Custom, Cloud-Based CMS for an International Manufacturer
Our partner Mazak is an advanced tools and machinery manufacturing company that originated in Japan and is currently represented across twenty countries worldwide. With this international growth, Mazak regularly faces the challenges that come with managing brand and product consistency on a large scale. We helped Mazak by implementing Responsive Web Design, building a custom Product Management System, and configuring cloud-based Better CMS for authoring content over more than twenty websites in seventeen languages.
It was crucial that the network of websites we created could be managed from remote areas across the globe for the purpose of localized content, but still maintain brand governance and a consistent voice regardless of geography. In addition, our product information management system would have to be centralized to streamline processes and guarantee specification versioning, accuracy, and audit.
Mazak’s Global Web Presence Quick Facts
Global Product Management System
20+ websites, 17 languages, automatic content synchronization
Azure Cloud Hosted across five data centers
Advanced publishing workflow and permissions management
Region-specific content and event promotion
Project: Global Site Design and Better CMS Implementation
Date Completed: August 2014
Content synchronization and localized authorship
The key to ensuring that a brand’s core value, voice and corporate brand message is consistent across localized, multilingual websites is content governance. We approached this challenge with a tiered strategy: part of the content was to be synchronized from the top down, and distributed regional marketing teams would publish local content such as events, PR announcements, and news.
Responsive Web Design
A responsive website has become a requirement to be competitive in today’s business landscape, regardless of industry. In 2013 in the United States, according to CNNMoney, mobile app and mobile browser internet access surpassed desktop computer internet access, thanks to high speed 4G and WiFi connections. To answer this rising demand, we created a website for Mazak that works well across devices ranging from smartphones, tablets, to desktops.
Mazak will experience the many benefits that go along with responsive web design, including only having to make changes to a single website rather than a separate mobile and desktop website. On top of that, Google believes that responsive design is the right way to approach mobility on the web, and therefore ranks websites that feature responsive design better than websites without.
Better CMS for enterprise
When it came to the requirements for content management for Mazak’s new comprehensive web solution, we suggested the Microsoft-endorsed, Open-Source Better CMS. Since the project required 20+ regional sites with 17 different languages, Better CMS’ language switcher and regional control capabilities became incredibly important. These features allow Mazak to seamlessly delegate portions of content management to regional marketing representatives and maintain the over-arching brand consistency.
Through Better CMS, regional administrators are only able to adjust certain content that is exclusive to their regional website, allowing for more customized and relevant content for the appropriate audiences. On top of this flexibility, Better CMS allows for other content to be synced across certain locations or universally, essentially ensuring a consistent brand voice that can be managed by global administrators.
From a usability standpoint, Better CMS has a fluid UI with on-page content editing capabilities, meaning that all content can be updated seamlessly by non-technical staff. Image cropping and resizing images, drag and drop widgets, and other advanced features are controlled through very simple on-screen workflows.
Taking advantage of Better CMS’ integrated marketing capabilities gives Mazak the ability to post news, blog posts and press releases, as well as the ability to post to various social media outlets. On top of all of these built-in features, Better CMS has built in functionality for Search Engine Optimization, event management, data driven widgets, and lead capture.
Product information management
The large library of Mazak’s machines is controlled by a set of rules that dictate the regions the machines are available in, the units of measure used, the version of specification, and more. To make matters more complex, some of the same machines are available across multiple countries with different specification data. We built a centralized product management system that allows super-administrators to manage product specification versioning and per-region assignment.
The product management system introduced a centralized repository of all product data, reducing duplicate information, simplifying administration, and making the process leaner. The tool itself allows for the manager or managers to control product specifications and data according to region or regions, and then route that data in to the appropriate website. Furthermore, all processes within the system are logged for audit and accuracy purposes.
What we’ve accomplished as part of our partnership with Mazak is a solution for challenges faced by manufacturing companies who need to manage their brand and products across geographies and channels with ease. We’ve executed a rolling launch within six months, starting with the website for the United States, and following up with releases in Canada, South America, Europe, and Asia. We’ve achieved a consistent, mobile-friendly representation of the Mazak brand across multiple, regional websites, and easy management of region-specific product information.