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Building the Homes of Tomorrow: Plant Prefab & Contentful

Building the Homes of Tomorrow: Plant Prefab & Contentful

Plant Prefab is the fist construction company and prefabricated design company in all of the United States that is dedicated to sustainable construction.

It is claimed that Plant Prefab is capable of building homes at a faster rate than more traditional methods. Faster, in fact, by 20 to 50%.

Building the Homes of Tomorrow: Plant Prefab & ContentfulHowever, they did come into a problem. They weren’t able to actually showcase what they have to offer to customers. Its content management system at the time lacked the technical architecture that would have allowed online visitors and potential clients to view different configuration options when it came to designing a home.

Yet Plant Prefab really wanted the ability to demonstrate to their clients their huge variety of materials and products. So the solution was a replatforming project that would switch their content management system.

In the past, the website of Plant Prefab as well as their 3D configurator were both located in separate teck stacks. The answer would be to find a single source of truth, a centralized hub for its content. In addition, the company was in search of a better way to manage its data modeling. Not only that, but home designs had to be anchored to architects, keep track of home specs, etc. Plus the design data for homes needed to be organized down to the square inch to implement accurate cost comparisons.

Implementing these changes was all fine and dandy, yet it had a tight deadline to adhere to. 

Delivering homes of the future

After searching the landscape far and wide, Plant Prefab decided to replatform all of their digital content with Contentful. They knew that the content management system of Contentful was an agile platform with a headless approach, enabling the company to roll out greater digital enhancements at a quicker pace while making sure that its data is protected and secured. 

Even as the direction of the project changed courses multiple times, due to Contentful’s flexibility in data structure, they were able to design a database in sprints. The customizability of the CMS platform also fits nicely with the complex data structure of Plant Prefab, and its necessity to deliver data across many locations.

The development agency that worked with Plant Prefab on their project created two separate front-end online experiences: one for the website and one for the 3D home configurator.

Building the Homes of Tomorrow: Plant Prefab & ContentfulThe first experience, the website, is a gatsby.js application which uses CircleCI for continuous deployment by using Contentful webhooks. The CMS platform also works well with the front-end on AWS – this is where the 3D configurator is based – as well as Heroku – where the website front-end is based. This way, exchanging data between the two can be achieved easily.

The website uses a Gatsby webhook while its 3D configurator uses the Contentful API. 

They do have future plans to move the website to AWS, which will have the result of cleaning up those old legacy requirements. This clean up operation will be much easier with Contetnful as the platform is native to the cloud.

When it comes to the content itself, the agile CMS lets the workers at Plant Prefab to add items such as new homes, new 3D models, new materials, at a faster pace.

Now, Plant Prefab’s new platform is setting new foundations for ecommerce with functions like easily calculating the most current material costs and providing a total cost of ownership budget estimate. Their clients no longer have to guess and wonder whether they are being shown the latest cost or latest materials.

The results

After replatforming to Contentful, Plant Prefab soon realized the importance of their new content management system. They found a number of strong results, such as a 92% increase in return visits; a 27% increase in the time spent on the page per user; a 355% increase in qualified leads. And it also resulted in its bounce rate plummeting from 46% to 11%.

PS: ArganoUV is one of the world’s leading Contentful experts. Contact us to see how we can work together.

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