The Hudson Group is an East Rutherford, New Jersey, based retailer which operates a chain of newsstands, bookstores, fast food restaurants, and other retail stores chiefly at airports in the United States, with a smaller presence in U.S. train stations and Canadian airports.
Hudson Group is a dynamic brand having its operation in more than one place. There was a need to reflect the same dynamism in their website.
The existing website was a simple one and lacked many functionalities that HG was looking for. They wanted to re-brand their website, make it dynamic and responsive and develop a customized content management system so that the entire website can be handled and updated internally without depending on an external vendor.
A special request was also to be able to manage their career/recruitment section and media management section via the CMS.
When DRC systems came on board, they not only acted as a mere external vendor responsible for website design and development but also as a strategic technical partner for their client. The DRC team shared their insight and came up with that may enhance user experience of the site both for external as well as internal public. After a lot of discussion with the client and amongst the team, the scope of work was as follows:
Hudson Group is a dynamic brand where many new information and services are added every now and then. Thus a custom content management system was required so that most elements of the website like media, theme appearance, SEO, content etc can be updated by the internal team on their own without falling back on a third party for minor changes.
Hudson Group wanted their career/recruitment process and HR process to be managed from the CMS admin. Thus a job application module was developed.
Internal and customer support module was developed where Hudson Group employees can add and track their support requests and follow-ups.
Hudson Group has multiple stores over multiple locations. DCR system facilitated a system where all the store locations, their details and brands available can be added and managed by the internal team. Also, customers were able to find location directions via map.
It will provide the easy user interface to engage the content sections to each page. One can also reorder the content sections for that page.
Nowadays people browse a website on their phones rather than on desktops. Thus a responsive website was a must. Hudson Group website was also made responsive so that it works on all kinds of devices with various resolutions.
It was ensured that Database can be stored securely with no hassle. It can be auto backed up with scheduled saving feature. Manual auto backup was also available as per user’s requirement.
The common media and other common things will be coming from cache rather than database. Also resources like css/js will be bundled and minified into single files.
The detailed log of user’s activity and the Electronic Health Records are maintained using this feature which is helpful in monitoring and mapping an individual’s behavior.
DRC Systems utmost priority is to strictly adhere to the deadline without compromising on the quality of the project. For that, a streamlined approach is followed to enhance efficiency and performance. In DRC systems, every project goes through the following stages:
The first step is to have a thorough discussion with the client and achieve as much clarity as one can about what exactly the client requires.
The DCR team made a detailed assessment of Hudson group’s current situation that included analyzing their existing website and the same was shared with them. Based on the assessment report, a list of recommendations were drafted and finalized.
At this stage a core team of expert developers, UI designers was formed that would be instrumental in molding the website as per plan.
A scheduled timeline of tasks and who would be responsible for each task was sketched out that was to be strictly followed.
Post project initiation and allocation, it was time to step by step implement and execute the plan of developing a highly customizable custom CMS. In terms of technology, ASP.NET MVC, MS SQL Server were being used. The pages of the website were already built by a previous team but were not up to the mark. DCR team re-worked the code and launched the whole platform that complied with the client’s vision. Search Engine optimization of the site was being taken care of while building the website and was incorporated within Google Analytics.
A major challenge in this project was a stringent deadline. There were lot of coding that needed rework apart from building certain elements of the site from scratch. The CMS also needed to be highly customized and dynamic with almost all major elements incorporated in the same so that it can be handled by the internal team on their own.
Also the fact that the client was not happy with the previous team’s work hence naturally there was a lot of apprehension from the client’s side. All lines of communication were kept open and transparent that helped in elevating the client’s perception and confidence in the team.