Case Study

Headless CMS and PIM for Xella

Designing a system which displays multiple brands.

The challenge

Xella is one of the leading international solution providers of building and insulation materials. Xella is the parent company of such renowned brands as Ytong, Silka, Hebel, Multipor or Ursa and is one of the pioneers in digitally supported construction processes. Xella's headquarters are in Duisburg (Germany) and it operates 95 factories and distribution organisations in over 25 countries.

The global mega-trend towards digitalisation is also affecting the construction industry. The Xella Group sees digitalisation as a holistic transformation process and as an integral component of marketing and distribution transformation. Its implementation requires supporting customers with simple on- and offline solutions to further improve and expand construction processes.

As the foundation for all interactions with brands, a design system is required that can be set up as flexibly as possible for every country as a multi-brand solution and in which the national organisations can simultaneously benefit from centrally provided guidelines and central contents.

In addition, a comprehensive product information system is needed as the data basis for digitalisation. In the system all product data which have to be available for the construction industry and the different statutory requirements in all countries are kept centrally. The digital channels that have to be served with this data are many and varied: Product presentations on Xella's own websites, stocking web shops of affiliated retail chains, data platforms for architects, drawing up price lists for distribution or drawing up the legally required declaration documents.

The solution

Syskoplan Reply has created a solution based on the SAP Commerce Cloud (SCC), with which both of these challenges could be solved. The SAP Commerce Cloud supports a so-called “headless” system architecture where data storage and functionalities can undergo technical development and delivery separately from the user interface.

UX and UI design patterns are consistently used to present the contents from SCC in Spartacus. Spartacus is a lean, Angular based JavaScript store front for SCC, which communicates exclusively via REST APIs.

The Spartacus store front is based on a front-end design system, which facilitates the multi-brand approach. The design patterns in this system are based on various brand principles, which can be altered like variables to present the store front for the XELLA, Ytong, Silka, Hebel brands and in a brand-neutral version. However, all brands share the same pattern for customary user flows.

A product information system was developed in the SCC with which it is possible to administer and maintain the product master data sets with hundreds of attributes dynamically per product family. Workflows ensure that a high data quality can be guaranteed across spatially and organisationally distributed maintenance processes. Thanks to the integration options of the SAP product family, these product master data are also available in downstream SAP systems, such as for distribution and production.

The benefits

The combination of SAP Commerce Cloud with Spartacus as technical platform and the user-centric UX and UI approach with multi-brand design system, offers a flexible and expandable digital foundation for all other digital activities.

By using a UX and UI design library with the Spartacus store front, a perfect user experience can be guaranteed for various markets and target groups. This approach allowed the complexity within the front-end delivery of brand interactions for users and customers to be reduced and simultaneously established a viable foundation for other applications within Xella's digitalisation strategy.

Syskoplan Reply is the expert for SAP Customer Experience in the Reply network. As a specialist for customer-centric processes in the automotive, production, commerce, consumer goods and financial service sectors, Syskoplan Reply is the ideal partner for successful implementation of digitalisation initiatives with SAP Customer Experience solutions, SAP S/4Hana (customer management) and SAP analytics for major companies and SMEs. In cooperation with other specialists of the Reply network, Syskoplan Reply provides the often decisive added value for an optimal solution, whose central focus is on customer benefit.