CE Pro Announces 2016 Quest for Quality Winners

Our 6th annual Quest for Quality Awards puts vendors and distributors in the industry spotlight, thanks to nearly 7,200 readership votes in recognition of their outstanding services.


How do you define quality service and support? Is it the assurance that when you’re in a bind missing some key product on a jobsite that your trusted vendor or distributor will get it to you ASAP? Is it the peace of mind that however challenging an A/V or automation problem your installation may call for, you know there’s a tech support member ready to stay on the phone for as long as it takes to troubleshoot the issue, whenever it may pop up?

Is it the shiny marketing collateral and online video courses available to help you press forward into adding an unfamiliar and potentially scary product category to your portfolio? How about just the overall touching base and feeling that your custom integration firm is important to your suppliers?

Indeed, the answers to these questions and more help shape and distinguish the relationships that members of the manufacturing and wholesale distribution community forge with the custom integrators. It is the integrators’ quest to meet the needs of their end-user customers, but they would not be able to do so without the continuing aid of their suppliers — something CE Pro continues to recognize as a critical endeavor and valuable differentiator in presenting the 6th annual Quest for Quality Awards.

What makes these accolades special is that they are truly taken from the dealers’ mouth — nearly 7,200 votes’ worth. The CE Pro readership nominates companies to be recipients and offers commentary on what separates a particular company from the pack. Integrators vote in categories covering manufacturers and distributors for providing the best: Customer Service/ General Communication, Technical Support, Shipping Policies, Website, Training Programs, Dealer Program/Incentives, Trade Show Presence and Social Media Presence; and for vendors only, Lead Generation, Sales/Marketing Assistance, Consumer-Facing Website, Warranty Policies and Dealer Protection Policies.

We asked the winners to tell us why they think custom integrators honored them. Follow along to hear from your favorite suppliers about their ongoing quest for superior service and support, and discover new ones that pique your interest.


Customer Service/General Communication

“We’re prouder of no other award we win than this one, and for six years we still win it for the same reasons. When you call us, you get a real person. And we always treat you like we’d want to be treated, because many of us have been integrators — and some still are. We know time is money and we’re always going to go above and beyond to help out our dealers.” —Dawn Boland, Vice President, Customer Care

GOLD: Legrand
“NuVo/Legrand the other day specifically helped me. I had a failed unit 2.5 years post installation and they replaced the unit at their expense. GREAT customer service.” —CE Pro Reader

SILVER: Crestron
“Providing the highest level of customer satisfaction is priority No. 1. In support of this, we’ve created a dedicated Customer Satisfaction hotline, where end users (homeowners, corporate customers, etc.) can call or email us to either ask questions about how to use their system, or describe problems or issues they’re having. With more than 90 offices around the world, fully staffed with certified technicians, Crestron provides expert local support wherever our customers are. Our True Blue Support Team is always on-call to quickly respond to any issue. We can also dispatch our Advanced Technical Support Group to your jobsite at moment’s notice, free.” —Crestron

Technical Support

PLATINUM: Metra Home Theater Group
“Metra Home Theater Group believes that educating our customers is the best form of technical support. Metra Home focuses on supporting dealers in their business with after-hour technical support as well as providing education tools. Examples of our commitment to education include our annual Lunch N’ Learn events at CEDIA Expo, webinars on hot new technology products as relevant issues arise, and most recently through the Metra Home Theater blog where actual industry issues are discussed. Educated customers that understand the technology behind new products are happier customers and more successful in their business. We are partners with our customers in every sense.” —Stephanie Casimiro, Marketing Director

“Our dealers’ lifeblood is making sure their products work in the field. And we know there is nothing more frustrating than not getting someone on the phone to help. As with our customer service team, our technical support specialists know our products and many others, inside and out. And more importantly, we staff our call center to be able to answer calls, not send them to voicemail. You’ll get a live person to help you when you need it.” —Adam Levy, President

SILVER: Core Brands
“The Elan Tech Support team is honored to be acknowledged with this award. We realize that quick and accurate response to technical questions is essential — particularly when a dealer is on the jobsite — and we are investing even more in service and support this year for Elan and all our brands.” —Bill Hensley, Director, Marketing

