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CE Pro’s 2019 Quest for Quality Awards: Best Suppliers in the Home-Tech Channel

Manufacturers and distributors serving the custom channel must stay on top of communications, lead generation, technology services, website resources, social media matters and more to help integrators profit. Here’s how the industry’s best stay at it and earn CE Pro’s Quest for Quality Awards.

CE Pro’s 2019 Quest for Quality Awards: Best Suppliers in the Home-Tech Channel

Photos & Slideshow

Jason Knott · March 25, 2019

We have plenty of awards programs and "Best of" accolades in the home-technology channel for products and technologies that wow dealers and consumers alike. But integrators rarely choose product lines based on feature sets and technological innovation alone. They consider the strength of the vendors that develop and support the products.

That’s why CE Pro continues to survey our readership to find out which manufacturers and distributors in the custom integration channel help dealers meet all the expectations and aspirations of their clients.

Now in its ninth year, the Quest for Quality Awards includes silver, gold and platinum honors for those companies that have been singled out in numerous checkbox categories by integrators for their commitment to service — whether it’s general communication, tech support, warranties, sales and marketing help, shipping, lead generation, incentive programs, training, trade show offerings, website and social media presence and more.

Many names have earned repeat appearances on the list, some have even been included or noted in the same category for most or all of the nine years in the Q4Q’s history.

Other names are new to receiving the accolades. In any case, it’s no simple feat to earn the award; integrators voted for favored manufacturers and distributors by actually typing in their names, not merely clicking on a dropdown menu to pick out a company — and this year CE Pro received 7,560 votes in total.

Also, as in past years, we are including “Category Kudos” that honor companies whose dealer bases may not be able to match the sheer numbers of some larger suppliers but whose standout services garner a loyal and vocal integrator following.

So kudos to every manufacturer and supplier on our list. Read on for their own commentary on why they believe they earned integrators’ votes, or in some instances find comments from the pros doing the voting


Manufacturers 


CUSTOMER SERVICE/ GENERAL COMMUNICATION


PLATINUM – SnapAV 

“Each of our SnapAV Customer Satisfaction Specialists is focused on not only improving the experience of our customers, but on going above and beyond to make an integrator’s day and help their business succeed. We’re constantly reevaluating whether or not we are meeting the mark and use the great feedback we get from our integrators to continue to improve and provide the best customer service experience in the industry.” —Dawn Boland, customer experience officer

GOLD – Control4

“We are honored and excited to be recognized by our dealers in this category again! Providing excellent customer service is our utmost priority, and we’re always looking to enhance the experience. We think like our dealers to provide services and solutions that allow them to choose the best route. Remaining agile through a constantly growing and changing landscape is key for the success of both our dealers, and for our team members who are assisting them.” —Amy Longaker, senior manager, sales support

SILVER – Elk Products

“Our customer service team applies the core values of Elk Products to every customer interaction. Offering reliable solutions while providing exceptional customer service stays true to the story that embarked 25 years ago. Our award-winning team continues to stay dedicated to ensuring prompt and intelligent interactions with each customer. We distinguish ourselves by confidently endorsing proven products and providing timely solutions for customers while building and maintaining trusted relationships.” —Katie Fox, sales & customer service manager 


TECHNICAL SUPPORT


PLATINUM – Control4 

“Control4 dealers are the best in the industry at delivering fantastic smart home solutions, but when they get stuck and need technical help, Control4’s veteran support team is there. With an online knowledgebase, live-chat, and around the-clock phone support, our team ensures that every issue is 100 percent resolved, even if that means sending a Control4 technician to the home. We love our dealers, and we delight in their success, whether or not they need our help!” —Scott Jeffery, senior director, worldwide support services

GOLD – SnapAV

“When dealers call our Technical Support team, they’re connecting with someone who is passionate about solving problems and getting a resolution in as little time as possible. Many of our Technical Support Specialists have years of experience in the field, so they know how important it is to provide a quick solution and minimize any disruption.” —Dawn Boland, customer experience officer

