Accelerating digital transformation
Founded in the UK in 1973, Eurocamp offers camping holidays in over 170 third-party owned campsites, across 10 markets, generating an annual revenue in excess of £100m. The company recognised that it needed to become an online-led business, with customers using the website by default. It wanted to integrate the on and offline brand experience and lay the digital foundations to support future expansion into new markets. They appointed Dept to implement digital transformation across the business.
Committed to change and improvement
After some initial investigation and discussions with internal stakeholders, Dept unearthed that the biggest frustration was that things were taking too long. For example, the process to get content updates live was taking days, due to both process inefficiency and technology that was no longer fit for purpose.
The digital team was split across departments, with the web developers sat as part of the IT team, while the digital marketing, UX team, and designers were part of the marketing team. This made communication far more difficult than it needed to be. As a result, internal projects were suffering. Things were taking too long to complete and were being built on legacy systems that were no longer fit for purpose. Technology solutions had been reactively bolted on to solve issues and this was now starting to affect the core performance of the website.
The Eurocamp team were committed to change and improvement. There were, however, constraints:
- Eurocamp had to use what they had already as much as possible (e.g. software, people, assets).
- They had to ensure that the solution was flexible enough to cater for all local market needs.
- The team had to operate the web platform after go-live; they didn’t want to rely on external suppliers to manage such a business critical system.
- There was a fixed delivery date for the project, in-line with the merger of the Eurocamp and Keycamp brands.
Five key areas
Together with Eurocamp, we reviewed the requirements, identified gaps in the processes, skills, and tools, and investigated quick wins. An internal Digital unit was established, and was tasked with focussing on five key areas:
After the initial workshops, it was clear that Eurocamp needed a space in their office where the entire team could work together. It needed a space where members of the team could quickly talk to each other and foster some team spirit. A spare office was found and the entire team moved in. Walls were painted with Idea Paint so they acted like whiteboards and a large monitor was attached to the wall to display project status and facilitate the daily stand-ups. This is very similar to how Dept work, and it was great to see the immediate effect of a single working environment had on their team.
Together we designed the ideal team structure, with Dept filling the current skill gaps.
Dept acted as mentors for the Eurocamp team. We ran master classes on key technologies and approaches, paired members of the Eurocamp team with our experts for daily mentoring sessions, and held daily tech scrums. Eurocamp’s digital team started to build in confidence. They learned new skills and started taking over key roles. The Dept team remove themselves gradually, whilst continuing to run training sessions and reviewing decisions. We also stepped in to assist with larger pieces of work when the team was at capacity. By the time of launch, the team was in a position to run the platform self-sufficiently.
Processes and controls
To achieve success, there needed to be a realistic plan. We worked ‘with agility’ (not ‘Agile’, as the business had a fixed scope and deadline). We broke the project into key deliverables and completed them one-by-one, starting with the quick-wins we highlighted during the initial investigations.
We also put in internal controls, such as Change Requests, once we got into the build. This was to make clear, the implications of changing the scope on deadline, so that the team could make informed decisions. We utilised collaboration tools, including Liquid Planner, Trello, and Jira. We implemented a number of working processes and continuous integration that enabled us to deploy new versions quickly and often.
KPIs were identified to track and measure, including page load times, server monitoring, issue resolution times, deployment times, timesheets and staff performance management.
Dept built and rolled-out 13 transactional, mobile responsive websites for Eurocamp. Content can now be repurposed across channels (including print), and local market teams have the ability to update the site much faster than previously.
Eurocamp treated digital delivery as a discipline that is critical to the business and understood that its people and processes were key to true digital transformation. Dept helped Eurocamp to implement new ways of working that were subsequently rolled-out by other areas of the business. We built internal skills so that the team was equipped to operate and run the website with limited external assistance. With multiple members of the business now trained, the digital team bottle neck has been removed so the website updates can be implemented far more rapidly.