Lead Generation

PLATINUM: Control4
“We are thrilled to learn that our dealers value the efforts we put into generating
qualified leads for them. This year we have added a team to help better qualify and prepare leads before we match them up with the right dealer and we’ve seen the positive impact that group has been having. As consumer interest in smart home technology grows, we look forward to generating and providing more qualified leads to our valued dealers.” —Tyler Reed, Director, Direct Marketing

GOLD: Lutron
“To ‘experience’ is to truly understand, which is crucial when explaining how light, shade, and temperature control can impact a space. Lutron’s Residential Experience Centers afford builders, influencers and homeowners the opportunity to experience the power of Pleasance, and how Lutron’s products and solutions will positively impact their lives.” —David Weinstein, Vice President, Residential

SILVER: Savant
“Savant understands that consumers can learn about home automation in many ways, and leverages those touch points to drive leads to all their dealers. On its website, Savant focuses on the customer experience, and gives them multiple opportunities to find a dealer in their area. Additionally, Savant does outreach to builders, architects, and interior designers to teach them about the benefits of home automation, and why Savant is the best choice for their clients. Lastly, the Savant brand is highly regarded for its quality — and that reputation means customers often ask for it by name contacting their local dealer.” —Sarah Harrington, Corporate Marketing

Sales/Marketing Assistance

“Lutron’s No. 1 company principle is to take care of the customer. We work hard to listen to our customers’ needs, and do our best to respond with innovative products, sales programs, and marketing tools that help them to grow their business and delight their clients.” —David Weinstein, Vice President, Residential

GOLD: MAI (Meridian America Inc.)
“MAI (Meridian America, Inc.), the exclusive distributor for Meridian Audio for nearly three decades, is thrilled to be recognized for Best Sales and Marketing Assistance. We have always placed sales and marketing support as a top priority. The MAI training, marketing and sales programs have been tailored and fine-tuned based on dealer feedback as well as the field experience of our team. We pride ourselves on excellent service through a hands-on approach directly connecting with our dealers. Our strong presence at CEDIA, along with innovative support programs such as the Design and Specification Service and purpose built demo facilities, reinforce our commitment to the CI channel.” —Ken Forsythe, Vice President of MAI (Meridian America Inc.)

SILVER: IC Realtime
“IC Realtime is pushing the envelope bringing high-end camera technology to the forefront for consumers and for integrators. Also, these guys are fun and positive. It’s close to the same feeling I used to get from Sam Runco and his team.” —CE Pro Reader

Warranty Policies

PLATINUM: Crestron
“Our standard warranty is highly praised by our dealers. The Express 48 repair program provides a 48-hour expedited repair service option to Crestron dealers. For a predetermined fixed rate, Express 48 provides an added layer of support, ensuring rapid turnaround on repairs during projects. Additionally, we offer extended warranties on a host of products, including lighting and shades. Our Certified Design Program will offer extended warranties if ordered as a complete CDP order. The DM-MD64X64 and DM-MD128X128 Extended Services Agreement provides the ultimate level of confidence and care. We offer one- or three-year extended warranties, plus expedited shipping of replacement switchers. This expedited and ‘white glove’ service, plus the peace of mind, is priceless.” —Crestron

“We would never offer a product we didn’t stand behind. Our integrators put their reputations out there every time they use one. It’s our goal to uphold it. We have a quality assurance lab with a dedicated team who does nothing but torture test products to ensure their longevity.” —G. Paul Hess, Chief Product Officer

SILVER: Control4
“We want to ensure that our dealers can feel confident in both the product and overall Control4 experience that they install in their customers’ home. With all of our products we offer a substantial two-year warranty period, and also provide advanced replacement where we replace any piece of equipment during that warranty period. We are also proud to offer an automated online RMA process for our Premier dealers that eliminates the need for a support call and saves time that they could be spending with a customer.” —Control4

Shipping Policies

“We know our dealers need their products on time, so we do everything we can to ensure that they get them. Most of our orders are received within two days, and we go over and above when needed to make sure someone has what they need, when they need it.” —Adam Levy, President

GOLD: Core Brands
“Earning the Gold award from dealers for our shipping policies is an honor. We continue to look for ways to deliver the best possible experience to all dealers. Shipping policies are an important component, and dealers have responded very positively to the shipping choices available online at the Core Brands Portal.” —Bill Hensley, Director, Marketing