SILVER – Coastal Source

“Coastal Source’s goal is to keep our high-performance lighting and audio systems simple and reliable and when technical support is needed quickly respond with solutions.” —Franco D’Ascanio, president


LEAD GENERATION


PLATINUM – Control4

“We take a comprehensive approach to connecting our dealers with homeowners. We use both direct response and awareness-driven campaigns focused on capturing consumers’ smart home interest, educating them on the benefits of a professionally installed system, and matching them with the right dealer to help them achieve their smart home dream. We also provide our dealers, who have their own marketing machine, with the ability to partner with us on certain campaigns and receive co-op funding.” —Tyler Reed, director, demand generation

GOLD – Lutron 

“Lutron’s first company principle is to take care of customers, and as such, we strive to support our dealers in every aspect of their businesses, from innovative products that ‘just work,’ to robust sales and marketing programs, to online tools that foster streamlined business interactions. Lutron is committed to the dealer community and will continue to deliver products, programs and services that positively impact their top and bottom line.” —Michael Smith, vice president

SILVER – Nest

“We have received quality leads from Nest’s ‘Find an Installer’ link on its website.” —Verbatim comment from reader


SALES/MARKETING ASSISTANCE 


PLATINUM – Control4

“One of Control4’s main goals is to continuously provide our dealers with more efficient ways to support their clients, as well as improve their bottom line. How can we help our dealers have fewer truck rolls each day? What could we do to offer better remote management systems? Are there easier ways to integrate more devices that the Control4 system interoperates with? By asking ourselves these questions and listening to dealer and industry feedback, we’re able to offer great RMR support programs. We’re honored that our dealers and the industry are acknowledging these efforts, and we plan to continue to improve in the future.” —Brad Hintze, senior director, product marketing

GOLD – Coastal Source

“Many dealers don’t have the time or resources to produce professional sales and marketing materials. Our significant archives and talented staff contribute to our dealers’ success.” —Franco D’Ascanio, president

SILVER – Nortek Security & Control

“We’re honored to be recognized with a Quest for Quality Award for our sales and marketing. Our dedicated team of regional sales managers and technical specialists is backed by an inside sales team — and of course our Dealer Portal — to support you however works best for you. One area where we’ve had great feedback from our dealers is with regard to the Nortek New Home program. We used to call it the Elan New Home Program but it’s much bigger than just control. We match dealers with builders and provide marketing support and training in a way that’s proving to be a win-win-win.” —Bill Hensley, senior director, marketing


RMR SUPPORT PROGRAMS


PLATINUM – SnapAV

“The ability to remotely monitor and troubleshoot a client’s full list of connected products from the OvrC platform gives dealers the confidence to create valuable service revenues for their business. Recent OvrC adoption by Parasol and OneVision builds on that confidence, giving dealers yet another opportunity to generate RMR. Our team is continuing to invest in the platform to help dealers become even more successful, in both efficiently serving their clients and adding ongoing value. We’re really excited about what’s to come. Stay tuned!” —Kenny Kim, vice president of connected products

GOLD – Control4

“With the addition of our Certified Showroom Program, the new Tiny Smart Home, and new partnerships, we are working to create spaces where consumers, architects, designers, builders and whoever else can come and experience true home automation in a setting that simulates the possibilities with Control4 and our dealers.” —Brad Hintze, senior director, product marketing

SILVER – Crestron

“We are proud to offer our dealers free access to MyCrestron.com, allowing them to receive notifications on all of their customers’ projects.” —John Clancy, vice president, residential


SOFTWARE SUPPORT


PLATINUM – D-Tools

“Recognition by our industry peers for the third year in a row validates that our effort to put customers first is resonating. At D-Tools, we consider it our responsibility to take our customers by the hand and walk them down the path to success. Further, we acknowledge that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to training and support. For this reason, we’ve developed a multipath approach to training that includes onsite, online and regional trainings, a bi-weekly webinar series, an eLearning platform, and a comprehensive knowledgebase. Additionally, our support technicians and professional service consultants work diligently to respond to how-to questions, develop custom reports, assist with catalog development and more.” —Randy Stearns, CEO

