d&b audiotechnik has grown quickly since it was founded in 1981. It all began with two men building speakers in a garage in Korb, Germany. Now, they have around 650 employees worldwide, and 40 distribution partners serving 70 countries. They came to b13 for a multilingual, enterprise website to serve employees and customers on a global scale.
A Shared Experience
Concert halls, sports venues, music festivals, bars and places of worship: they all bring people together to enjoy a shared experience. But the bigger your audience, or more unique your location, the greater the demands on a professional audio setup.
This is where d&b audiotechnik comes in. Their professional audio solutions help prestigious customers such as the Sydney Opera House, Wacken Festival, and Pacha Club share meaningful experiences with large numbers of people. d&b provides professional audio solutions to accurately transfer passions through high end quality speech and music reproduction.
d&b’s growth has accelerated in recent years. “In 2010 we had 200 employees but now we have around 650 globally,” says Denise Kipf, Head of Digital and Platforms. These people work in different departments, languages, and countries as well as for customers in different cultural settings. For all their differences, they need to feel part of a common experience, just like the revelers in a large audience.
Denise Kipf calls this the “Wir-Gefühl,” and it’s one of d&b’s core values alongside a passion for what they do, and dedication to the highest standards.
“There’s a special atmosphere in our headquarters at Backnang, and also within our subsidiaries. People who have worked at other companies really feel the difference and understand these three values very, very fast,” she explains.
The Relaunch—a Sound Footing for the Future
In 2016, when d&b was in the middle of their current growth spurt, the existing website was in need of a relaunch. Visually, it was time for an update, and d&b needed new processes to serve a growing variety of stakeholders.
The audiophiles spoke to several agencies, but soon warmed to b13. “When we pitched b13, they just fit our values better than all the others,” says Denise. “We needed a partner that is just around the corner, yet we also needed a CMS with a global community.”
The top three challenges were:
- Increasing efficiency through automation
- Supporting global subsidiaries’ local requirements, and
- Improving usability by making information easier to find.
Automating Processes for Efficiency
Throughout the project, b13 and d&b continually identified processes that could be made more efficient through automation. “b13’s input inspired us to think about how to do this,” Denise says.
More than a content repository, the website is a hub where external services are brought together. It’s a bit like the stage at a music festival that provides the platform for many different artists.
For example, the b13 team integrated Salesforce so that events can be created and managed in one place by local teams. “Before,” says Denise, “they would have to send event texts and information back and forth three times before they were online. Now they do it all themselves.” This, she says, saves many hours because it affects every department worldwide.
Another example is the process for support requests, which is now automated through Salesforce.
Creating an elegant and seemingly simple website for a large, multinational company like d&b requires developers with a nuanced understanding of organizational design. This is necessary to serve marketing content, sales materials, technical brochures, and events where and when the user desires.
Scaling Up Internationally
As d&b grows, it needs to deliver content that is tailored to an increasing number of local markets. Language plays a big role in this.
In some cases, such as product catalogs, the same content applies across the world, so it is translated into all languages and placed on all local websites. But in other cases—for example where an event takes place in one location only—content is written in the local language without needing to be translated. TYPO3’s powerful multi-language tools, coupled with b13’s expertise, were an excellent match for the challenge.
Customers now enjoy a more intuitive structure, so key features and information are no more than three clicks away and easier to filter. The overall design and technical setup allows for impressive large-format images and snappy performance on all devices, and in areas where bandwidth may be scarce.
An Ongoing Working Relationship
The d&b Team is very happy that they chose to work with b13 and will continue to do so. “b13 has a great working culture and they are very clever guys. They think first about what we ask them for, and we really appreciate that because they are like a remote colleague. I like being connected to the TYPO3 community through the b13 management.”
At the time of writing, b13 and d&b are working together on automating large parts of the translation workflow.
Bringing People Together is what Brings us Together
d&b audiotechniks new website is a hub that brings many people together around a shared experience, while serving their individual needs. Just like d&b’s professional audio equipment and solutions, it delivers scale on an international level while maintaining the “Wir-Gefühl” that has been so important since two men in a garage built d&b’s first loudspeakers back in 1981. At b13, we’re happy that our shared values brought us together and are sure they will keep us together long into the future.