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Case study

Better Targeted Trade Promotion for the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHKs)

Government

Challenge

The German Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DIHK) needed to upgrade international trade promotion by digitalizing a customer platform for their worldwide network of German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHKs).

Outcome

In the longer term, we will connect the CRM to the CMS via an API in order to utilise the synergies between the two systems. We look forward to continuing to work with the DIHK on improving its systems in the future.

A new data-first content management system

The German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHKs) offer their experience, connections and services to German and foreign companies, with the aim of developing and expanding business activities abroad. They are key institutions of German foreign trade promotion.

The ‘AHK Customer Platform’ project was launched with the aim of providing the AHKs with a standardised CMS based on an enterprise-ready content management platform that offers the creation and management of online experience.

We were responsible for implementation from concept to delivery. This included consulting, architecture, strategy and design, to back and front end development, manual and automation quality assurance, system and editor training and project and risk management. 

The result is a multi-tenant content management system (CMS) which fits the individual requests and needs of each AHK and ensures a centralised approach for a global perspective.

Standardising a fragmented system

The AHKs consist of bilateral foreign chambers of commerce, delegations and representative offices of German business. They are represented at over 150 locations in 93 countries worldwide, with around 48,000+ members.

The AHKs used a centralised CMS system, but their processes were not standardized and they used different tools for event management, marketing and customer relationship management (CRM). Due to these varied approaches, data was not standardised, making it difficult for reporting and the evaluation of activities and performance.

A stated goal was to standardise the fragmented system and reduce the number of tools used. By establishing a new system, processes could also be automated, customers addressed in a more modern and targeted manner, and existing synergies in the network better utilised.

Converting team effort to business value

In March 2023, the ‘AHK Customer Platform’ project was launched with the aim of providing the AHKs with a standardised CMS based on Ibexa DXP, an enterprise-ready content management platform that offers the creation and management of online experience. 

The project team consisted of Endava teams from Germany, Austria, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria and Bosnia-Herzegovina who used The Endava Adaptive Model (TEAM) project framework to co-ordinate and manage their activities.
 
More than an acronym, TEAM is a guiding philosophy within Endava that shapes our approach and delivery and underscores our commitment to excellence. Striking a balance between structure and creativity, TEAM allowed us to foster the environment we needed to let innovation thrive. This also ensured that we quickly converted our collective efforts into tangible business value for DIHK.
  
The multi-tenant CMS solution delivered met requests and needs of each AHK and provided a centralised approach for a global perspective. We established a standardised release process with a development cycle, testing cycle and regression testing.
 
Every two weeks there is a new release with new tenants added and any bugfixes and features applied. These are all noted in release notes provided to the AHKs.
 
We participated closely in the onboarding process for the migration of new AHKs to the new CMS. Every month 4-5 new tenant AHKs are onboarded with individual meetings to co-ordinate specific needs and integrations. This includes regular monthly training and constant updates on editorial guidance.

Intuitive, state-of-the-art customer management

DIHK now has a fully functional CMS system that fits the needs of the AHK network. This enables each AHK to create their own website and to communicate the relevant user information and services on offer, the events they organise and news they release.

Based on the first feedback from our AHK pilots and the new AHKs being onboarded, the new system is proving to be very intuitive, easy to use and has a state-of-the-art design.

By the end of 2024, we aim to have onboarded and created the tenants for the majority of the AHK network locations approximately 50 AHKs by the end of 2024. We will also release new modules and major features including a customer portal and event hub with integrated registration and payment workflows.

In the longer term we will integrate the CRM with the CMS. We look forward to continuing to work with the DIHK to improve their systems into the future.

Endava has been committed to delivering a high quality product that meets our customers' needs from the very beginning. Despite the complexity and numerous challenges of the project, we collaborate closely and share a mutual understanding of work ethics and project objectives.

Christine Mueller

Project Manager & Business Product Owner | AHK

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