Solving Business Challengeswith Data

The Challenge | Strengthen a Brand with Human-Centered Digital Design

Parts Express was refreshing its acclaimed Dayton Audio brand with a new high-output, multi-zone amplifier – which provides sonic freedom and unrivaled multi-room audio for restaurants, conference centers, offices, gaming and amusement centers, as well as private homes. The worldwide leader in audio components was looking for a digital partner with expertise in human-centered design to help launch its Matrio™ Control Mobile App for this best-in-class music system.

Parts Express is a worldwide leader in the development and distribution of audio components. The company aimed to refresh its acclaimed Dayton Audio brand known for best-in-class speakers and electronics at an affordable price. With that in mind, the product development team went to work on its most ambitious music solution yet – a multi-zone amplifier with a mobile app controller.

The new amplifier provides the ultimate customizable, multi-zone audio experience engineered with an emphasis on simplicity, flexibility, and wireless control – and with higher output power than other amps on the market. The amplifier provides complete sonic freedom and unrivaled multi-room audio for restaurants, conference centers, offices, gaming, and amusement centers, as well as private homes

To deliver on its promise of best-in-class, Parts Express needed a consumer-facing mobile app for the amplifier that would provide a user-friendly interface for music lovers to control where and how music is played. Parts Express was looking for a digital partner with expertise in human-centered digital design to strategize and build the software solution.

CEO Jeff Stahl knew the company needed a reliable partner to help develop the perfect mobile app for music lovers with a user-friendly and intuitive interface. “We’re selling the user experience, so we needed to avoid the errors and missteps that other companies make. We turned to CoStrategix for their deep technical expertise in software engineering, and their ability to infuse stellar user experience and design,” Stahl said.

Our Solution/Approach

Our approach music app

CoStrategix started with a discovery workshop and a digital design session with the key stakeholders. Together, the team gathered design and technical requirements and uncovered potential challenges to a prototype. With a people-centered design approach to simplify system complexity, CoStrategix returned with a software engineering roadmap for the new Matrio Control App.

The development process included clickable wireframe prototype designs that were tested by Parts Express employees and customers before they were approved. Timing was a challenge, as the components of the application had to be tested both on the app as well as on the amp itself. That meant coordinating demos around the manufacturing schedule.

  • Modernizing the data warehouse with leading-edge Azure cloud technologies – and co-locating the data while the new infrastructure was being built
  • Implementing a set of powerful dashboards using the Power BI visualization tool and providing self-service functionality so that users can find the data they need to deliver insights
  • Fixing data quality issues with API ingestion and improving data mapping for cleaner, real-time updates
  • Supporting security and protecting sensitive data by masking data so not all stakeholders can view it
  • Reengineering the data ingestion process and integrating data assets from a large number of systems, including data streaming for real-time transit management analytics
  • Helping to implement data governance and DataOps processes to ensure data quality and address the day-to-day needs of the organization
  • Implementing advanced analytical models to progress from merely descriptive analytics to artificial intelligence-driven predictive analytics
  • Cataloging data with tags and data lineage tracking, which is especially important for the legal team as they deal with state, federal, and international regulations

As First Transit aimed to enhance its standard operating procedures within an enterprise model, the business and IT teams had to align on which business questions were most critical in the data and analytics roadmap. As Thompson explained: “Technology alone doesn’t solve a business problem – no technology or app is a silver bullet; you have to use technology to support and enhance a business process.”

Some of the business processes that CoStrategix is helping the IT team to support are:

  • Efficiency-building and Lean Operations initiatives

    Digitizing a very manual process for managers at 300+ locations to dispatch employees and vehicles and eliminate duplication – saving many hours and significantly enhancing the group’s market competitiveness

    Tracking absenteeism and applying an artificial intelligence-driven portfolio of models to proactively forecast optimal staffing levels based on overtime availability, predicted dips/spikes, day-of-the-week trends, upcoming holidays, and more

    Performing a time analysis to make more efficient use of operators’ non-drive time in the bus yard

  • An integrated business ecosystem

    By integrating back-office apps, internal and 3rd party dispatching systems, and performance-monitoring IoT systems into a singular ecosystem, First Transit is able to automate many processes and work more efficiently. For example, the act of a driver logging into the performance system on a vehicle makes the need to clock in redundant. Similarly, synchronizing employees across the HR, telematics, diagnostics, and AVL systems eliminates the need to manually enter employees into multiple systems of records for enhanced security and compliance

  • Safety initiatives

    Creating a Safety Business Review platform to track safety incidents and service-level agreements (SLAs), and spot trends or hot spots to be proactive in resolving them

    Building an interface that tracks risks from potentially damaging situations – such as a hurricane, forest fire, snowstorm, or accident – and assesses the operational impact in order to modify scheduling and operations for continuity and safety

    Developing an ML-driven platform that examines patterns and forecasts which vehicles are more likely to experience breakdowns or accidents

  • Democratized data

    Automate the work of creating a critical management report so that business leaders can understand and respond to operational performance and efficiency metrics and drive continuous improvement

new mobile Matrio Control App

The new mobile Matrio™ Control App:

  • Allows the user to play music in up to six stereo-amplified zones and two stereo pre-amp zones
  • Accommodates a wide array of analog and digital inputs, including wi-fi (for AirPlay, Spotify Connect, DLNA, etc.) and streaming options (for Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Pandora, TIDAL, etc.)
  • Allows the user to program up to eight different audio sources
  • Integrates with LinkPlay to configure volume control
  • Enables a group to control settings for multiple zones at the same time.


The Matrio Control App provides a streamlined and easy-to-use experience that makes it simple to harness the power of the music system. The app is attractive and powerful, yet elegantly designed.

But perhaps the best measures of success are sales and reviews. Parts Express made the music system available for presale in January, ahead of a formal launch on Independence Day. The amplifier and Matrio App have received rave reviews. It’s a powerful start for the music system – and a brand-builder for Parts Express.