GDC Delivers Successful Supplier Network Site Powered by Sitecore
4 Min Read
Oshkosh Corporation (“Oshkosh”) makes innovative, mission-critical equipment to help everyday heroes advance communities around the world. Headquartered in Wisconsin, Oshkosh employs approximately 15,000 team members worldwide, all united behind a common cause: to make a difference in people’s lives. Their products can be found in more than 150 countries under the brands of JLG®, Hinowa, Pierce®, MAXIMETAL, Oshkosh® Defense, McNeilus®, IMT®, Jerr-Dan®, Frontline™, Oshkosh® Airport Products, London™ and Pratt Miller.
Oshkosh sought to build a new Oshkosh Supplier Network (“OSN”) website to better display current supplier information and attract new potential suppliers’ interest. The site emphasized usability for content creators, edits, and end users while following best Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices. With a goal of launching the new website by early 2023, GDC would have a deadline of Q4 2022 to build and design the components for the new website. Meeting this deadline would allow ample time for Oshkosh to prepare content for the webpages.
GDC collaborated with Oshkosh to design, build, and deploy a new supplier network website powered by Sitecore using the following technology:
- Sitecore Digital Experience Platform 10.1.0
- Digizuite Digital Asset Manager (DAM)
- Apache Solr Server
- Google Tag Manager
The site was integrated with internal applications and existing resources capitalizing on their current Sitecore environment giving content editors the ability to use both DAM and Sitecore assets. Supplier network content was made interactive with the use of client-side libraries and .NET.
Reusability was a key factor for the new website to minimize unneccessary updates in the future. GDC designed custom components to meet both current requirements and provide options for future implementation with several components having the ability to include optional headers. Utilizing best SEO practices, Alt text was included for all images from both the Sitecore media library and Oshkosh’s Digital Asset Manager (DAM).
Mobile responsiveness was a key focus when designing the site to maintain consistency across different devices and screen sizes to improve use experience. Inspired by the existing Oshkosh website, GDC built the new Sitecore components to coincide with the current design and referenced existing components built within the current website.
An example of this influence can be seen in the headers and footers when comparing the Oshkosh and OSN websites. To help meet the pressing deadline, GDC utilized existing components as a base design for new components allowing for minor updates and changes.
Project tasks were divided into front-end and back-end work to expedite development. To streamline collaboration between the development teams, components were built by the front-end developers and then shared with back-end developers to finish Sitecore specific development using a program called Fractal. Fractal helps assemble, preview and document website component libraries, and then integrate the libraries into web sites, apps and build processes.
The Oshkosh Supplier Network website was created using customizable Sitecore components that can be updated in the future to meet the changing needs of the business. One of the key components designed for the site was the Supplier Standards Guide. This resource can provide suppliers with a repository to find and access documents of interest. Several additional features were added to achieve this. Now, a supplier can select the type of information they are looking for, as well as sort the documents that are displayed on page load.
To ensure suppliers have current information, an indentation is given to show what information has been updated recently. Content sorting is done automatically to minimize the burden on content creators. To add to the Supplier Standards Guide’s flexibility, content creators can add or remove categories that users can search by. In addition, the duration of the recently updated information can also be configured. Allowing all facets of the tool to be configured without any additional development effort. Furthermore, it is possible to adjust the timing for the updated information, and all aspects of the tool can be customized without requiring extra development work.
The Oshkosh Supplier Network website launch was a success thanks to meticulous attention to detail and effective teamwork. An essential aspect of this project was to comprehend the business’s desired appearance and functionality for each component to launch the new website by early 2023.
GDC collaborated with Oshkosh to ensure each component satisfied the design and functional requirements of the business.
GDC met the predefined project deadlines for building the new website allowing Oshkosh to conduct proper testing and provide the developers useful feedback for creating new styles and functionality for the website.
The website offers information to current suppliers and attracts the interest of potential new partners. With the help of GDC, the new Oshkosk Supplier Network website is live, offering current suppliers’ additional information and attracting new suppliers for the organization.