- DQS operated more than 60 separate websites across its global operations, each with its own logo, design language and CMS
- Content accuracy across its markets was difficult and time-consuming to enforce and monitor
- Content was localized for each market which meant that DQS lacked an overarching and cohesive message
- SEO was fragmented across the different sites
- DQS kicked off a selection process for a technology partner and DXP platform
- Design of the new global site was complex because of the legacy workflows from the 60 existing sites
- Creation of global content for the dqsglobal.com site.
- The site was built. Legacy content was migrated from WordPress, Typo3, Drupal and others onto Ibexa DXP
- HubSpot automated marketing was integrated with Ibexa DXP
- For the first time, DQS customers go to the same global site and enjoy the same customer experience
- Site managers can see at a glance if product information and content has been localized across its markets – before, each site had to be visited individually to verify this
- Composable architecture is a springboard for further digital transformation
- SEO search is energized as Google search is directed to a single site
DQS provides auditing and certifications services across a wide range of sectors for more than 65,000 manufacturers. Truly global, DQS has headquarters in Germany but operates out of than 80 offices in more than 60 markets worldwide – from Vietnam to Finland, from Egypt to El Salvador. The creation of the company coincided with the publication of the first drafts of the ISO 9000 series of certifications, which are still the most important global Quality Management standards today. The number of ISO standards has expanded rapidly since then, as has the global presence of DQS. This was the impulse behind a large project of digital transformation to bring to create a coherent website for the entire group and all its services.
DQS was founded in Germany in 1985 at the same time as the first and still pre-eminent ISO 9000 Quality Management standards were being agreed. The ISO standards are global which meant the DQS business model of providing auditing and certification services for ISO compliance and other certifications soon grew beyond Germany and Europe. The company now operates out of 80 offices in more than 60 markets.
“We are everywhere,” says Amsal Alihodzic, Global Head of Digital Marketing at DQS. “We even have an office in Iran. Also, DQS is proud to be very active in Ukraine. On a call to the Kyiv office earlier this year, our colleague had to excuse himself to go to a bomb shelter. After the danger had passed, he continued his discussion with us.”
Most of the operational centers outside Germany are subsidiaries of DQS, but some are licensed partners – all had their own DQS website, logo, design language, content workflow and their own SEO presence on Google. “Clients and potential clients searching for a certification made it to a DQS site but our presence on Google was dispersed, and our impact was fragmented.”
The Content Headache Resolved with Ibexa
The fragmentation of DQS’s digital footprint did not only affect branding and SEO but also the quality of the content, as Alihodzic explains. “The bigger offices have marketing people, so they were able to change product information and to make sure the content was regularly updated. However, the smaller offices, especially the licensed partners, which are mostly small offices, don’t have specific marketing roles. There is one person taking care of sales, marketing, assessments, and so on. It was hard for them to maintain quality – and for us to track it.
“Before, if we had a new standard, and we had a new product page, we would inform everyone to please translate this into their language, but we could not easily check if people were actually doing this – we had to go to every single website to check.”
Building a unified global experience for the customer would create a single source of truth supported by a single technology.
The autonomy of the DQS offices meant that its legacy sites were run from different Content Management Systems such as Type03, WordPress, Drupal – “there were just countless different systems”.
The company embarked on a process to find the best Digital Experience Platform for its immediate strategic objective of creating a global website; the DXP had to be composable and future-proof for planned automation and eCommerce projects going forward.
Alihodzic joined DQS after the decision to go with Ibexa DXP had been made – but he agrees with it wholeheartedly.
“I previously worked for CMS Legal,” he explains, “and they had relaunched their global site on Ibexa DXP. In other words, I had first-hand experience of the strengths Ibexa brings to bear on these complex transformations.”
DQS looked at three technical partners and shortlisted two; one digital agency advocated for Adobe, the other agency, Comwrap Reply, was an Ibexa Platinum Partner and soon-to-be winner of the 2022 Ibexa Partner Award for German Partner of the Year.
“They choose Ibexa because the DQS site is content-heavy,” says Alihodzic. “It’s mainly about the products and the blogs. And that’s why the decision was to go with Ibexa DXP because the platform is best-of-breed when it comes to content.”
After an extended design phase, work on the new site was begun in the final weeks of 2021, and the global site went live in May. “All our markets are now under one umbrella and run from a single instance of Ibexa DXP in 32 languages. The development phase was really very fast,” says Alihodzic.
The New Site and its Benefits
The global website has been up and running for just a few months. It is a milestone for the company, says Alihodzic. “We are all happy with the new website … that we are all working as one team, not as separate entities. So this is a huge milestone for us, definitely.”
Alihodzic is responsible for digital marketing, which is the website on Ibexa DXP, marketing automation supported by HubSpot, and social media, which mainly comprises LinkedIn posts. “There are more than 80 colleagues worldwide who need to be orchestrated to create coherent customer experiences across these three activities,” he says.
This coherence is much easier to achieve with the global site on Ibexa DXP. Integration with HubSpot is seamless. As visitors request a quotation for a specific certification, they are moved into the HubSpot environment without the UI changing at all. “We have several HubSpot forms: for the requests, for complaints and violations, around five or six forms altogether in 32 languages across 60 locations. All aligned.”
The global website is a first crucial step to a more far-reaching process of digital transformation. DQS is keen to automate workflows, especially around the requests for quotation, but the consolidation on Ibexa DXP was an indispensable preliminary. “We couldn’t automate across so many different sites and systems,” says Alihodzic, “let alone introduce personalization as is our medium-term ambition.”
Other projects in the pipeline include the creation of a single company-wide intranet (currently, there are six) and e-commerce functionalities for certain certifications and training courses. “That’s another reason why we chose Ibexa DXP,” Alihodzic explains. “The platform is extensible, and the eCommerce module is native to it which will be a great advantage when the time comes.”
The Ibexa DXP Experience
“I think the biggest benefit is that we are working as a team,” says Alihodzic, “and that we put all our energy into one system, instead of having 60 different systems which are competing against each other when it comes to Google. Now we’ve combined all the energy in one system and on one website, and you profit from it. So if your website is working well in Germany, it will work well in France, even though in France we have a smaller team.”
Alihodzic was already a convert to Page Builder before joining DQS. “When it was introduced in 2019, I immediately saw the advantage of developing your own website by using the elements. It means you don’t need structured data anymore.”
The experience with the DQS site redevelopment revealed a fresh advantage of Ibexa DXP. “You can talk directly with Ibexa and I really appreciate that. This is something that would be impossible with Adobe and other providers of monolithic DXP systems. Ibexa has its roots in Open Source of course and that openness still marks the way it collaborates with partners and clients.”