SILVER: Pakedge
“Pakedge provides me with product support and quick delivery. They are determined to be a genuine partner in product installation.” —CE Pro Reader {pagebreak}

Dealer-Facing Website

“Our website is our storefront, so it’s our goal to help integrators get in and out as fast as possible with everything they need, whether that’s through easy ordering, realtime stock status, or helpful product information. We want to make it the easiest, most convenient experience they have.” —Bike Howard, Vice President, ECommerce

GOLD: Crestron
“We dedicate a great deal of resources to make our website useful to our dealers, partners and their customers. Actually, nonregistered users only see the tip of the iceberg. Over the years we’ve developed web applications to empower our partners to obtain pricing, download detailed CAD drawings, review product specifications, configure customizable products, schedule visits to our showrooms and Experience Centers, request marketing materials, update software and firmware, and receive online training or book classes. And that’s just a sampling. In addition, our award-winning True Blue support team maintains an extensive database of support cases that enable our dealers to quickly find answers to frequently asked questions. Our quest to enhance the website never ends. Receiving this recognition motivates us to keep pushing the envelope to help our partners and customers in new and more creative ways.” —Crestron

SILVER: Sonance
“Sonance believes in offering our customers the finest quality products and services in the custom installation industry. This philosophy also extends into our online services as well. We take every step to ensure that the quoting, ordering, account managing, and even returning of our products is as effortless as possible. We are honored that our site has been recognized as a valuable tool amongst our customers.” —Jack Hill, Director of Marketing

Consumer-Facing Website

“KEF’s partnership with our dealers is very important. We went through a lot of effort to make sure the dealer experience has the same level of high quality as our products (which are all designed, engineered, and manufactured by KEF). It is important to us that when you call into the office, you get a real person on the phone. From technical questions to checking shipping status, you can always talk with a real person. The personal touch is what really sets KEF apart.” —Dipin Sehdev, Internet Marketing and Brand Relations

GOLD: Lutron
“Today, the web is often the first place people go to learn more about an interesting topic, product, or service. Lutron puts information at your fingertips with useful tools such as The Energy Calculator, LED Center of Excellence, installation guides, specification sheets, and more. Our online tools help our customers to learn about our products and how our products will significantly enhance their living experience.”  —David Weinstein, Vice President, Residential

SILVER: Savant
“Savant’s website puts the focus squarely on the customer experience. Through a mix of beautiful lifestyle photography and crisp product renders, Savant makes it easy for consumers to imagine what it’s like to live in a Savant Home. The website is easy to navigate, relatable in tone, and offers a premium feel that ensures customers feel like Savant is the right choice for their home.” —Sarah Harrington, Corporate Marketing

Training Programs

“Luxul is all about helping professional installers create an exceptional customer experience — and any great installation starts with a reliable IP network. Our educational webinars and training programs are designed to arm our dealers with the tools and understanding they need to deliver outstanding results. Professional installers are typically not IP experts, which can make networking a bit intimidating. Some vendors have even chosen to make networking more complicated than necessary as a strategy to sell certification and other services.

“In contrast, Luxul’s approach is to make dealer training programs and educational webinars completely free of charge, with the entire objective being to help make networking part of the dealer’s core competency and an asset instead of a liability. With the right products and a good understanding of a few key concepts, professional installers can quickly learn how to make IP networking a profitable part of their business and deliver a great customer experience.” —Clark Roundy, Vice President, Marketing

“We like to think we approach training a bit differently than others in our space, and winning an award in the Training category every year it has existed is hopefully proof that our dealers enjoy our events. We strive to make our trainings interactive, humorous and targeted while keeping the information at a level our audience understands. It doesn’t hurt to have products that are in such high demand as well as such a loyal dealer base that makes our hundreds of training events (each year) as enjoyable for us as it is educational for our dealers.” —Russ Hoffman, Director of Training & Technical Support 

SILVER: Crestron
“The Crestron Technical Institute (CTI) provides the best training at our facilities around the world. Attendance at CTI not only provides personalized face-to-face training, but also solidifies relationships and opens lines of communication with Crestron technical staff. Our ever-expanding online training offers convenience and 24/7 access to information about installing and programming systems. With 57 training facilities worldwide, each staffed with dedicated instructors, CTI equips our customers and partners to compete in the A/V industry. Crestron offers a wide range of courses ranging from programming to design to installation.” —Crestron

Dealer Programs/Incentives

“At RTI, we have an unwavering commitment to the custom integration channel and our dealers. Our goal is to provide our dealers with the best resources, training, and support for their business. For example, our Integration Designer programming software is only available to authorized dealers, while our Certified Dealer program ensures that potential clients can easily locate an RTI integration professional. This protects dealer profit margins and guarantees the best possible user experience for the end customer.

