BASF is the largest chemical producer in the world. The BASF group comprises subsidiaries and joint ventures in more than 80 countries with over a hundred thousand employees and 390 production sites in Europe, Asia, Australia, the Americas and Africa.
With so many people working together, internal communications is a huge challenge. The North America BASF group needed a better way to keep employees up to date with new internal developments, best practices and news from across the organization. In the past printed materials would be made available monthly, but these were often out of date by release and it was hard to track readership. An Intranet had been built using purpose built software, but many of the features were geared towards collaboration and went unused, while the editing experience for authors and reading experience for visitors were both lackluster.
BASF needed a new internal communication intranet that was a pleasure to read and easy to manage. This destination needed to be secure and follow a demanding style guide developed by the Germany-based HQ, while being flexible enough to let different departments present information in ways that made sense for their needs.
PortlandLabs took the BASF style guide and created a technical outline of how different visual elements could be powered with blocks and pages in Concrete CMS. Raw HTML was created and then turned into a Concrete CMS theme. Different subdomains could be configured to use different color palettes that were all defined within the style guide so each department could have a unique look while maintaining the same brand feel.
The site uses Single Sign On (SSO) so only BASF staff with employee authentication cards can access the Intranet. The entire platform is hosted here by the team that manages Concrete CMS. It is ISO:27001 certified as well as SOC 2 Type 2 Security and Availability compliant. It is always kept secure through an ongoing maintenance and support agreement.
BASF North America's Communication understands that bad tools lead to bad work and knew they wanted a system that was a joy to use.
During architecture, we looked for opportunities to build different ways to power the same end interface. We wanted to find the right balance of flexibility to approach new problems, and design control to keep the site on brand. This attention to detail around the editing experience increases the potential uses available for content creators.
The new Intranet has been well received in BASF North America, and it’s being noticed across the large organization. BASF Catalysts has already set up their own copy and others are in the works. PortlandLabs has extended the system with some new functionality as new ideas drive new requirements.
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PortlandLabs started as a full-service interactive media firm in 2002. Over the years, our website toolkit became the open-source ecosystem Concrete CMS.
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