2022 Quest for Quality Awards: Category Kudos

When you are a smaller company, it’s not easy to stand out sometimes. But this year’s winners of the 12th annual CE Pro Quest for Quality Awards in the Category Kudos classification definitely set themselves apart. When larger companies are engaged with integrators across multiple equipment categories, it gives their staffs more opportunities to shine (or not). But for a niche manufacturer or service provider, it’s vital to perform at their peak during their limited interactions with dealers.

That’s the reason several years ago CE Pro created the Category Kudos recognition within the Quest for Quality Awards program to recognize outstanding service. The winners are the results from thousands of individual votes cast by custom electronics integrators.

Category Kudos (Manufacturers)

Best Supply Chain Support

Origin Acoustics: 

When an item wasn’t in stock, Origin Acoustics would upgrade to the next model at no charge or expedite from another warehouse at no charge. —Respondent comment 

MSE Audio: 

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With the pandemic continuing to disrupt supply chains globally, we were able to pivot some of our product and driver manufacturing to our two facilities in Lenexa, Kan., and Jacksonville, Fla., to help keep up with customer needs. We’ve also been able to keep our Dante-enabled products in stock throughout the entire pandemic. —Ken Hecht, VP Engineering, MSE Audio

Paradigm: 

Paradigm/Anthem took a hit on shipping and started air freighting products in. I felt that this, along with reliable communications, set them apart as a small company when compared to others. —Respondent comment Sonos: Over the last year, our account managers have prioritized consistent communication around inventory updates to their partners. —Casey Clemens, Director, Americas Commercial, Sonos 

Somfy: 

Somfy has always provided up-to-date information in regard to lead times and has maintained a steady supply of their products. We have not experienced any supply chain shortages with them. —Respondent comment 

AudioControl: 

AudioControl has always pulled the rabbit out of the hat when we have been in a crunch situation to secure product. —Respondent comment 

RTI:

I am not sure how they did it, but RTI’s products were always available. —Respondent comment

Best Customer Service 

ELK Products: 

ELK Products techs have helped with programming complex systems and resolved issues that came up. —Respondent comment

KEF: 

The KEF team has integrity, genuinely cares and is very knowledgeable. —Respondent comment 

MSE Audio:

We pride ourselves on having real people available to answer your questions or help you with your order. Local customers can also order for will call at our Lenexa or Jacksonville locations. MSE Audio also offers a product trial program. —Shannon Humphrey, President, MSE Audio

Best Technical Support

AudioControl: 

AudioControl invests in real-time live quality customer service. They are responsive and always here for their dealers. —Respondent comment 

MetraAV: 

Metra AV is quick to assist customers when needed and provide positivity as well. —Respondent comment 

Somfy: 

Somfy provides service even when they are closed by scheduling after-hour appointments. —Respondent comment 

Coastal Source: 

Coastal Source is always ready with design, technical and superior products. —Respondent comment 

OneVision Resources: 

OneVision Resources continues to provide excellent service options, and far beyond that, for their partnered integrators. Refreshing to see a service-forward provider in the industry that isn’t simply doing reboots. —Respondent comment 

MSE Audio: 

Customers will typically work with me or one of our other engineers, who also develop our products, to work through their support need. We offer several complementary audio design tools including EASE audio designs and the recently released Theater Sound Designer. With as little as basic dimensions of a room, a whole floor, or an entire building, we create an audio design layout and report that shows our engineers’ recommendations for product type, placement, and quantity. —Michael Jenia, Product Engineer, MSE Audio

Best Lead Generation

Alarm.com: 

I wouldn’t have a marketing outreach program if it wasn’t for Alarm.com. —Respondent comment

MantelMount:

I put more TVs over fireplaces than I could have ever imagine. MantelMount helps create the awareness for those installations. —Respondent comment 

Orro: 

When clients see the Orro smart switches, they think they are so cool that they want professional installation. —Respondent comment

Best RMR Support Programs 

Savant: 

No comment provided. 

Alarm.com: 

The RMR from security helps my company maintain cashflow every month. Thanks to Alarm.com. —Respondent comment 

Resideo: 

Our goal is simple: provide the tools and services to support the growth of our highly entrepreneurial customers. Resideo invests in three important services to support of our customers: marketing, supply chain & recurring monthly revenue (RMR). Services like AlarmNet and Total Connect create additional opportunities for security dealers to improve their closing ratios, increase the average selling price, and improve their RMR production. —Scott Harkins, VP Sales and Channel, Resideo

Best Software Support 

Snap One: 

Our singular focus is helping our Partners be successful by delivering tools and solutions like OvrC and Control4 Composer Pro that are easy-to-use, improve efficiency, and allow Partners to deliver the best experiences for their clients in a repeatable fashion. —Kenny Kim, VP Product Management Platforms & Services, Snap One 

WhyReboot: 

WhyReboot is fast with phone and email answers. They help even when the network system deployed was NOT sold by them. —Respondent comment

Best Warranty Support/Policies 

Coastal Source: 

No comment provided. 