GOLD – iPoint

“iPoint stands out in the business management category because when you join the iPoint community, we become an extension of your team. All of our community members know that when they deal with iPoint they are dealing with trained professionals that truly want to help them succeed.” —Brian Good, vice president of sales and marketing

SILVER – ProjX360

“All of our development and service is done in-house and not farmed out overseas, whereas a lot of our competitors use over-seas developers for their product. Our software is also built in the latest LAMP (Linux Apache MySQL PHP) technology, whereas the majority of our competitors are still developing desktop software in outdated platforms. Our software is also developed specifically for the custom integrator and is a complete end-to-end solution, from sales to proposals to project management into service and coming soon inventory management.” —Doug Greenwald, CEO/founder


WARRANTY POLICIES


PLATINUM – SnapAV

“As former integrators, we understand how disruptive it is when products don’t work as they should on the jobsite. We do everything in our power to make sure our products perform at the highest levels, from a thorough product development process to extensive equipment testing.” —David Moore, vice president of software and engineering

GOLD – Crestron

“We are proud to offer best-in-class warranty coverage on all our offerings, including the lifetime warranties on lighting, shading and speakers.” —John Clancy, vice president, residential

SILVER – Coastal Source

Great products warrant great warranties!” —Franco D’Ascanio, president


SHIPPING POLICIES


PLATINUM – SnapAV

“We know that getting our products into a dealer’s hands quickly is key in helping grow their business. We’re constantly looking for new ways to improve our customers’ shipping experience, including same-day shipping on orders placed before 7 p.m. EST, expedited delivery, FedEx Hold at Location, and local pickup at our growing network of warehouses. We strive to make our shipping procedures fast and flexible to keep pace with an integrator’s demanding schedule.” —Nathan Porter, vice president of operations

GOLD – Control4

“Fast, friendly, and efficient shipping policies and practices are key aspects we continually focus to improve to provide an overall great experience. We continue enhancing our offerings with developments to the Control4 Dealer Portal, have added to our worldwide fulfillment center operations, and have opened a new fulfillment site in Kentucky to better support our East Coast dealer base. We persist to provide free ground shipping minimums to all our dealers and offer increased free shipping benefits for our buying group and premier dealers.” —Kevin Colburn, fulfillment director

SILVER – Vanco

“We can confidently say that Vanco’s free freight policies are some of the most competitive in the industry. We work hard to proficiently expedite shipping orders for urgent installation needs on any of our 3,000+ product SKUs. To eliminate the possibility of errors and delays, we have implemented a rigorous scanning and tracking process, which allows us to provide distributors with live shipping updates on all orders. With this new, innovative, state-of-the-art tracking system, our authorized resellers are protected because orders are manually screened by a trained group of individuals who pick, scan and compare each serialized product against the corresponding purchase order numbers. This process guarantees order accuracy while also ensuring that distributors are not selling to any unauthorized resellers who may violate MAP pricing.” —Mark Corbin, president


DEALER/INTEGRATOR WEBSITE


PLATINUM – SnapAV

“In an industry with a very tight labor market, saving an integrator a few minutes with a website designed around their needs is crucial. We design our website’s features and make improvements based on the generous feedback we get from our integrators. From leveraging a previous rack design for a new job to saving products in a Job List that can be easily shared with another team member, the features we create are driven by our customers and designed to save them time.” —Bike Howard, vice president, eCommerce

GOLD – Control4

“Besides offering a premium e-commerce experience, the Control4 Dealer Portal provides integrators with a best-in-class support section with online chat, knowledgebase and revamped global online RMA submission. An evolving training platform for technicians helps them level-up their skills with PCNA, centralized lighting and automated programmer certifications. It also helps marketers personalize their dealer locator microsites with logo, employee bios and showroom gallery, and we also provide dealers with at-a-glance metrics to make sure they can maximize their benefits with the Control4 Premier Dealer program.” —JD Cargile, web applications director

