Quest for Quality Winners 2012

The integrator community shares why manufacturers and distributors earn their keep in our second annual Quest for Quality Awards.

Arlen Schweiger · March 29, 2012

During the course of the year, our CE Pro and Electronic House editorial teams get to vote on top products and projects we see submitted by manufacturers and installers.

But we wanted to give our readership the opportunity to voice their opinions, so last year we created the Quest for Quality Awards and asked that you tell us why certain manufacturers and distributors were your favorites.

The catch was that it really had nothing to do with the products you install, but rather the obstacles you sometimes face during an installation project. How well does a company train and incentivize dealers? How well do they communicate and help solve problems if you get stuck on a job? How quickly do they turn around replacement parts? And how do they assist you in areas such as sales and marketing?

We’ve turned the microphone over to you, the custom installer, to share your tales of superior service from manufacturers and distributors in our second annual awards installment. Each category contains winners at the platinum, gold and silver levels, with your testimonials (we’ve kept integrators anonymous).

It’s encouraging to hear phrases like “personal attention,” “no questions asked” and “above and beyond” commonly noted in the more than 3,900 submissions. And quality service is a win-win for all involved, as one integrator summed up: “Tough question to choose only one [company]. When you build a good relationship with your key manufacturers and distribution partners, they will go to the extreme to make sure you, a key customer, no matter what size you are, is taken care of.”

With that in mind, here are the winners of your second annual Quest for Quality Awards. Click here to view the 2011 winners.


Customer Service/Communication

Platinum: Lutron
Gold: SnapAV
Silver: Crestron

Your Take: “In the past few years, our Lutron sales were so very low to the point that Lutron as a manufacturer could have removed our dealer privileges. Instead, Lutron worked hard and came out with various incentive programs, including the increase of our profit margins, lowering the pricing of their products to stimulate and help us, the dealer. This is what I call superior service … a real partnership between the manufacturer and the dealer makes a winning team.”

imageTheir Take: “It’s easier to provide great service when you know who you are serving. SnapAV, from the beginning, has committed to serving the custom channel exclusively. No distributors. No big-box stores. No direct-to-consumer. This commitment translates into all areas of our business.” - SnapAV (Click image to enlarge)

“As an industry acoustic design and calibration instructor, I had some issues with the performance of the speakers from SnapAV a few years ago. I gave some feedback and was approached by [president] Jay Faison at the CEDIA show. I’m sure he must have been incredibly busy with the show, but he took the time to ask me about my feedback, ask my opinion on what could be improved, and after listening to everything promised he would do what he could to implement the changes.

“I didn’t take the promise too seriously, but it made me feel like I was heard. Imagine how shocked I was to see everything we talked about implemented over the next two years! I’ve been very impressed with the level of customer service and quality from SnapAV. The ordering process is smooth, shipping is quick, and they are constantly improving their product line.”

Crestron routinely comes through in a pinch. I’ve had tough jobs, but Crestron stuck with me through the end and never played the blame game. They just work on solving the issues, even when they’re not their own issues - a true partner.”

Crestron Service Team

Tech Support

Platinum: Crestron
Gold: Control4
Silver: Audio Design Associates (ADA)

Your take: “We were in the middle of a massive DM installation at a home in Houston. We contracted a CAIP engineer to do the programming, but the homeowner moved up their move-in date by two weeks and the engineer wasn’t able to get free of his other commitments. Ten sources, 14 TV locations and 14 MLX-3 remotes had no programming … and I had never programmed anything of this magnitude. The only official training I’ve had with Crestron ended at the essentials class. With the help of example programs and generous support from the Crestron office in Dallas, I was able to get the system up and running in a day.”

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  About the Author

Arlen Schweiger is managing editor of CE Pro, Commercial Integrator and Security Sales & Integration magazines. Arlen contributes installation features, business profiles, manufacturer news and product reviews. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Arlen at

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