Corporate Web Development Case Study Haartz Corporation

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Corporate Web Development Case Study Haartz Corporation

Harry Bartlett

5 aspects to consider before developing a corporate website from an I.T. perspective

I spoke with John Gardner, director of IT at Haartz Corporation and other members of the IT department recently about web development and content management systems. We launched a new site for Haartz in 2014. Haartz was founded in 1897 and is the leader of automotive topping fabrics and interior trim materials. Their headquarters are in Acton, Ma., and they also have locations in Germany, India, China, Detroit and Mexico. 

Here are 5 aspects of web development that John believes are important areas to consider before starting a project like this.

  1. CMS Ease of Use: How easy is it to use the Content Management System (CMS)? This is important since the easier it is to use the CMS, then the more people can use it e.g. in the marketing department and the less time it will require the IT staff to maintain the site.
  2. Training Resources: How available are training resources for the CMS and how well supported does it look like the CMS will be in the future? The more training resources there are, such as hands on workshops and online tutorials, the easier it will be to train non-technical people on how to use the CMS and help maintain the site. Choosing a CMS that has a large installed base, is well funded and supported, reduces the risk the CMS will become out of date. This helps protect the time and cost invested in the website and CMS.
  3. Security: How secure is the site and what security tools are available? A public website often provides a security vulnerability. The CMS needs strong security capabilities as well as regular security patches.
  4. Integration with other Internal Systems: How well does the new site and CMS integrate with internal systems? The ability of the CMS to work with other systems, impacts the overall IT capability.
  5. Hosting: Can the site be easily self hosted within the corporate network? Internally hosting the site has several advantages such as better security and integration with internal systems.


The new site uses the Drupal CMS which successfully met the 5 requirements most important to John and the Haartz IT staff.

Drupal was also used for the corporate Intranet. This provided a low risk training project as well as successfully filling an ongoing need for the company. Acquia Isovera in Waltham was used for training which worked out well. 

The website has received a positive response and has not had any abnormal technical issues since launching. And since Drupal is open source the overall cost of the site and long term maintenance is considerably less expensive than other fee for license CMSs such as Percussion, SiteCore and Adobe CQ5.

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About the author

Harry started BI in 1998 and focuses on integrating best practices in branding, user experience design, Internet marketing, and technology to increase the value of an online presence.
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