SILVER – URC

“The URC Dealer Portal is a comprehensive resource for URC dealers and integration partners. Dealers can place orders for URC and third-party products — and download software, two-way modules, marketing materials, product images, manuals and other technical resources. It offers online order and account management, including seamless access to order history, tracking and invoices. The URC Dealer Portal is also a robust training resource. Dealers can view schedules and register for in-person, webinar and self-paced training.” —Anne Gattoni, director marketing and communications


CONSUMER-FACING WEBSITE


PLATINUM – Sony

“My local independent rep regular feeds me leads from the Sony premium home website.” —Verbatim comment from reader

GOLD – LG

“LG’s Signature website includes case studies, and smart appliances ... attracting a range of potential buyers.” —Verbatim comment from reader

SILVER – Sonos

“Our website is a great resource for educating customers on our easy-to-use wireless home sound system. Our newly designed Store Locator can also put customers in touch with professional installers in the area, based on store type, products sold and services offered.” —Marta Cacioppo, installed solutions marketing manager


TRAINING PROGRAMS


PLATINUM – URC

“Each year, thousands of loyal URC dealers attend training events, join our live webinars and actively engage with our eLearning curriculum. All URC training sessions are hosted by highly experienced programming and training specialists. Hands-on integration with devices and equipment offers the ultimate realistic experience, complete with real-life scenarios and exercises that dealers can relate to. Our flagship Total Control three-day certification training, held throughout the United States and in select international venues, delivers the perfect amount of knowledge and information that dealers can retain and utilize in the field, including a step-by-step learning process with review exercises.” —Russ Hoffman, director of training and technical support

GOLD – Coastal Source

“Although our lighting and audio systems are known for their simplicity they are different from conventional systems. Quality educational training that’s interesting, interactive and hands-on positions our dealers with the knowledge and confidence they need to be successful.” —Franco D’Ascanio, president

SILVER – Crestron

“We stand alone amongst the competition in offering world-class training facilities globally, in addition to robust course offerings.” —John Clancy, vice president, residential


DEALER PROGRAMS/INCENTIVES


PLATINUM – SnapAV

“The goal of Partner Rewards is to thank our dealers for doing business with us. We’re grateful for their loyalty, and we’re constantly looking for new ways to show our appreciation through perks like special pricing and discounts, free shipping and exclusive promotions. With that in mind, we’ve revamped our popular Holy Snap Rewards Program this year to give our Partner Rewards dealers more rewards and more chances to earn points.” —Janyl Yousefpour, vice president of customer marketing

GOLD – Sony

“Our award-winning CIS program for custom integrators delivers profitable products with cutting-edge performance, tightly controlled product distribution and best-in-class dealer support resources. Our national network of manufacturer’s representatives and ES technical trainers, the best in the industry, provide Sony CIS dealers with the local support they need to grow their business, including coop advertising, extensive product training, promotional updates, marketing plans and more.” —Frank Sterns, vice president, audio/video specialty & custom integration

SILVER – Savant

“Savant’s Ambassador program recognizes integration firms for their knowledge and proficiency across key Savant product categories and delivers unique benefits and sales tools. Savant Ambassadors are key in helping to define new product features and evaluating new technologies and are invited to participate in Savant’s extensive Beta program as well as receive priority access to technical support. They can also earn valuable volume incentive rebates (VIR) and benefit from unique marketing programs.” —Sarah Harrington, corporate marketing


DEALER PROTECTION POLICIES


PLATINUM – Sony

“Our ES products, built specifically for custom integration, come with class-leading warranties, 60-day A-stock advance exchange and a dedicated, U.S.-based support line.” —Frank Sterns, vice president, audio/video specialty & custom integration

GOLD– Bose

“Bose protects its MAP pricing strongly to preserve our margin. Thank you Bose!” —Verbatim comment from reader

