Episerver Case Study: INEOS.COM

Episerver Case Study: INEOS.COM, a site for today and tomorrow

by Richard Broughton – 12th November 2015

INEOS needed an enterprise level CMS that was scalable, flexible and robust enough to integrate 16 separate businesses and up to 50 manufacturing sites into a single, easy to navigate online hub. The goal of the new INEOS.com was to use the latest corporate identity update as the basis to accurately reflect the size and stature of the organisation, whilst providing a significantly improved user experience for all INEOS stakeholders.

The Challenge:  

With a turnover approaching $50 billion, INEOS is the world’s third largest chemical company, supplying the essential materials required for almost every aspect of modern life. From the plastic used to manufacture 75 per cent of the world’s credit cards, to bio-ethanol required to power the next generation of highly efficient vehicles, INEOS has a global presence and a diverse product offering that’s vital to our society.

INEOS’ rise to becoming a giant of the chemical industry is the result of careful management of each business unit, combined with an aggressive acquisition policy which lasted most of the last decade. In light of this, INEOS’ flat organisational structure has always provided a high level of independence to the 16 separate entities which fall under the INEOS brand.

 

INEOS’ previous website had been in use for almost a decade and was no longer a true reflection of the business or its activities. In addition, many of the business units had developed their own digital presence in line with their specific challenges and objectives. INEOS management understood the importance of bringing all these sites under one digital roof in order, primarily, to unify the organisation’s external image, promote INEOS’ complete offering and to create a more consistent look and feel through the operation.

The autonomous nature of each INEOS business unit (IBU) represented one of the largest challenges to INEOS’ digital strategy. With 16 different sets of requirements, each equally weighted in terms of importance, finding a solution which met the needs of all those involved required extensive planning and project management.

With over 50 manufacturing and sales locations across three continents, developing a solution which allowed users to intuitively discover contact details for the business or site they required was another key deliverable. It was also required that INEOS’ comprehensive product range was integrated into the site for the first time. This would involve migrating the database from PostgreSQL to MsSQL, making changes to the structure of the data itself and installing the functionality to enable advanced filtering of the results.

To add an additional level of difficulty, delivery of the 1000 page site was required on an exceptionally short time frame, with the site fully populated and live just four months after initial discussions began.

The Solution

MTM worked with INEOS to clarify the complete requirements for the site before choosing EPiServer as the preferred CMS platform. EPiServer was selected, in part, due to its flexible architecture and the simplicity of the editing interface – both key priorities with up to 200 potential editors eventually able to access the site.

Overall, EPiServer was considered the best suited CMS to provide the adaptability INEOS need to ensure the site could grow and mature in line with its developing requirements, all the while remaining an easy to manage, intuitive system.

Following the site’s launch in November 2012, INEOS continue to partner with MTM to meet ever-changing customer expectations and the needs of both the user and the business. In this time, MTM’s relationship with INEOS has continued to grow and the partnership now extends to a suite of additional digital services, strategic marketing campaigns and video production.

 

The specific objectives for the new website were:

  • Develop a single ‘umbrella’ site which provides dedicated and direct navigation to branded and distinct landing and content areas for each of INEOS’ business units
  • Install an easy to use and intuitive CMS platform, with the flexibility to grow in line with INEOS’ business developments
  • Create a site that is on brand both in terms of look & feel and turn of voice.
  • Provide quick and easy access to all INEOS contacts and locations
  • Introduce a searchable database containing relevant content on all INEOS’ product lines.
  • Improve the overall user experience
  • Become a hub for INEOS’ 15,000 employees

MTM immediately set about putting in place a number of concurrent work-streams in order to successfully address each of the objectives individually. One of the initial stages of the project involved assessing the user experience or UX, establishing the user journey thorough the site and their requirements while on the site. To achieve this, MTM carried out live user testing in order to highlight which existing areas and features of the website were most important to INEOS’ audience.

Key requirements identified were:

  • Up to date news about INEOS and each of its businesses
  • Information about INEOS Group and the individual businesses themselves
  • Information relevant to investors
  • Information relating to INEOS products and technologies
  • Immediate access to contacts for all IBUs
  • Access to site specific information

Following this, one of the most significant factors established during the preliminary stages was importance of considering the media. INEOS’ profile had increased significantly in recent years and this heightened awareness was driving the requirement for the new site to be used to convey messages to the global media, with protected areas for embargoed and sensitive information, as well as the development of other third party elements, such as Flickr and YouTube, which are also managed by MTM.

Although initially a very small percentage, the number of visitors accessing the site via mobile devices was steadily increasing. With this in mind, INEOS decided to ensure the site and all content was accessible on the move and the site was optimised for mobile browsing. Since launch, the number of mobile visitors has continued to grow, with statistics relating to user’s geography highlighting that Asian markets use mobile in significantly greater numbers than Western visitors. Asian markets, historically secondary to INEOS’ business, are now becoming an essential area for growth. This growth in demand has driven a updated requirement to create a dedicated mobile site for INEOS.com, using the EPiServer MobilePack add-on.

MTM is now currently designing a mobile site which is scheduled to go live at the beginning of 2014. The flexibility and advanced features of the EPiServer CMS, means INEOS is able to take advantage of multi-device preview pages and reuse existing content from the INEOS.com site. The EPiServer MobilePack  has been designed to ensure it can be managed in line with the main site with minimal effort, helping to guarantee the changes don’t impact editor workload.

The Results:

The new site has completely transformed the public face of INEOS as a business. The site offers a truly user-focused experience with visitors able to reach the content they require quickly and effectively.

The revamped website has already delivered a number of top-level benefits for INEOS, these include:

  • A 200 per cent increase in traffic
  • A doubling of the average time spent on site.
  • A 40 per cent reduction in site-wide bounce rate

In addition, a number of less quantifiable benefits have been identified:

Reduced maintenance and simplified updates – The EPiServer CMS has notably improved usability and has provided site editors with the freedom to manage content more efficiently and in real-time through a single, easy to use and intuitive interface.
Using the EPiServer scheduler function, INEOS also has the option to automate and schedule updates, such as news announcements or product releases, further reducing resource costs and giving editors complete controls over the content, without the need for IT support.

Improved user experience (UX) – As a primary project deliverable, ensuring the user experience was as simple and clear as possible was essential. The site’s new navigation and stacked page structure places content at the user’s fingertips at all times and dramatically improves the overall usability of the site – delivering exactly what visitors are looking for, quickly.

A platform to grow – The flexibility of the EPiServer CMS has already allowed the INEOS to integrate up to 50 manufacturing sites into the back end, in addition to the existing 16 business unit sites.  This ensures a single point of edit for all elements of INEOS’ online presence and means a single administrator can edit every page in one place.

What does the future hold – MTM continues to develop, enhance and optimise the INEOS.com website and digital presence using the EPiServer platform, adding new functionality and updating the design when new requirements and opportunities arise. As EPiServer continues to develop its CMS platform to introduce new features and meet the changing needs of its customers, as well as their customers, additional options, features and even more optimisation are undoubtedly on their way.

 

To find out what we can do for you, contact MTM:
Phone: +44 (0)23 8022 5478
Email: [email protected]

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