The primary driver of the project was to replace CPI’s legacy CMS with a new CMS that could scale with the business’ highly configurable inventory. A product can have hundreds of characteristics that can be configured, and each configuration option can include hundreds of choices, leading to thousands of possibilities. Even modern CMS products are not able to easily handle this kind of scale, let alone a legacy solution. Updating products from the catalog was a time-consuming process as they slowly navigated the legacy CMS one configuration at a time. Adding and removing a new product required valuable developer time.
In addition to the CMS, CPI was also making use of other legacy systems for managing inventory and fulfilling orders with 3rd party distributors. The CMS and these other systems were not well integrated and required considerable manual work to align customer bills of materials to inventory to 3rd party orders, correcting errors along the way.
“Customer demand was growing fast, but so were our internal costs and employee frustration as we struggled with manual processes and systems. And no doubt we were frustrating customers with our website at the time,” said the Senior Director of Global Marketing.
Indeed, the other major driver of the project was to enable a better user experience for customers on the web. With the legacy CMS, customers had very limited options to browse CPI’s website and discover the full breadth of the catalog. Even once a product was selected, customers had to then authenticate to a different system to set up their order. It was again a time consuming and error-prone process, leading to customer drop-offs, missed revenue, and missed opportunities to leverage one of CPI’s key differentiators - custom configuration and personalization to each client’s unique needs.
CPI needed a solution for customers that reconnected browsing the extensive product catalog, building configurations, and purchasing from distributors all through one user-friendly interface.
For the Marketing team, providing customers with a personalized experience was a must. The e-commerce website needed to make intelligent recommendations to customers to help them discover products and optimize product configurations automatically.
CPI also needed their product catalog to be easily searchable and updatable by their own staff. No more spending days on extensive maintenance. And of course, all in a single solution - no more coordinating multiple different legacy systems!
No existing product fulfilled all these requirements out-of-the-box, but Thinklogic knew that the Kentico CMS platform was powerful enough to get CPI most of the way, especially with its advanced personalization and reporting capabilities. With a custom product management tool built in, CPI’s legacy CMS challenges would be far behind them.
“If you can just get me into Kentico, that would work. Get out of the old CMS and other products and into Kentico and then it’s so easy I can rock Kentico. It’s so easy,” said CPI’s Senior Product Marketing Manager.
After several interactive design and planning workshops, Thinklogic presented their plan. It was going to be a big lift delivered quickly: a brand new website with a new design, implementation of Kentico, custom developed product management modules, and migration of content to the new system. A dedicated team of 2 front-end developers, 3 core developers, plus design, strategy and project management delivered over a 6 month period, working closely with CPI’s marketing team providing frequent demos and check-in’s along the way.
Today, customers that visit the CPI website have a single interface to configure their solution, create a bill of materials and find distributors. As users repeatedly visit the site, the platform automatically creates a persona for them, and the content they see adapts dynamically to their needs. Finding the perfect configuration is quick and easy through the powerful search tools that sort through the hundreds of customizations to reveal the perfect fit for each customer and each build.
Content management which once took hours of manpower, is now automated through file import and export tools using a custom user interface. What used to be thousands of manual database updates by developers is now fully automated when a backend user imports the data. The creation of product pages based on the catalog data is managed entirely by the system, created as the customer needs it. And for significant updates to product configurations, the system allows staff to export and update content directly in an Excel spreadsheet for complete flexibility.
“Since the re-deploy, all of our website metrics are up - time spent on site, repeat visitors, conversion, and ultimately, sales. In fact the results are compounding because now instead of maintenance our development team is working on new personalization features that will increase those numbers further,” said the Senior Director.
Business Transformation is underway at Chatsworth as the system personalizes each user’s experience, and the robust reporting reveals actionable insights, allowing CPI’s Marketing teams to react to customer trends and needs.
Custom Enterprise Headless CMS Implementations with Thinklogic’s Digital Acceleration Response Team (D.A.R.T.)
If your organization’s unique strengths need technical solutions that don’t come out-of-the-box, consider a digital acceleration partner like Thinklogic.
Thinklogic’s Digital Acceleration and Response Team (DART) specializes in advising CTOs and CMOs on their digital roadmaps, rapid prototyping to bring a business case to life, and conducting large-scale implementations, without distracting internal development teams.
Thinklogic is an expert in web development, including a variety of modern CMS, headless CMS, and even custom-built CMS as in this case study. Located in Los Angeles, California with years of experience in enterprise verticals like manufacturing, commerce, and banking, Thinklogic is your trusted partner for end-to-end digital transformation programs.
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"Finding a web development partner you can trust is so hard, especially when you are accountable for their results. But Thinklogic's transparent and collaborative approach kept me engaged and built trust from the start. Their expert team took on a large program and delivered it on schedule, keeping me informed every step of the way."
"Thinklogic was our end-to-end digital transformation partner, helping us re-imagine and re-build our flagship catalog from the ground up. The Thinklogic team methodically stepped us through their process, from surfacing and aligning us to critical business outcomes, to designing and building an innovative user experience fast enough to keep us ahead of the market."
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