SILVER – Control4

“Control4 is completely committed to business owners who commit their investment, time and resources to partner with us. This commitment can be seen in our investment in education and support through both live/in-person and online/packaged interaction and content, our consistent support of our certification program and the qualification process for new business owners to partner with us, and in the way we react to and shut down instances of our product showing up for sale in online stores or other unauthorized venues.” —Jeff Dungan, senior vice president business development and supply chain ops


TRADE SHOW PRESENCE


PLATINUM – Sony

“At CEDIA Expo, we showcased our proprietary CLED display technology to garner ‘best of show’ honors for its breathtaking 220-inch picture.” —Frank Sterns, vice president, audio/video specialty & custom integration

GOLD – Dish Network

“This recognition is the result of a great team effort between our custom integration sales team and our corporate marketing group. For the past few years, we have been able to plan for big events much further in advance. So what we end up with is a nicely integrated campaign that includes a killer booth, the right staff on hand, sponsorships on the trade show floor and throughout the city, training programs and social events.” —Frank DeFilippis, national sales manager, custom integration, Dish Network

SILVER – Nortek Security & Control

“We take our trade show initiatives very seriously because we know that dealers who attend are taking themselves out of the field and away from their customers. Shows give us a chance to demo new products and what’s coming up, but they are perfect opportunities to listen to our dealers and hear firsthand the factors in the field that are affecting their business.” —Bill Hensley, senior director, marketing


SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE


PLATINUM – Sonos

“Social media allows us to engage with our Sonos customers and dealers, provide education on new products and features, and offer 24/7 technical support.” —Marta Cacioppo, installed solutions marketing manager

GOLD – Nest

“Nest creatively features on social media how thermostats can interface with other Google products.” —Verbatim comment from reader

SILVER – Control4

“We embrace social media for the ability it provides to generate increased traffic and leads, but to us, it’s even more so about building relationships within our social communities. It is gratifying to interact with individuals and families who have benefited from our products and share their stories, educate our customers and other followers who are interested in new-age technology, and express the immense appreciation that we have for our dealer base.” —Crystal Watts, senior manager, marketing communications


CO-OP ADVERTISING PROGRAM


PLATINUM – Lutron

“Lutron’s first company principle is to take care of customers, and as such, we strive to support our dealers in every aspect of their businesses, from innovative products that ‘just work,’ to robust sales and marketing programs, to online tools that foster streamlined business interactions.”—Michael Smith, vice president

GOLD – Control4

“We take a comprehensive approach to connecting our dealers with homeowners. We use both direct response and awareness-driven campaigns focused on capturing consumers’ smart home interest, educating them on the benefits of a professionally installed system, and matching them with the right dealer to help them achieve their smart home dream. We also provide our dealers, who have their own marketing machine, with the ability to partner with us on certain campaigns and receive co-op funding.” —Tyler Reed, director, demand generation

SILVER – Sony

“The AV Specialty Group at Sony knows how to take care of its dealers.” —Verbatim comment from reader


DISTRIBUTORS


CUSTOMER SERVICE/GENERAL COMMUNICATION


PLATINUM – Skywalker AV

“Taking Platinum in this category once again comes down to one thing — people. We’re fortunate to have a team of great people that genuinely care. From top down, everyone here is willing to go above and beyond to provide fast and friendly service. We continue to thrive by building relationships and giving each customer a personal buying experience.” —Randy Criebaum, president

GOLD – Allnet/SnapAV

“We view ourselves as an extension of our vendor partners and feel it’s our responsibility to communicate product changes, new product introductions, new product application, special sales, software up-dates — anything that a customer would expect if they had a direct relationship with the vendor.” —Wally Whinna, executive vice president

SILVER – Future Ready Solutions

“Customer service is the alpha and omega of the Future Ready Solutions experience. From the point of first contact, whether by phone, email or live chat, we strive to keep our customers informed on any aspect of their requests, from accounting questions to technical support.” —Eric Bodley, president