“For ongoing education, our Advanced Control University (ACU) has an ever-expanding offering of training resources to accommodate varying learning styles, including DevX2016, held April 19-21, where integrators will get hands-on training on writing two-way drivers. We also offer U.S. dealers our popular ‘Control Bucks’ incentive program, and our Accommodation Program, which offers RTI products at reduced pricing for showroom use. Finally, dealers can take part in the Case Study Program, which highlights their amazing installations on our website’s ‘Showcase’ section, social media, and RTI marketing collateral.” —Mike Everett, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Americas

GOLD: Sony
“Sony immediately replaces any product damaged at the factory or during transit. There is relatively no hold time for Sony’s Tech Support. They know their product and they are always patient and respectful even when the call goes long.” —CE Pro Reader

SILVER — Crestron
“To show our appreciation for our dealers’ business and loyalty, we created the Crestron Partner Rewards Program (PRP), in which they can earn cash back on their Crestron purchases. With quarterly payouts, dealers don’t have to wait until year’s end to get paid. Better still, they can earn even more cash by growing their Crestron sales as compared to the same quarter in the prior year. It’s simple; the more our dealers grow with Crestron, the more cash they get back.” —Crestron

Dealer Protection Policies

“The biggest thing we’ve been able to achieve over the past few years with the CIS Custom Install Specialty program is to combine the R&D, manufacturing and brand power of one of the world’s most influential CE companies with the approachability, human touch and focus on specialty A/V that is generally associ-ated with specialist manufacturers. Our nationwide network of Manufacturer’s Reps, some of the best in the business, are available to build business plans, keep dealers informed of key promotional changes and assist with technical questions.

“From a distribution/pricing control perspective, our SURE program is one of the strongest unilateral pricing programs in the industry, and we control distribu-tion with a rigorous product buyback and tracing program. We also reward our best partners with the CIS Diamond program that allows them to compete on equal footing with larger national retailers. We’re appreciative of the support our dealers have shown us by voting us for these awards, and plan to continue to build on our mutual success in 2016.”  —Frank Sterns, Vice President, AV Specialty/Custom Integration

GOLD: Paradigm
“Sound matters, and the difference good sound makes to music and home theater is audible. As a specialty manufacturer, we know that better sound always delivers a better entertainment experience. Our dealers are in the specialty audio business because they believe the same! We count on our dealers to educate consumers about that difference and to demo that difference. For over 30 years we have built our business working in conjunction with the best independent specialists in the business. We have developed and refined our dealer programs and policies to be the best in the industry, and with providing the confidence to sell the highest performing brand on the market knowing that you won’t be undercut by either a mass merchant or an Internet dealer is not something we will continue to focus on.” —Justin Bright, Director of Marketing & Digital Technology

SILVER: Core Brands
“We appreciate being recognized for SpeakerCraft dealer protection policies. This is very important to us and our dealers. We launched a major brand protection initiative last year, not just for SpeakerCraft but for all Core Brands. It’s an ongoing effort and we are committed to ensuring that our authorized dealers all have the greatest opportunity to deliver a superior customer experience to their customers.” —Bill Hensley, Director, Marketing 

Trade Show Presence

PLATINUM: Core Brands
“The ‘experience’ we deliver to dealers is fundamentally important to us and we try to bring that experience to all trade shows we attend, large and small. This Platinum award indicates it is working, but we’ll never stop trying to improve that experience.” —Bill Hensley, Director, Marketing 

GOLD: Lutron
“Lutron takes great pride in supporting industry trade shows that deliver value to the attendees. We work to ensure that our show presence is informative, interactive, and clearly communicates value to the target audience. Our show staff is always knowledgeable, and our training sessions during the show provide additional opportunities to educate our customers.” —David Weinstein, Vice President, Residential

