An end-of-life CMS required financial investment to update
Scalability and flexibility were not offered by the previous monolithic CMS
Cross-regional teams struggled to collaborate efficiently and in parallel
A headless content platform offers a quick return on investment
Integrations and composable architecture supports growth and agility
Cross-functional teams can work in parallel to deliver exciting user experiences
“It’s important that we don’t paint ourselves into a corner. With other solutions, we’d be more contained. We chose a path with sustainable technologies that can be developed easily. Contentful’s App Framework and API-first nature make this possible."
Think back on the best food or meals you’ve had. While the taste — salty, sweet, sour, bitter — might have called you back for seconds, the experience — company, conversation, ambiance — probably had a lot to do with that five-star rating. Although a singular sense, taste is multidimensional and highly influenced by other senses, something international food group Paulig understands. In fact, this notion influenced the modernization of Paulig’s digital strategy. The company, comprised of several brands offering high-quality coffee, spices and plant-based products, felt growing concerns that its aging, unscalable CMS was having a negative impact on customer experiences. Paulig didn’t want lingering frustrations to affect how consumers viewed their offerings.
To serve a more compelling version of their website and webshop, Paulig would have to shift both its strategy and its content management solution.
Stacking up stakeholders and scalable solutions
Paulig’s search for a new content platform began when the technology that housed its webshop and B2B ecommerce site, Paulig Professional, required an update. Antti Lauronen, director of creative, planning and digital at Paulig, was one of many internal team members to encourage a shift rather than an update. "There’s always the possibility to find better technology instead of just moving to the newest version of the old solution. We wanted to put more effort into buying and enhancing different elements affecting the buying experience,” said Antti.
While Antti’s digital development team spearheaded selecting the new technology, there were a number of stakeholders involved in the discovery phase, including members of the sales and marketing teams. A broad-scoped planning phase was key to assessing different needs that the new service should address across business areas. During this time, it became apparent that scalability was the most important factor in selecting a content platform. Despite already selling its products in 60 countries, Paulig saw room for expansion.
“As project owners, we took a bold stance and chose scalable solutions to fit our organization’s needs now and in the future. We don’t want to anchor our services on a monolith but rather a solution that we can build up,” Antti added.
Consulting digital experts
In addition to assembling internal stakeholders, Paulig looked to digital business implementation service Lamia for targeted advice and assistance with implementation. Early on, Lamia brought deep expertise — and the suggestion to go headless — to the table. Consultants pointed Paulig team members to content platform Contentful. “Headless is a modern way of doing things, which is exactly what we want,” Antti shared. “It’s important that we don’t paint ourselves into a corner. With other solutions, we’d be more contained. We chose a path with sustainable technologies that can be developed easily.” Contentful’s App Framework and API-first nature make this possible.
With Paulig’s sights set on a solution, Lamia took the lead on agile development. During the technical solution build, every decision was contemplated carefully — everything had to align with Paulig’s current architecture, which included Magento 2 for webshop support. “Integrations were discussed a lot. The headless architecture was discussed thoroughly too — which paid off as the decision is standing the test of time,” said Iina Valtonen, project manager with Lamia.
Learning and leveraging capabilities
Before the developers and content creators even began building content models or text and visual assets, they had to learn how to wield their new tool. After all, moving away from a monolithic CMS to a modern content platform comes with a learning curve. Fortunately, both Paulig and Lamia team members took an active approach to learning. By understanding the ins and outs of Contentful, Lamia would be able to get Paulig’s platform up and running quickly. Then they could pass the baton to Paulig developers and content creators so they could get started on the real work.
Paulig creatives and Lamia developers didn’t have to go it alone when learning about Contentful. They had easy access to learning courses and workshops supported by those who knew the platform best. Contentful team members became their trusted subject matter experts.
Once they had a primer on the software, Paulig teams were surprised by how intuitive collaborating with team members from great physical distances was within the infrastructure. “Technology can simplify and enhance operations — which is important to make the big picture work,” said Iina, referring to the parallel workflows that Paulig’s new content platform supports. Content and development teams can collaborate or work independently to carry out projects ahead of deadlines successfully. With team members working in different time zones across 13 countries, such capabilities are celebrated. Today, nearly two dozen Paulig content editors work together within the product and Paulig developers have built 38 reusable content types to support their efforts.
Antti emphasized the same thing: “If we built this three years ago, we wouldn’t have focused so much on expansion and collaboration possibilities. Now we have a clear idea that all brands, products and solutions belong on the same platform — one we can adjust technically to fit our ways of working within the organization.”
Getting the green light from customers
Paulig’s new B2B ecommerce shop was piloted to customers in early 2021 and published to all Paulig Pro customers shortly after. Positive user feedback quickly followed. The best part is, Paulig can continue to please customers as its Contentful-powered, new ecommerce platform has the power to scale in support of brand and site development.
”While Paulig’s new site is gorgeous, there’s a lot under the hood to enable future development,” Iina pointed out. With expansive capabilities and opportunities to extend them, there’s no limit to the number of products and services Paulig can serve its growing global customers.