TECHNICAL SUPPORT


PLATINUM – Future Ready Solutions

“Future Ready Solutions’ founding principles are based on assembling and testing brands of connectivity solutions that are proven to work together — period. So our technical support starts even before the purchase is made. We provide consultative services for design and sales on both on our website and over the phone, and welcome and encourage our customers to contact us early, and often. Our motto is ‘Don’t install a service call.’ When a technical issue does arise, we have direct hotlines to dedicated technical support all our brands and will conference the field technician in with our contact in real-time, if necessary.” —Eric Bodley, president

GOLD –PowerHouse Alliance

“Though we have training programs for many of our vendor partners across home control, networking, audio, and many other consumer electronics categories, integrators also benefit from expertise and support provided by their local PowerHouse Alliance distributor. Each distributor’s team is knowledgeable on industry trends, offering a one-stop shop for product, the expertise to help guide them through system design, installation best practices, troubleshooting, and finally the technical support on thousands of products.” —Dennis Holzer, executive director

SILVER – Allnet/SnapAV

“Allnet views the time after the sale as important as the sale itself. By providing first line technical support we are saving our customer both time and money. Our business is ever-changing, and installations are getting more complicated, so dealers need our technical expertise more than ever.” —Wally Whinna, executive vice president


SHIPPING POLICIES


PLATINUM – Skywalker AV

“Our platinum-rated shipping policy is tough to beat and popular among dealers. We have amazing wholesale prices and freight is on the house with orders over $750.” —Randy Criebaum, president

GOLD – Volutone/SnapAV

“We pride ourselves on delivering products within one business day. Whether it’s getting dealers what they need from will call pick-up at their local branch, delivery to the jobsite from one of our vans, or same-day delivery through our courier service, we pride ourselves on providing expedient access to products. We offer a comprehensive shipping program with free small parcel shipping on orders over $299, free van deliveries on orders over $999, free pallet shipping on orders over $1,999, and 40 percent o shipping to Hawaii on qualifying orders. We also now o er after-hours, secure pick-up rooms at most of our locations, giving dealers even more flexibility.” —Trevor Hansen, president 

SILVER – Allnet/SnapAV

“Allnet has a generous shipping policy. Ground web orders are always free freight, even if it’s only a wall plate. Other orders have a modest $750 threshold for free freight. We also do courier service to the jobsite. New this year is 24-hour will call at all branches. Dealers can pick up product at night, early in the morning or get that one item they need to finish a job over the weekend.” —Wally Whinna, executive vice president


WEBSITE


PLATINUM – Anixter

“Anixter is focused on lowering the cost, risk and complexity of our customers’ supply chains. From checking product specs and availability to fast and simple online ordering, we help our customers respond faster with real-time access to the products and information they need. We are passionate about technology and innovation and continually work with our customers to understand their needs and gather their feedback to constantly improve our offering.” —David Busco, director of marketing – global solutions marketing

GOLD – Tech Data

Tech Data’s website handles 50,000+ daily transactions and includes technical resources for integrators.

SILVER – Portal

“At Portal, building a great web experience for dealers is all we’re focused on. We believe that finding and ordering products should be the easiest part of a dealer’s job. That starts with a curated catalog of products and a built-in Proposal tool. Most companies launch a website and move on. Not Portal. We’re constantly working to improve and add features to help dealers run their business better. This award serves once again as recognition of all of the hard work our team puts into building the best dealer portal in the industry.” —Josh Willits, president of A/V


TRAINING PROGRAMS


PLATINUM – PowerHouse Alliance

“In 2018 alone, we provided over 200 training and local trade show-style special events with updates on security, home control, networking, audio/video, and other installation best practices.” —Dennis Holzer, executive director

GOLD – Future Ready Solutions

“Our training programs are engaging, educational, and based on real takeaways that attendees find useful for months and years to come. We offer frequent webinars, and have robust library of online training, installation and ‘how-to’ videos. We also participate in all the CEDIA Tech Summits and several training events hosted by our network of local rep firms.” —Eric Bodley, president

