Home Client Work Website & e-Commerce Startronix Modular Systems

The Challenge
Startronix Modular Systems is a fabricator of enclosures and accessories for server rooms and wiring closets. It competes directly with giants like APW, Rittal and APC in the same markets. When Startronix approached crossroad solutions to build their website and order processing application, it was an exciting venture for us to undertake. Having an expertise in networking technlogies and being a consumer ourselves of their equipment, it gave us a head-start in domain knowledge over other web development firms. However, the market for these products being so technical and competitive, the key to a successful website was in making the selection process for customers as easy as possible. Highlighting Startronix's strengths, those of high quality and low costs, and building a site around clean and elegant design principles has resulted in a very appealing website for its customers worldwide.

The Process
After receiving all marketinig collateral from Startronix, we started an extensive audit of all existing writeups, brochures, product shots and technical specifications. We looked at competitors' websites and their services to see what the market was like and who was doing what. It became clear that to really differentiate Startronix from other enclosure manfacturers in a relatively crowded market, we had to highlight their ability to produce customised, low-cost products that would solve specific problems.

We first grouped all products into logical units so that it would be easy for customers to find the products that best suit their needs. Content copy had to be rewritten and a series of photoshoots were required to complete the new online catalogue. All this information was put into a database so that it could be retrieved later to generate the dynamic web pages. After a couple of weeks of brainstorming we came up with a simple yet elegant data model that could be used not only for generating dynamic product listings but also to create all navigation elements, including drop down menus, side navigations and to display a products position in the product tree, useful to backtrack to a higher level.

The dynamically generated drop-down menus make it easy to quickly find products that best suit a customer's needs. The careful use of 1-pixel white lines that form highly structured grids, give the website a sense of precision. We hope this further helps enforce Startronix's reputation of being a manufacturer of high quality products.

We then wrote our own search routines using MySQL's "fulltext" search facilities so that visitors could find products by keywords or by descriptive text anywhere in the database.

This of course, solves only half the required problem, that of displaying products that already exist. We are currently working on a way to let clients build custom racks and enclosures with the ability to automatically generate their corresponding part numbers. Startronix uses a unique part numbering scheme to identify all their products and variants. This helps coordinate between administration, engineering and manufacturing. Looking at a part number, it becomes clear to anyone even on the shop floor what a part refers to and what its specifications are. Modeling their part-numbering was one of the most challenging puzzles we have undertaken so far.

The Result
Startronix's website is so far one of the best we have developed, not simply because of its aesthetics but also the clever coding techniques used to create an appearance of elegance and simplicity, while hiding the underlying complexity in design as well as content.

The website attracts a lot of interest from overseas clients who find the quality and price of Startronix's products very appealing. It has helped expand its Bangalore-centric market to other parts of the country, as well as open new business opportunities with other manufacturers around the world.

The home page. A prominent image on every page acts as an anchor, leading the eye directly to the heading right below the image. This image adds most of the colour to the generally monochromatic appearance of the website. Notice again the 1-pixel white lines and also the subtle blue bands in the background.