Conrad Electronic has been in the technology and electronics business since its foundation in 1923. With over 3,000,000 products available through the company’s online shops conrad.de and over 20 German branches, the Bavarian family-owned business is one of the leading omnichannel distributors. The company group, Conrad, also operates internationally with locally based subsidiaries in 16 countries across Europe.
Netcentric, A Cognizant Digital Business partnered with Conrad Electronic on their digital transformation journey to shape their platform architecture towards an agile and modern e-commerce setup. With expertise in digital transformation and the Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), Netcentric became the single point of contact, offering the needed flexibility with nearshore resources and support for short-term project scaling.
One of the key challenges in the transformation journey was the very complex setup. AEM, especially, was very tightly coupled with other e-commerce services, which made required changes quickly become more expensive and complex. Furthermore, the full potential of AEM could not be unleashed. The project team identified those problems and set up a step-by-step roadmap to better leverage the great potential of the platform, and to also focus on the user experience for content authors, which had not received the much needed attention.
In parallel, Conrad Electronic re-organized the dispersed team of subcontractors and freelancers, streamlining workflow with a powerful and flexible team of Netcentric experts. This supported the organization’s transformation goals perfectly as well as the transition of the department from a set of fragmented components to a cohesive unit.
The project team identified two focus topics. The huge potential in decoupling AEM from other components and improving the authoring experience by migrating the AEM UI, simplifying components and introducing best practices and core components. A multitude of ideas and requirements had been proposed, so the team began working on investigating these concepts to see what was technically feasible. Step by step, the platform was rebuilt by improving, removing or replacing existing features while developing, testing and implementing new ones, until a more stable and performant platform was achieved.
Being a partner with nearshore resources, depth of knowledge and experience in agile methodologies as well as know-how in enabling dispersed and smaller size agile teams to work efficiently together, Netcentric provided the possibility to scale the team with the right experts where needed.
The innovative concepts had to be technically tested to ensure a stable and well performing platform in the long run. While rebuilding the platform one step at a time, the project team needed to find the balance in improving existing features while at the same time testing and implementing new ones. The most remarkable milestones in this journey were the implementation of a completely new search experience launched mid 2018, the go-live of one of the first B2B Marketplaces in Germany and the relaunch of all shopping sites in the DACH region early 2019.
The relaunch was based on a strategic decision by Conrad Electronic made one year after Netcentric and Conrad Electronic started working together. The focus was on the B2B market and the merging of the B2B and B2C sites, which were up until then separate sites. By setting up a new platform and integrating it into the existing environment, the project team technically shaped and implemented this change.
To minimize disruption within the existing team, Netcentric decided to join the project with a core team, building up essential knowledge on Conrad Electronic, processes and technologies. Step-by-step this core team was extended and integrated with the organization’s teams. As Conrad Electronic decided to switch the project organisation to vertical Scrum teams, Netcentric experts were distributed to different teams to maximise knowledge coverage.
Netcentric and Conrad Electronic established a strong relationship based on trust, which facilitated the development and innovation process in order to successfully drive the company’s digital transformation agenda. Through out-of-the-box thinking, the project team managed to unlock the full potential of AEM and to stabilize the platform, which led to a tremendous reduction in website downtime. Additionally, while building the new platform, the team added features that improved the authoring experience for the online marketplace. The team has set the foundation for a stabilized e-commerce ecosystem and is now working towards optimizing the experience journey for their B2B and B2C customers.
A stable platform, the right tools and a fully customized technology stack enabled Conrad Electronic to develop a state-of-the-art e-commerce site that delivers an optimized customer experience. This user-driven platform will allow Conrad Electronic to extract the most value from their services, and gain a competitive advantage within their market. Additionally, testing and executing ideas for new features can now be carried out a lot faster, meaning quicker time-to-market.
Netcentric is proud to be supporting in the implementation of an applicable solution that will reinforce Conrad Electronic’s competitive position as a leading distributor in B2B and B2C electronics sales, and one of the online marketplace leaders in B2B. This personalized AEM solution will not only power enhanced user experiences, but it will enable Conrad Electronic to realize their digital growth aspirations to the fullest.