The Thomas Miller group is a global insurance, investment and managed services umbrella, with a portfolio of the leading insurance mutual’s, managed service and asset management companies. Whilst historically Thomas Millers heritage is in marine insurance, its portfolio of companies now spans many sectors and services.
As an owner/manager of a diverse set of companies, the Thomas Miller family of websites suffered from a lack of consistency, quality and coherence. Each business had worked independently, resulting in a costly collection of disparate websites.
The brief was therefore to not only to redesign the main Thomas Miller group website, but more importantly to create a framework for all the websites within the group which would:
- Establish family feel across brands
- Enforce standards, quality and consistency
- Encourage cross sell where relevant
- Provide a group wide CMS platform
- Reduce operational costs
Ultimately the new website framework needed to deliver a greater value than a simple collection of websites, establishing the group online.
A unique aspect of the Thomas Miller family of companies is the autonomous nature of many of the businesses.
The key challenges were therefore to:
- Establish buy-in and agreement from individual business units who historically rejected central control
- Create a group level visual framework across multiple brands and sectors, whilst allowing individual brands their own identity.
- Develop a multi-site CMS framework capable of powering a wide range of different websites each having their own unique requirements.
- Encourage and foster a cultural change, helping to usher in a more marketing/sales oriented approach to communication.
- Ensure all the individual quirks did not create an overly complex and ungainly solution, keeping it clean and simple.
The framework we developed for Thomas Miller was far more than a multi-site project, providing the group with the following:
- Dramatically lowered operational cost as multiple platforms and teams were centralised.
- Established a Thomas Miller family feel to all the websites migrated into the framework.
- Provided a single shared content management system based on an enterprise class open source platform TYPO3 CMS.
- Greatly improved uptime and continuity.
- Enabling skills sharing and support between business units.
- Significant improvement in overall SEO ranking.
Whilst there were a number of group level benefits, each of the new websites delivered a number of business specific benefits to each of the companies within the group.
The project has been deemed to be a real success by the group, as it has not only lowered operational costs, but more importantly it has improved quality, standards and cohesion.
Since this project the UK P&I website, branded with the Thomas Miller theme, was awarded a Best in Class Interactive Media Award (IMA) under the Insurance category along with a W3 Award.