Unilever is a global organization, with over 400 brands in the nutrition, hygiene and personal-care markets. It has a complex web presence, with over 60 sites in 22 languages worldwide. All sites adhere to Unilever’s global web standards, but are managed locally on a devolved publishing structure.
Unilever needed to undertake a major overhaul of its global web presence to reflect an update to the Unilever brand, and to better serve changing audience needs. “We remained on the same CMS platform, but created a new design, new structure and new navigation.” says Johannah Bailey, Programme Director, Global Communications - External Channels.
They needed a solution to streamline the migration of their existing websites into the new design templates, and ensure that all content met the new brand guidelines and updated web standards. As the rollout of the new sites was scheduled to take place over several months, they also wanted to ensure that the quality and compliance of their live sites didn't suffer while attention was focused on the relaunch process.
- Launch sites fully compliant with the new brand guidelines.
- Maintain compliance of existing sites during the relaunch project.
- Provide structured support for devolved publishing.
- Provide a management and training framework.
- Create a solid basis for future web development.
Crownpeak DQM (formerly ActiveStandards) supported Unilever during the relaunch process by running two instances of the DQM platform in parallel: one configured for the "old" sites and one for the new sites.
Unilever had been using DQM for several years, and they continued to use the system on their old sites while the new sites were under development. “It meant that while countries were preparing their sites for migration, they could run DQM as usual and it would alert them to mistakes,” says Bailey.
A second instance of the DQM platform was configured to match Unilever’s new brand and template standards. This initially monitored the new sites whilst they were being developed in the staging environment. This enabled the editors to perform detailed quality assurance before the new sites went live, and provided managers with clear visibility of the compliance status of each site, streamlining the sign-off process. Once each site went live, DQM continued to monitor it within the production environment, ensuring complete coverage throughout the website lifecycle.
DQM helped Unilever streamline a complex launch process, and ensure all new sites went live fully compliant with the new brand guidelines.
"Quality assurance can be very difficult if you have to make decisions on a case-by-case basis,” says Bailey. “Because DQM is completely automated it takes the complexity out of this process - it’s fantastic."
Using DQM to streamline website relaunch has delivered significant benefits for Unilever:
Easy error resolution
“DQM is a great tool. It enables very quick access to errors and the ability to rectify those errors,” says Bailey. “Because DQM is integrated with the CMS production environment, you can click through directly to each affected page: it shows you where the mistake is on the page, and tells you what you need to do to rectify it. The simple signposting takes away the pain of thinking "What am I supposed to do here?”
Eliminates human error
DQM provides instant analysis and reporting across the entire web presence, going far beyond the scope of manual verification. “Let’s face it – when you're working online and you've been staring at a box all day, it’s quite easy to miss things,” says Bailey. “We all do it. Having a platform that already knows what the guidelines and standards are, and sends you straight to them is very, very helpful.”
Protects brand consistency
“You need some uniformity if you want to maintain a consistent corporate presence,” continues Bailey. “DQM helps create uniformity for the corporate brand across all the external sites.”
By automating standards compliance, DQM radically reduces the time and effort involved. “I see it as a time-saving tool. If it wasn't being done electronically, somebody would have to do it manually and I dread to think how much time that would take,” says Bailey.
Working with Crownpeak
“I really like working with them,” says Bailey. “They’re intelligent people, collaborative, open, and very honest – and easy to work with because of that. Our web-editor community like DQM a lot.”
"Quality assurance can be very difficult if you have to make decisions on a case-by-case basis. Because DQM is completely automated it takes the complexity out of this process - its fantastic."