SILVER: Digital Projection Inc.
“From the now-famous massive jar of Tootsie Pops to the engaging imagery found throughout the exhibit, we strive to entertain everyone that enters our space. Attendees to the DPI booth know to expect a wide array of entertainment experiences, and should walk away from the exhibit feeling that projectors are vastly more flexible, immersive and engaging than they ever expected. Our dedicated home theater demos are legendary, our team is eager to educate, and we’re proud to represent elite home entertainment when we exhibit.” —Michael Bridwell, Vice President, Marketing and Home Entertainment

Social Media Presence

“My local Sonos manager meets with me and sends me analytics with numbers/graphs broken down to the amount of zones I install, allowing me to gauge my performance and make adjustments to keep trending in the right direction.” —CE Pro Reader

GOLD: Control4
“We are honored to have been selected as a Q4Q winner in the Social Media Presence category for the third year in a row. To us, it’s a testament of brand loyalty from our dealers and customers, and the positive online relationship that we share with them. We’ve been able to establish a great social community by sharing homeowners’ stories, listening to and addressing concerns, hosting online product announcements and events, creating engaging content, and educating new fans and followers about the true benefits of smart home technology. We thank our dealers for their support that has contributed to our social media success, year after year.” —Crystal Watts, Marketing Communications Manager

SILVER: Lutron
“Social media is such an important part of how society receives information. We take pride in making sure customers are aware of our new products via several social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, and learn about the value of Lutron’s lighting, shade and temperature control solutions.” —David Weinstein, Vice President, Residential


Customer Service/General Communication

PLATINUM: Skywalker AV Supply
“People are what good business is all about. So, we focus on having good people to provide our customer service. As a company, our goal is to fill each dealer encounter with convenience and a smile in addition to our products. We value our dealers and we want it to show. Whether it’s great pricing, free shipping policies, or simply helping them plan a job, we’re sure to be their partner instead of just another supplier.” —Phil Billingham, Marketing Director

GOLD: SupplyStream
“We are so proud to be recognized for what we feel is the most important category for dealers. I think the advantage we have is that our entire team is made up of former dealers. We know firsthand how hard it is to run an integration company and how helpful it is when a vendor or partner provides fast support. Also, we are a ‘web-focused’ company, so our support has been tailor made for how the modern dealer communicates.” —Josh Willits, VP of Dealer Happiness

“AVAD provides their dealers with the best customer service through a variety of ways. At the forefront are our branch associates who are available in person or via telephone to give dealers recommendations, product information and tools to help get their jobs done profitably and help them grow their business. Our product guarantee offers dealers exchange and credit return options for products purchased from AVAD. The customer service guarantee allows dealers to exchange defected products within 30 days and return unopened product purchased from AVAD within 90 days for full-credit return, no questions asked.

“The Systems Design Group is a tool many dealers use to help them when getting into new product categories or when help is needed with a big job. Dealers can have their jobs spec’d and get installation diagrams to ensure the job runs smoothly. AVAD’s System Design Group helps dealers with a complete solution to digital signage services — whether the dealer is just getting started or simply needs help producing stellar content.

“Products specials and deals are offered nearly continuously via email and social media. Trainings for new products are offered regularly via live and on-demand webinars and at local and national training events. National events like Vendopalooza, Commercial Days and Opportunity Tours give dealers local face time with vendors and product specialists along with both technical and business training topics.” —Lei Lei Trock, Senior Marketing Manager {pagebreak}

Technical Support

PLATINUM: WAVE Electronics
“WAVE Electronics has always employed a sales staff that can handle technical questions. Since the company’s inception, the sales staff has been responsible for installing and programming products into the WAVE showrooms.Two years ago WAVE noticed a need for a second tier of technical support. Today, WAVE has a full tech support department that assists dealers with custom programming, network troubleshooting and other issues that dealers would normally sit on hold forever to try to resolve.” —Ainslie Fukuda, VP of Purchasing & Merchandising

GOLD: Skywalker AV Supply
“Our success in this category is a direct reflection of our tech support team. As seasoned veterans, they have the real-world experience to help guide our dealers through any difficult situation. From helping dealers carefully map out their jobs to coming through in the clutch when assistance is needed in the field, our experienced team is always on-call to quickly respond and resolve any issue.” —Phil Billingham, Marketing Director

