The Pentland group began life as a Liverpool shoe company in 1932 selling fashion footwear to UK retailers.
Today, Pentland is one of the leading brand management companies trading in the sports, outdoor and fashion markets. The company manages brands including Speedo, Boxfresh, Ellesse, Kickers and Lacoste. Pentland’s products are available in over 170 countries worldwide and it has over 1500 staff.
It produces over 5,000 new products and distributes over 50 million units across six continents every year. From swimming goggles to thigh length boots, there is a good chance you will own one of its unique designs.
The new website venture
Pentland set about its venture to launch its most ambitious e-commerce website within the business for its swimwear brand, Speedo.
It became apparent the level of content that would be published on the website would be immense. They needed a system that would be able to manage the organisation of content, as well as making it attractive, appealing to customers and easy for authors to update.
Pentland has chosen FirstSpirit 4, the latest version of e-Spirit’s Content Management System (CMS), to manage content on the website of the world famous sport brand, Speedo www.speedo.com. Pentland owns and licenses a global portfolio of leading outdoor and fashion brands.
Pentland decided to implement the FirstSpirit Content Management System (CMS) system for a number of reasons. Firstly, it would allow for Pentland to be uniquely positioned to optimise customer communication with regard to the characteristics of local markets, countries and regions, to reduce content conflict and ensure brand consistency across its businesses.
The interface of the CMS needed to be easy to use in order to allow non-technical authors to upload and amend content. FirstSpirit was able to deliver this.
The platform needed to integrate fully into its IBM Websphere Commerce system. This was managed by Pentland’s implementation partner, Cybercom with the support of e-Spirit.
Implementation began in February 2008 and the system was thoroughly tested pre-launch, on June 4, 2008.
There was a very tight timeline for the whole project, from initiation to launch taking just six months. e-Spirit provided Pentland with consultancy and advice during the project; the process had no serious delays and was relatively straightforward for what was quite a complex project.
FirstSpirit 4 is designed to optimise large international projects such as co-operations offering consistent information and content through localised websites and portals for all site users.
The CMS supports multiple languages, different communication channels and diverse data sources. The main innovations of FirstSpirit 4 include the ability to track back content at a specific point in time (’historisation’ and versioning) as well as the centrally embedded monitoring of content and enhanced deployment flexibility. FirstSpirit 4 helps companies to manage their international expansion in an efficient and consistent way.
Pentland has witnessed good results following the implementation of FirstSpirit and seen a direct impact on its customers.
One of the more notable outcomes was the ability to update content hourly during the 2008 Beijing Games. This would not have been possible without FirstSpirit. The system required limited technical support and allowed the company to update good quality content quickly and accurately.
Employees have fedback that the system is user friendly and easy to manage, whilst allowing the authors to create an exciting, detailed and up to date website for its customers.
Pentland plans to launch websites enterprise-wide in the future. This would mean managing multiple brands and language through the websites – all factors that Jeremy Wilson, Head of E-commerce Services, had to take into account when initially choosing FirstSpirit.
Jeremy Wilson Head of E-commerce Services at Pentland commented: “Pentland is a truly global business. Our products are available in over 170 countries across the world. It is imperative that all our websites are consistent in look and feel and information offered across all markets, especially in regard to the 5000 new products we produce every year.
“FirstSpirit is essential to the operational running of the website. The system allows for non-technical authors to update easily. e-Spirit offered high quality technical support throughout implementation. Overall the system was flexible, easy to use and also to implement.
“We plan to use FirstSpirit across other brands as and when we continue to grow and develop our e-commerce offering.”
By deploying FirstSpirit 4 across its individual brand websites, Pentland will be uniquely positioned to optimise customer communication with regard to the characteristics of local markets, countries and regions, to ensure brand consistency.
“Businesses operating in multinational and multimedia environments need to ensure consistency of content across all channels regardless of nuances of language and region,“ said Joern Bodemann, managing director of e-Spirit. “FirstSpirit 4 meets these demands and can provide strategic content management tailored to complex Internet and intranet projects of internationally active organisations.”
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