid as a rock.They allow all of us to concentrate on our own tasks rather than worrying about the technology so we can get our jobs done right the first time.

About Facilis Technology

Founded in 2003, Massachusetts-based Facilis Technology, Inc. designs and builds affordable, high-capacity, turnkey shared storage and archiving solutions for collaborative media production networks in the film, television, education and audiovisual markets. Its production-proven solutions are fast and intuitive –making it easier for creative professionals to collaborate and work more efficiently. Flexible, scalable and compatible with industry-standard creative solutions, Facilis’ products blend seamlessly into any studio environment –boutique, mid-size or large –and have been installed in more than 3,000 facilities worldwide.

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