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The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) is the largest international shipping association representing ship-owners. It has members in more than 120 countries, including managers, brokers and agents. The association’s main objective is to protect its global membership through the provision of quality information and advice.

In 2016, a rebranding project provided the perfect opportunity for the council to update their website (www.bimco.org). The update would aim to provide a fresh new design, new functionality for its members, and address usability issues that were making it difficult to locate important information. 

The existing site ran on Sitecore 7.2,  but the organisation were keen to move to version 8 in order to take advantage of the platform’s latest advancements, including the improvements in persona driven website personalisation. 


Research-led design

The new designs needed to be aesthetically pleasing but, more importantly, they needed to augment the user experience. This would be achieved through a research-led design approach, directed by Bunnyfoot, the UX experts.

Bunnyfoot ran a series of workshops, online surveys and other research tools in order to better understand the stakeholders, their requirements, and their interactions with the BIMCO website. 

The research enabled Bunnyfoot to boil BIMCOs 20k+ user-base down into 6 key personas. Using these personas, they were able to develop a set of typical user-journeys that helped to identify content gaps and map out a more ideal content architecture. The research resulted in an award-winning, responsive, user-friendly design. 

Content Creation and Workflows

The Web administrators at BIMCO required a user friendly WYSIWYG editor for Creating, Reading, Updating, and Deleting website content. Sitecore’s Experience Editor now allows publishers to see the content as it would appear, before publishing it to the live website. 

Workflow was also enabled and adapted to fit the organisations’ needs. New content would be pushed through a fast-track approval process where the item is immediately published, and the relevant QA contact is email to make them aware of the change.

 

Enhanced Search & 3rd Party Integrations 

Alongside a better content architecture, the search functionality plays an important role in giving the website users immediate access to the most relevant content when they need it. Integrating the Twitter typeahead has given the new site a powerful live search suggestion feature, which updates in real time to suggest more relevant results after each keystroke. 

The new Site also integrates with:

• NAVision - an enterprise resource planning app from Microsoft
• Clix - a training course provider. 
• Survey monkey – an online survey tool
• IMO Website – The International Maritime Organization (IMO)

CRM and the Membership Login Area


Site users are split into two main groups: Member Companies and Non-Member Companies. Member companies are those that have paid to be website members via an integrated payment system - "DIBS", and these companies have access to a new “members only” section of the website. This new functionality improves upon the way exclusive information is stored and delivered, and it simplifies the security side of content access. 

As with all CRM systems, user and company information is difficult to maintain and keep accurate. Using Sitecore’s ECM fucntionaity, BIMCO is now able to send “validation / ownership” emails to it’s members on a scheduled basis, ensusring that the contacts stored in Sitecore xDB remains relevant and up to date. 

 

Seemless Content Migration Strategy


Bimco’s old website was a busy place, featuring large RSS information feeds with a comprehensive content structure consisting of over 100,000 Sitecore items.

This sheer volume of content presented a technical challenge from a migration perspective: One that3chillies were able to overcome with the use of bespoke, innovative tools and templates.

 

 

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