Just over a year ago we launched our new customer support website

Glenda Roberts
Group Sales Director

Keith Gibb
Head of Web Development

Peter Webb
Software Development Manager

Anjie Baker
Web Project Manager

Tim Vince
Software Developer

Abi Burnett
Head of Marketing

Jo Devlin
Head of Projects – Strategic Team

Designed, programmed and controlled entirely in-house, we now have a secure, dynamic website that is growing every month.

As our website is primarily used by design engineers to specify the fasteners and components they require, we decided from the outset what would be needed from the new site:

  • A database driven site that would allow us to add new products quickly
  • Reference drawings for our entire range of parts
  • Downloadable PDF drawings and CAD models that would allow engineers to specify us easily
  • A responsive website that would work on any device
  • A totally reliable hosting service that could expand as required

It was a daunting task which required thousands of new drawings and graphics to be created as well as compiling a database containing dimensional and technical information on over 40,000 parts. In addition, the entire site had to be programmed from scratch within 12 months.

The in-house team of Keith Gibb, Peter Webb and Anjie Baker, supported by Abi Burnett and her marketing team delivered on time and the site, hosted on Microsoft's Azure Cloud, was launched in February 2016.

Head of Web Development, Keith Gibb says, 'The response from customers has been terrific with many commenting on the design and quality of the site. Just as importantly, our customers' engineers really appreciate the sheer amount of information we have on the site and how easy we've made it to specify our products.'

Just over a year after launch and the site has grown to over 50,000 parts with the most recent addition being a full range of enclosure hardware.

Every month the TR site is visited over 25,000 times with the average visitor staying for more than three minutes per visit. That's over 1,200 hours every month that customers are on our website. In addition, 1,400 of our 3D CAD models are downloaded every month.

Googlewhack

When we launched the site, we also introduced a global web reference system. Each reference number specifies a product precisely by type, size, material and finish and can be recognised by any TR location across the world. One unexpected benefit is search engines like them too. Entering almost any TR web reference into Google usually results in what's known as a Googlewhack. This is where a search returns only one result. Clicking on this result in Google goes straight to the exact part on the TR website.

What next?

From the outset, our aim has always been to have the largest, most innovative, most visited fastener website in the world. To help achieve this, our plans for the next 12 months include:

  • More products with the addition of over 20,000 new parts
  • Customer areas of the site allowing companies to see products and information specific to them
  • Interactive 3D models of every product range
  • 'How it works' animations for many of the more complex products
  • Expansion of the much used knowledgebase

All of the in-house programming so far has been done by TR's Software Development Manager, but it became obvious that to meet the demands of the web team, more resource was required. In September 2016, a new programmer was appointed, who will be spending much of his time helping to develop the website further.