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2011 Quest for Quality Award Winners

CE Pro’s first-ever Quest for Quality Awards recognize readers’ selections of manufacturers and distributors they say best deliver in categories covering general communication, tech support, website, training, marketing and more.

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“You’re in good hands.” “Let’s build something together.” “We try harder.” “Over 99 billion served.” … “Who you gonna call?”

It’s a message that companies are constantly trying to hammer home: they care about customers, and with that care comes an implicit nod to their quality of service.

The same holds true in the custom electronics business, perhaps even more so with the implication the word “custom” brings to the table. There’s a particular level of service clients expect of their integrators, and as such, we often hear CE pros tout their efforts to continually raise the quality of their services.

So despite being an industry that dazzles with whiz-bang products and special effects, it’s the less-glamorous service details that can often make or break a company’s success. The same goes for the companies making the products and the distributors that help get them into the hands of installers.

The reliance on great service throughout the chain from manufacturer to distributor to integrator will ripple down to the end-user. It could be why a client prefers Brand X over Brand Y, and why an integrator hails Speaker Manufacturer X over Speaker Manufacturer Y.

Because services often go unsung thanks to the emphasis on cool products, CE Pro decided it was time to address this ultra-important area. And because CE pros’ businesses revolve around the services of the vendors and distributors, we asked our readers which companies they thought were doing the most praise-worthy job.

The resulting responses served as the basis for our first-ever Quest for Quality Awards. We surveyed our readers for open-ended nominations in several categories to tell us which manufacturers and distributors they felt offered the best: customer service/general communication, technical support, sales/marketing assistance (manufacturers only), warranty policies (manufacturers only), shipping policies, website, training programs, and dealer programs/incentives.

We also asked why you nominated the companies you did as part of the survey, for which we received roughly 2,300 responses overall (with names kept anonymous). After all, who doesn’t have a good story about how they were helped out of a late-night, weather-related or shipping-snafu jam? Here’s a look at our Quest for Quality Awards readers’ choices. For those who didn't submit the first time around, feel free to say yea or nay to your peers' picks, and give us some of your own in the comments section below.

Editor's Note: Check out the winners below and click the respective photo galleries to see why each won.

Customer Service/General Communication

Platinum — Meridian
Gold — SnapAV
Runners-up: Crestron, Lutron, Control4

Technical Support
Platinum — Crestron
Gold — HAI
Runners-up: Meridian, Access Networks, Elan

Sales/Marketing Assistance
Platinum — Lutron
Gold — Control4
Runners-up: Crestron, Paradigm, Marantz

Warranty Policies
Platinum — SpeakerCraft
Gold — Niles Audio
Runners-up: Digital Projection, Meridian, TruAudio

Shipping Policies
Platinum — NuVo Technologies
Gold — Middle Atlantic
Runners-up: Integra, Runco, Crestron

Platinum — Crestron
Gold — Control4
Runners-up: URC, Bowers & Wilkins, Lutron

Training Programs
Platinum — URC
Gold — Elan
Runners-up: Savant, Lutron, AMX

Dealer Programs/Incentives
Platinum — RTI
Gold — Sony
Runners-up: SnapAV, Meridian, SpeakerCraft

Customer Service/General Communication

Platinum — SnapAV
Gold — ADI
Runners-up: Capitol Sales, AVAD, Worthington Distribution

Technical Support
Platinum — Capitol Sales
Gold — SnapAV
Runners-up: ADI, Wave Electronics, Almo

Shipping Policies
Platinum — AVAD
Gold — Capitol Sales
Runners-up: Worthington Distribution, Wave Electronics, Electronic Stockroom

Platinum — SnapAV
Gold — D&H
Runners-up: Capitol Sales, Volutone, ADI

Training Programs
Platinum — AVAD
Gold — Electronic Stockroom
Runners-up: Electronics Source, ADI, Capitol Sales

Dealer Program/Incentives
Platinum — ADI
Gold — Worthington
Runners-up: SnapAV, AVAD, Electronic Stockroom

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Article Topics

News · Distributors · Quest For Quality Awards · All topics

About the Author

Arlen Schweiger
Arlen Schweiger is managing editor of CE Pro and Commercial Integrator magazines. Arlen contributes installation features, business profiles, manufacturer news and product reviews.

10 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by NoDuh  on  03/28  at  11:12 AM

Gee what a coincidence! All the winners advertise in Cepro.

Posted by Julie Jacobson  on  03/28  at  11:36 AM

Hi, NoDuh—Most of the industry’s leading companies do advertise in CE Pro, but some of the winners don’t advertise at all or have not advertised for a long time.

Posted by Julie Jacobson  on  03/28  at  02:04 PM

Congratulations, by the way! I was surprised not to see Worthington for training programs and SnapAV for dealer incentives. Not surprised at all that Crestron took the prize for Web site. It is certainly every editor’s dream site.

Posted by mark nagle  on  03/30  at  12:15 AM

Julie, Snap was a runner up on incentives, They were my pick on many of the categories, and I didnt pick based on the largest ad either.

Posted by doug  on  03/30  at  08:09 AM

I can’t believe that Extron is not in any of the lists. they have great tech support, website, marketing, warranty policy and products and training.

Posted by Julie Jacobson  on  03/30  at  08:20 AM

Well they are NOW, Doug! Thanks for commenting.

Posted by Victor Gurel  on  03/31  at  07:28 AM

Not suprised Snap did so well. They are some easy to deal with I cant make myself buy anywhere else!

Posted by GETREAL  on  04/06  at  08:49 PM

Just saw the April CEPRO Magazine. All the award winners have advertisment/testimonial pages in it. CEPRO should just award every vendor in the industry. They would sell even more ads!!

Posted by mark nagle  on  04/06  at  10:52 PM

I know very little about marketing, but If you think about it in every magazine that any company gets recognition, the company will advertise in THAT issue regardless of if they advertise previously.

If there is an article in food magazine that has a recipe that calls for mac and cheese, you better believe there will be an ad from Kraft.
Another example march/april electronic house pg 23 has a showcase of First Impressions theater, is it a coincidence that pg 56,57 is a 2 page ad from FI, no it is not a coincidence. I know FI does advertise, but I don’t think I have ever seen a full 2 page ad from them. You would be foolish NOT to take an ad in that case. Think of all the readers that might see that theater, and think “who is this company” “ohhh look here, wow, look at the work they do”

I think all the conspiracy theorists need a hobby

Posted by Adam Levy  on  04/07  at  10:03 AM

@ mark nagle

I agree with everything you said…except for the part where you claim to “know very little about marketing”.

Seems like you know more than you give yourself credit for grin

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