SILVER – ADI

“Education and training are major initiatives at ADI. Free for all ADI customers, the ADI Expo program has been the industry’s largest one-day educational and sales event for over 25 years. We hold more than 40 Expos across North America each year, and new for 2019 we’re including a business management seminar track. In addition, we continue to work with industry associations and leading manufacturers to provide training opportunities at all our branch locations as well.” —Marco Cardazzi, vice president of global marketing


DEALER PROGRAMS/INCENTIVES


PLATINUM – WAVE Electronics/AVAD

“WAVE’s 9/3 Rebate Program has received tremendous success over the last five years. Dealers can receive up to a 9 percent rebate on MSTR brand commodity goods like TV mounts, HDMI cables, equipment racks, power products and Elura speakers. Over the last year we have been able to add top vendors including Savant, Luxul, Just Add Power, Atlona and Panamax to our 9 percent rebates. Dealers can also get up to a 3 percent rebate on all other A-brand products like Bose, Sony, Samsung, Sonos, Honeywell, 2GIG, URC and the rest of our 130+ product lines.” —Holly Ford, director of marketing

GOLD – Skywalker AV

“We’re extremely proud to have won the gold award in this category once again. At Skywalker AV Supply, we continue to provide a mix of diverse products with competitive pricing. Combine that with our platinum shipping policy and dealers really benefit from doing business with us.” —Randy Criebaum, president

SILVER – Volutone/SnapAV

“The Volutone Rewards Program offers 1, 2, 3 and 4 percent payouts at preset tiers to help grow a dealer’s business and reward them along the way. Purchases count toward qualifying rewards thresholds and payouts are made on all qualifying product lines. With a few exclusions, we’ve made the minimum thresholds very low and the successive tiers very lucrative. In addition, we’ve created a dashboard to help dealers track their performance and see their progress toward their next payout.” —Trevor Hansen, president


TRADE SHOW PRESENCE


PLATINUM – ADI

“ADI’s trade show presence has been carefully designed to help attendees build complete end-to-end solutions, rather than offering single products. Visitors to ADI’s newly redesigned booth will find the entire breadth of our product offering from leading manufacturers. Our trade show sales staff are some of the most knowledgeable and well-trained professionals in the industry, thanks to our award-winning ADI training program, and play a key role in providing attendees with a superior experience.” —Marco Cardazzi, vice president of global marketing

GOLD – WAVE Electronics/AVAD

“Go big or go home. We put our best foot forward at trade shows in order to increase awareness of our vendors as well as the value-add services we provide such as Product Printing, DIY Program, Train-ing and much more. Shows like CEDIA Expo and ISC allow us to showcase all the value-add services we o er.” —Holly Ford, director of marketing

SILVER – Powerhouse Alliance

“The PowerHouse Alliance brings a local touch to national distribution, and trade shows are one of the few times when all of our members convene in one location alongside our vendor partners. At CEDIA Expo especially, we connect in our booth with our current dealers. In addition, we have added our own A2V brand, and shows allow us to display our complete lineup including our newest products to the industry for in-person demos.” —Dennis Holzer, executive director


SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE


PLATINUM – Tech Data

Via its social media channels, Tech Data broadens its reach to integrators, offering training updates, informative videos and news.

