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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By Arlen Schweiger
March 28, 2011
“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.

MANUFACTURERS
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

Website
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

DISTRIBUTORS
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

Website
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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