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Claas Case Study

Collective Production of Data Commodities

For over 100 years, CLAAS has been the standard in the agricultural industry for high-quality machines and services. CLAAS is not only #1 in Europe for combines, but is also the market leader worldwide for silage harvesters. Employing a total of 11,000 staff, the family-run company maintains fourteen production facilities. Its network of around 100 distributorships and importers plus 5,000 specialist traders in 140 countries worldwide stays in constant touch to supply the agricultural industry with the most innovative tools of the trade.

The Challenge

How to achieve simple processing and distribution for a great variety of data from different sources

Getting a complex product across to customers can be a tricky business: CLAAS distributes its machinery exclusively via specialist dealers. Each market requires a different approach to negotiating offers, even as early as the distribution phase. And the after-sales business must provide dealers with a detailed store of up-to-date information. The target groups for information are very diverse: information is distributed strictly according to technical need, area of responsibility and market.

Before the project began, many of the documents were sent by fax or a mailed CD. This was expensive, slow and subject to error. The need was pressing for an Enterprise Content Management System.

Goal: A web content management system for Internet, intranet and extranet with centralized document storage and targeted delivery. Data from SAP and other existing sources must be imported, modified and then returned to the original system. And the system must be so simple to use that all of its users will be able to access, input, modify and distribute information quickly and easily.

The Solution

Centralized Content Management and SAP Connectivity with CoreMedia CMS

CoreMedia CMS was chosen because of its modularity, open interfaces and its capability for connecting to the company-internal SAP system. First, implementation partner Arvato Systems created the CLAAS Partner Portal, to be used for global communication between Head Office and sales partners. Further project phases were used to create partner portals for national specialist dealers, a supplier network for suppliers and buyers, the intranet for CLAAS staff, and, the corporate Internet presence that hosts the international websites. In addition, specialist dealers can also embed the CLAAS product range directly into their own websites. The foundation of the content platform is known as “WebBase”. This customer-specific core installation of CoreMedia CMS offers the same functions to all web-based portals. One of these features is “SiteEdit”, which is used by staff to edit content directly in page preview mode. Power users can simply use the CoreMedia Editor. Uploaded images are re-sized to the correct dimensions automatically. A powerful differencing engine simplifies the task of tracking changes while the automated resubmission system ensures that no update is overlooked. A Content Pool is used to store all of the product descriptions, manuals and presentations used by CLAAS, as well sales and trainings documents, marketing and shop items, user guides, photos, drawings, videos, animations, prospectuses and other content. Although all content is stored just once, content modules can be displayed within multiple services. The SAP system supplies data to CoreMedia CMS, which then processes and delivers it. A Content Flow defines the workflow steps for content, while also offering the option of being notified about modifications to the source portal. The CoreMedia Workflow Server automates the approval process by using the stored access rights. Partner portals, supplier network, intranet and the content platform’s various web portals have now been transformed into the central information hub for the company.

The most important innovation for us was the acceleration of our work. Many editorial processes could be done more efficiently in the new Studio editorial environment. Today we can play with different image sections and sizes and see directly how they look on the page, and no longer have to upload each section individually. With the new editorial system, we can create content more efficiently than before.

Kathrin Tofall, Technical Project Manager, Claas
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