- Outdated content management systems
- A fragmented digital landscape weakened the brand impact
- Creating and uploading content across 20 disparate sites was a drain on resources
- A system with separate modules for desktop and mobile
- Selection of Ibexa DXP as platform vendor, in part on the strength of client recommendations
- Creation of new site for Systainable joint venture
- Relaunch of bott.com, bott.de and bott.at sites
- Creation of Ibexa DXP user groups within bott
- Introduction of filtering functionality for site resources
- New US brand launched on Ibexa DXP; corporate bott.de and bott.com sites soon followed
- Uploading and adapting content is much easier and quicker on relaunched sites
- Sites are optimized for mobile
- Better and more consistent visual presentation
- Easier to filter to right product data and other content resources
The German manufacturer bott develops and produces van racking, workplace storage and workstation systems in three European locations in Germany England and Hungary to serve a global export market. With annual sales of €170 million and 1,300 employees worldwide, the bott business model relies on an ecosystem of subsidiaries and export and licensed sales partners, each with its own website. bott recently launched a company in the US: a joint venture between bott Smartvan and the Systainable system of stackable storage.
With a digital footprint fragmented across some 20 sites, bott decided it needed to harmonize its content creation and brand messaging on a single platform. And so, in 2022, bott started to roll out a project of digital transformation to consolidate its global digital footprint.
I want to log into one system and update the sites just once, not 30 times, all in one system with one UI. Ibexa DXP can do that for us and more.
Consolidation of a Fragmented Digital Imprint
The Bott Group needed a Digital Experience Platform that could consolidate as many as 20 sites and 12 languages on to a single platform. The company had a shortlist of three solutions, but opted for Ibexa DXP, partly on the strength of conversations with other Ibexa customer who had undergone similar transformations. Another factor was the composable architecture of Ibexa DXP which enabled bott to align its investment with the capabilities it needed to achieve a consistent design and content workflow across all its subsidiaries and export markets. At the same time, Ibexa DXP was future-proof and would be able to support the digital strategy of Bott Group for the next decade or more.
Prior to this, the bott digital imprint had been fragmented. The subsidiary and partner sites were bott-branded but each had different designs and UIs. “In certain cases, the differences in presentation were subtle,” says Anja Estler, Content Marketing Executive at Bott Group. “Nevertheless, they were there. And on some sites, especially those of our export partners, who operate independently, the differences are jarring.”
This was not only issue. The technology was as fragmented as the user experience because the subsidiary and partner sites ran on multiple content management systems. This made it impossible for Estler and her small team to create anything like a consistent customer experience across the Group, or to impose efficient content workflows.
Product owners or content managers of the “satellite” sites could not upload changes or new content; much of the entire content workload of the bott digital footprint rested on Estler’s shoulders. And this became unsustainable.
“We couldn’t handle it anymore,” she says. “Content editors passed on their texts to us, which we then implemented in our system. As you can imagine, this was very time-consuming and prone to error. So bott decided to deploy a DXP to consolidate our sites. The goal was to have all instances [of the bott website ecosystem] on one platform.
“I wanted to be able to log into one system and update the sites just once, not 20 times, all in one DXP with a single UI.”
Mapping out a Digital Strategy for the Next 10 Years
bott workshopped its pain points and requirements with a digital agency which drew up a shortlist of three vendors which were invited for presentations. An important factor in the eventual choice of Ibexa DXP along with Comwrap Reply, an Ibexa Platinum partner, were the conversations bott had with Ibexa clients that had resolved similar issues and were successful in achieving digital transformation with Ibexa DXP.
Another reason for the choice of Ibexa DXP was its modular architecture. “We know this consolidation is a first necessary step, but we wanted a future-proof tool that would enable us to map out a digital strategy for the next 10 years and implement it in phases.”
Work began in January 2022.
“We had expected to start with the main bott.com and bott.de sites as these have the most content and the largest volumes of traffic,” Estler says, “but we decided to prioritize our new brand in the US.”
The brand is a joint venture between the mobile stackable storage system systainer® and the bott brand bott Smartvan. “We launched this website on Ibexa DXP as a first step. It has a different design [from the bott sites] but uses the same content modules that we went on to deploy for bott.de.”
The US brand launched in May, followed by the flagship .de and .com sites two months later. The other bott markets are being rolled out rapidly; work on the Austrian website was completed in October, with Denmark to be launched in November, the UK in December, and France expected to go on stream soon after. “Before Christmas, that is our goal,” says Estler.
The corporate and German sites have been operational on Ibexa DXP for just a few months, but Estler is already enjoying the benefits.
“My work is getting much easier. It’s a lot simpler and faster to change things and upload new content. At the moment, with many sites still on our old system, some of my tasks are still repetitive. But that will improve as more sites go on Ibexa DXP. Getting the subsidiaries live this year will make a huge difference. And we expect to take our network of partners with us in the course of 2023.”
In tandem with the implementation of Ibexa DXP, Estler has also grown her team.
“It has expanded to five,” she says. “Two of my co-workers are responsible for our social media accounts. And I have one new co-worker who is working directly with me. He mostly looks after the website and creates content and press releases. Another new hire is responsible for our marketing automation project.”
A Modern B2B Website
While consolidation is the prime objective of the Ibexa DXP implementation, the bott sites also have improved functionality. “We used to have two platforms for press releases, and a separate one for case studies. And all that content was just a long list, you couldn’t filter it. On the new sites you can search for product type and drill down to the type of resource, whether that’s news, a blog, or a white paper, and so on. Something you expect from a modern B2B site.”
Once the consolidation is complete, Estler will began work on redesigning the customer journey and implementing personalization.
“We have had a talk with Comwrap, who’ve helped us with the Ibexa deployment, on how we can do this. I would like to start launching personalized content for Ibexa DXP next year. But we need to know how this works. And we need to know how that fits together with our marketing automation tool. But of course it’s a capacity we need.”
The wider Bott Group is appreciative of the design changes, and Estler has set up test groups across different departments to test out how they work with the new system. This, and the accelerated roll-out of new sites, will be increasingly transformative for the effectiveness of bott’s digital strategy.
“With Ibexa DXP, we finally have a consistent system,” she concludes,” and for me that’s already a success. The website is available all the time from everywhere. In our old system we had desktop and smartphone modules but in Ibexa DXP everything is optimized for mobile. We’re climbing up Google rankings and that’s just a few months after launch.”
In other words, bott is happy that it chose Ibexa DXP to redesign its own workstation.