SILVER: Allnet
“We recognize that many integrators do not have a lot of in-house technical support resources, and vendors’ support is not always as timely as it needs to be for the dealer. Allnet devotes significant resources to make sure our staff has in-depth knowledge of the product we sell so we can provide first-level technical support to our dealers while they are still at the job site and can take care of any issues in a timely fashion. This eliminates the expense of additional truck rolls and increases their client satisfaction.” —Wally Whinna, President 

Shipping Policies

“Capitol is an independent company in every sense of the term. Our staff is comprised of industry professionals who understand the CI market and, more important, how to assist our customers when it comes to creating systems that are the perfect fit for the project at hand. In addition to a bulletproof knowledge of the market, we understand that shipping can sometimes add unwieldy expenses that weaken a customer’s bottom line. That’s why we offer several cost- and time-saving shipping options that are designed to increase efficiency. It helps that products are shipped from a single location.” —Cheryl Johnson, Vice President of Marketing

GOLD: Skywalker AV Supply
“At Skywalker AV Supply, we understand the life of an installer. They’re busy bidding jobs and completing installs. They barely have enough time to focus on ordering the supplies they need let alone trying to factor shipping expenses. It’s simply a variable that dealers can’t always account for – and frankly, we believe they shouldn’t have to. That’s why we’ve implemented free shipping for all online orders – 24/7, 365 days a year at Skywalker.com.” —Phil Billingham, Marketing Director

SILVER: Tri-Ed Distribution
“Tri-Ed is committed to providing customers with the products they need, where, where and how they need them. Whether product is shipped from one of our 65 North American branch locations or drop-shipped from the manufacturer, Tri-Ed ensures that customers have access to the products they need to keep their projects running along on time and on budget.” —Pat Comunale, President of Global Security Solutions


PLATINUM: Tri-Ed Distribution
“Tri-Ed’s website was designed with our customer’s complete satisfaction in mind. We sought to provide an optimal user experience to deliver the information customers need to run their businesses. Visitors can easily navigate our menus to find the latest information on products and services, solutions, locations, trainings and events. Many new enhancements were made to improve the user-experience. Tri-Ed’s product catalog is fully integrated with individual product lines and includes detailed product information from featured manufacturers. Configurator tools allow visitors to build systems quickly and efficiently. A new Branch Locator enables visitors to search by country/state/province, and individual branch pages now feature a map and all upcoming events. The site also details the many advantages of partnering with Tri-Ed including the Great Expectations Rewards Program, and IP-EZ Programming Service that preconfigures IP cameras for trouble-free installations.” —Pat Comunale, President of Global Security Solutions

GOLD: SupplyStream
“Our web portal is making it easier than ever for dealers to do business with their distributors and vendors online. Since our core business is our website, our advantage in this category is that 100 percent of our focus and resources go in to it. Also, since our team is almost all former dealers, we are uniquely positioned to understand what dealers need.” —Josh Willits, VP of Dealer Happiness

SILVER: Skywalker AV Supply
“In everything that we do at Skywalker, we strive to make the lives of our dealers easier. Instant access to information about our products and services is more important than ever in today’s installation scenarios. We’re constantly pursuing ways to make our site function smoother and more efficiently for the on-the-go dealer. With product support at their fingertips and features that help them streamline their workflow, Skywalker.com is just another example of how we help our dealers do business.” —Phil Billingham, Marketing Director

Training Programs

“ADI’s Expo Program is the driver that raises our training programs above any other in the industry. Each of ADI’s 46 Expos, held across North America every year, offers industry professionals a number of unique educational seminars. Seminar topics for each Expo are specifically chosen based on the needs of industry professionals in the region. Educational seminars at ADI Expos offer more than a wealth of knowledge. Attendees can also earn accredited certifications. The best part is that ADI Expos and all of the training that comes with them are free of charge to ADI customers.” —Jonathan Tafarella, Social Media & PR Manager

GOLD: Tri-Ed Distribution
“Tri-Ed makes it a priority to provide the education and support that our customers need to stay competitive in the marketplace. Together with our supplier partners, we offer counter days, seminars, and training programs at each of our branch locations, as well as technology roadshows throughout North America to educate customers on emerging technologies and product applications. In addition, our highly trained sales team and network specialists assist customers with technical challenges and system design.” —Pat Comunale, President of Global Security Solutions

