There are unique challenges to building a global website when individual countries have differences in business structure, products and nomenclature. BFM’s launch of CDK Global was an example of how flexible information architecture and smart technology deployment can solve these challenges.

Many BFM clients are harnessing the benefits of having an integrated global website, from brand consistency and SEO advantages, to operational and technology cost savings and tighter security. One recent build which matched this profile was CDK Global, where we consolidated 40+ websites with 31 languages to fulfill the objective of becoming ‘One CDK’ .

CDK Global provides end-to-end technology solutions for dealerships across a wide range of vehicle types including cars, heavy trucks, boats and RVs. Solutions include Dealer Management Systems (DMS), digital marketing and operational solutions.

It was a prerequisite for the new CDK website to detect a user’s location and serve them local content in the relevant language. In countries with multiple languages, such as Belgium and Switzerland, users are prompted when they arrive on the website to make a language preference. In the same way, as a GDPR compliant website, CrownPeaks’s Evidon tool ensures users are served detailed cookie information and consent options in the relevant language based on their location.

However, things are rarely as simple as just providing the relevant language (or choice of language) to users based on their location. Early in the discovery and planning process we had to address the fact that CDK’s offerings in the US are considerably different from the rest of the world. In the US there are specialist products (and therefore separate businesses) for a range different vehicle types including automotive, heavy truck, marine, RV and agriculture, but in the rest of the world the CDK offering is restricted to automotive. We solved for this via a menu which, on arrival, gives users in the US the option to select their industry, at which point they can access the solutions menu. (Users in the rest of the world see only Automotive products by default.) As the use case for dealers needing to switch from RV products to automotive products to marine products is non-existent (dealers are specialists and have no need to view other industry offerings) this selection is ‘remembered’ until the user makes the decision to return to the US homepage.

CDK Global Lyft Partnership

CDK Global Automotive Screen

However, the differences between the country-specific versions of the website didn’t stop there. Although CDK’s core product around the world is their Automotive DMS, due to acquisitions over the years and specific in-country requirements, there is not a singular DMS offering across all countries, and the secondary products and services vary greatly by country. This meant that no single menu structure could accommodate the solutions without looking thin if a country had fewer products. To solve this challenge we created sitemaps for every country to map the shared (and translatable) content versus the unique content for each country. Then we developed 4 menu templates selectable and controllable in the backend. This enabled every country to have a custom menu, while sharing content with other countries where appropriate.

The result is multi-lingual site which has a combination of shared content across all countries and country-specific content. Drupal on Acquia with its robust multi-lingual capabilities and node views, combined with BFM’s design and Pactera Globalization Services produced an excellent site that unified very different markets and presented a truly global face, enabling us to deliver on the promise of “One CDK”.