GOLD – Skywalker AV

“Our social media presence is imperative to keep our customers informed on a day-to-day basis. We focus on providing our followers with relevant industry information, helpful tips, and company updates on what’s new. We also use social media to coordinate events, inform our customers about sales promotions, and as a forum for trending A/V topics. Occasionally, we might post a meme or two just for fun!” —Randy Criebaum, president

SILVER – PowerHouse Alliance

“Connecting with our dealers and the ‘#AVTweeps’ community on social media is important for PowerHouse, as they and our members are spread across the coun-try. The group is proud to be recognized for our presence in our industry’s news feeds, as we spread the word on dealer education and training, relevant events from a variety of our vendor partners, and news from our members and the community.” —Dennis Holzer, executive director


Category Kudos


AudioControl (WARRANTY)

“Our passionate and dedicated AudioControl team has been designing and manufacturing premium audio products with great pride in our Pacific Northwest factory for over 40 years. Using superior components and having tight control over in-house engineering and manufacturing practices, that does not rely on a long-distance supply chain, has enabled us to establish and maintain a culture of relent-less in-house production testing, highest levels of product reliability, best-in-class service, and support for both our dealers and end users that all together allows us to offer a guaranteed five-year warranty. It is absolutely second nature to everyone at AudioControl that we offer the best warranty program imaginable.” —Alex Camara, CEO

Bluesound (TECH SUPPORT)

“NAD and Bluesound are always available even on weekends and after hours. They have even given us their individual cell-phone numbers.” —Verbatim comment from reader

Dana Innovations (SALES & MARKETING ASSISTANCE)

“At Sonance our goal is to become our dealers’ BEST partner, period. Building a great team is a passion of ours. Company culture is reflected in the way we interact with our dealer partners and each other. This means inviting like-minded people to join into what we are building together. We are committed to continue to bring the highest level of support to our partners.” —Mike Cleary, director of sales, West

Epson (WARRANTY)

“Epson is committed to delivering high-performance products and customer satisfaction and support is a top priority. Recognition from CE Pro’s 2019 Quest for Quality awards is a testament to Epson’s ongoing efforts to deliver top-quality solutions that integrators can rely on coupled with industry-leading warranty offerings and advanced product technical support.” —Rodrigo Catalan, senior product manager, Projectors

EPV Screens (WARRANTY)

“In regards to warranty service, we really want to make sure our customers are covered and are very grateful for the acknowledgment. Although we are confident in the quality of our product, we wanted to go above and beyond with our customer support for that occasion when Murphy’s law wins out. There is a 5-year Manufacturer Parts and Labor Warranty on all motorized products and Limited Lifetime Warranty on all fixed-frame products from purchase date, purchased in U.S. and Canada.” —Dave Rodgers, marketing manager

KEF (TECH SUPPORT)

“We had a specific engineering question about KEF speakers and the sales rep sent us directly to the guy who built the speaker to answer our questions!” —Verbatim comment from reader

One Firefly (SALES & MARKETING SUPPORT)

“We are focused on continually innovating in all areas of our business. Our continued growth and resulting positive customer feedback is a direct result of hiring and growing a passionate team of marketers focused on helping our clients grow.” —Ron Callis, CEO

Paradigm (WARRANTY)

“Very prompt and thorough.” —Verbatim comment from reader

Savant (TECH SUPPORT)

“Savant has shown great technology that is really forward-thinking.” —Verbatim comment from reader

Tech Source Distributors (CUSTOMER SERVICE)

“As the Mid-Atlantic member of the Catalyst AV Group, Tech Source Distributors has access to some of the finest products made. In addition to that we have the greatest product specialist/tech support people in the industry. At TechSource we pride ourselves on making sure our customers are taken care of at the highest level of service possible. It is a thoughtful relationship that distinguishes us from our competition.” —Brett Neiderman, president and owner

Take a look at the slideshow for a selection of images provided by our winners! 



2019 State of the Industry Special Report - CE Pro Download

The custom electronics industry saw a healthy 8 percent growth rate in 2018, down slightly from the blazing 11 percent growth in 2017 but still admiringly strong. Our 2019 State of the Industry indicates that readers expect to see even more growth in 2019. Get your copy today.




  About the Author

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald Expositions Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at jason.knott@emeraldexpo.com

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  Article Topics


Home Theater · Speakers · Control & Automation · Networking & Cables · Security · Audio/Video · Business · News · ADI · Anixter · Control4 · Crestron · D-Tools · Future Ready Solutions · All Topics
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