SILVER: Volutone
“Dealer education is a vital aspect of our business for a number of reasons. We want our existing dealer network to stay current with new technologies and services from the top brands consumers are requesting. Every training session or series we hold is also an opportunity to show new dealers how dedicated we are to their skills and overall success. We have even designed and adjusted our facilities to accommodate seven training rooms capable of holding up to 400 dealers. We organize and execute a diverse lineup of training events to make sure we cover all the critical facets of our dealers’ business rather than focus on product or segment. Throughout the year, we plan education sessions focused on residential and commercial A/V, automation, networking, security and lighting just to name a few.” —Trevor Hansen, Vice President

Trade Show Presence

“At ADI, we are committed to offering the latest technologies and newest products to help our customers grow. ADI’s trade show presence has been carefully thought out and designed to attendees find complete end-to-end solutions rather than a single product. Visitors to ADI’s booth will find the entire breadth and depth of our product offering from top industry manufacturers. In addition, ADI works with industry trade show associations to feature alternative products. At the 2015 CEDIA Expo, ADI featured its security product offering at our Security Pavilion. At ISC West, ADI will unveil its first ever A/V Pavilion that will teach attendees about opportunities in residential and commercial A/V.” —Jonathan Tafarella, Social Media & PR Manager

GOLD: D&H Distributing
“For more than 20 years, D&H Distributing has been developing its trade show offering for its dealer, retailer and installer customer base, creating a forum for the most cutting-edge products and solutions. Content is provided as a value-added resource for D&H’s customer base, to help them become more knowledgeable about the marketplace and develop new business opportunities. The company hosts two Mid-Atlantic events in Hershey, Pa., that attract approximately 1,000 attendees and 125 vendors each; plus a West Coast event in California and a New England event in the Boston region that attract about 500 attendees each. The training elements of these events continue to expand in popularity and scope, with an emphasis on helping D&H customers grow their businesses through new sales strategies and technologies.” —Mary Campbell, Vice President of Marketing

SILVER: WAVE Electronics

Social Media Presence

PLATINUM: D&H Distributing
“Similar to its dandh.com website, D&H’s Twitter and Facebook platforms are designed to communicate with the company’s customers in a way that’s vibrant, interactive, informative and productive. Whether the company is updating its dealers and installers on the latest D&H product portfolio, such as next-generation computing solutions; announcing its latest program information; or sharing images from attendance at industry events, the company’s social media effort invites the dealer and installer channel to become integrally involved in a committed, effective distribution relationship.” —Mary Campbell, Vice President of Marketing

“In today’s culture, social media is a popular way to communicate news, information and more to dealers in real-time. We understand the importance of sharing information on sales, training events, product releases and more on social media for our dealers to stay connected. Most dealers use at least one social media page, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+, and we see more and more dealers using these tools. Social media also gives dealers a familiar venue to communicate with us. We’re committed to ramping up our social media pages with giveaways and more vendor news.” —Lei Lei Trock, Senior Marketing Manager


Dealer Programs/Incentives

PLATINUM: Skywalker AV Supply
“We’re extremely proud to have won the Platinum award after winning Gold last year. We continue to provide a mix of diverse products with competitive pricing. Combine that with our free freight policy and dealers really benefit from doing business with us. It’s simple — we have what they need, when they need it at a price that can’t be beat. Throw in free shipping, and dealers have a winning program that they can count on.” —Phil Billingham, Marketing Director

GOLD: WAVE Electronics
“WAVE Electronics is a brand-building partner. WAVE can help a dealer rebrand their company via custom vehicle wraps, brochures, business cards, apparel and custom product printing. Additionally, WAVE has a rebate program that allows a dealer to get up to 9 percent rebate via cash or credit.” —Ainslie Fukuda, VP Purchasing & Merchandising

SILVER: Allnet
“Allnet’s goal is to deliver premium products at competitive prices and programs. A good example is our Free Freight policy on all web orders that can ship UPS. We work with our vendors to create special purchase opportunities for our dealers, especially if it’s a new product or category for the dealer.” —Wally Whinna, President