URC: 

Ensuring ease of programming, product reliability, systems performance and streamline processes aids us and our dealers in providing best-in-class experiences…before and after installations. —Lars Granoe, VP of Product, URC 

Metra AV: 

No comment provided. 

Best Shipping Policies 

Amazon Business: 

They set the gold standard for shipping. —Respondent comment

Sound United:

No comment provided.

TruAudio:

TruAudio bought back a sub in inventory from a dealer 400 miles away and had it freighted to me the same day. They also discounted the sub for the headache. Just a stand-up company, a ‘customer is always fi rst’ guided company. —Respondent comment 

Sonance: 

Sonance/James Loudspeaker kept in constant communication with us and kept us informed of possible situations with supply issues. —Respondent comment 

Resideo:

The Resideo team worked with us tirelessly every single day to make sure all upcoming projects will have little or no impact. —Respondent comment

Best Dealer Portal 

Leviton: 

Leviton’s Contractor Connect portal has useful installation videos and new product information that I reference when I need. —Respondent comment 

Sonance:

I do all my ordering with Sonance via the online portal effectively and efficiently. —Respondent comment 

Nice/Nortek/ELAN: 

Through our easy-to-use dealer portal, we provide 24/7 exclusive access for our partners so they may constantly check their volume incentive rebates, inventory or their current order status on almost all the Nice/ Nortek Control brands. We’re also able to provide news about any promotions or trainings. —Jeff Costello, Vice President of Sales 

Coastal Source:

No comment provided. 

Kaleidescape: 

No comment provided. 

Best Consumer Facing Website 

Ring: 

No comment provided. 

Lutron: 

I direct customers to the Lutron website all the time if they want information on various types of light sources and compatibility. —Respondent comment 

AudioControl: 

The Knowledge Base section of AudioControl’s website answers almost any question a customer might have. —Respondent comment 

Dish: 

Dish Networks’ website makes it easy for clients to see the entertainment options. —Respondent comment

Best Training Programs

OneVision Resources: 

OneVision Resources provides quality service daily and paying attention to detail sets them apart from the rest. —Respondent comment

Kaleidescape

Kaleidescape’s communication and dealer engagement with the top levels of their team is better than any other manufacturer. —Respondent comment 

MSE Audio:

For the past couple of years, training has shifted to more of a virtual online presence using blog content and videos. Many of these trainings are done by our engineering staff. We’re getting back out and doing onsite rep and dealer trainings again. We also offer our customers factory visits at our Lenexa and Jacksonville facilities. —Ken Hecht, VP Engineering, MSE Audio 

Coastal Source: 

Coastal Source is an amazing group that provide satisfaction on the customers on audio visual equipment and anymore. —Respondent comment 

AudioControl:

AudioControl helped my customer resolve an installation issue by providing telephone assistance at a time which was at the customer’s convenience. —Respondent comment 

Brilliant:

Get back to you in a timely manner, guaranteed. —Respondent comment

AudioQuest:

AudioQuest has bent over backwards to help make sure we are happy with their products. —Respondent comment

Best Dealer Programs/Incentives 

Somfy: 

My Somfy sales rep David Towslee is knowledgeable and kind. Always a pleasure to work with and has always had the answers I need. —Respondent comment 

URC: 

Our field sales team plays a critical role by supporting new and existing dealers while activating the tools that make our dealers successful. —Lee Rambler, National Sales Director, URC 

Savant: 

No comment provided. 

Best Dealer Protection Policies 

Paradigm: 

We have dealt with them from sales to service and support, and they are on top of their game. —Verbatim comment from respondent

Lutron: 

Lutron provides consistent high-quality service at every touchpoint. Always go out of their way to ensure both the dealer and end clients are satisfied. —Respondent comment 

Lenbrook: 

They always go out for their way to ensure they satisfy their customers. —Respondent comment 

AudioControl:

We had two AudioControl distribution amps that were both creating strange hissing sounds in two zones. … They had new amps overnight shipped. We made the changes and ran a test, and ended up with the same result. AudioControl shipped another within a day. In between, one of the AudioControl engineers set up an identical scenario at their facility. We did eventually figure out a solution. Without AudioControl’s regard to the sensitivity of the time, this would have been a complete fail for us. —Respondent comment

Best Social Media Presence 

Dish: 

Dish’s social media accounts help enlighten customers about the value of their service. —Respondent comment

Category Kudos (Distributors)

Best Supply Chain Response 

Almo: 

Almo always kept us abreast of the situation. —Verbatim comment from respondent 

ADI: 

At ADI, we have a strong supply chain and logistics operation and we’re focused on providing our customers with access to the products they need, when they need them. —Bob Appleby, Vice President & General Manager, ADI North America

Best Customer Service 

LK Stockroom: 

LK has provided local support in the moment that a need has arisen while a job is underway. —Respondent comment 

PowerHouse Alliance/Next Level Distribution: 

No comment provided. 

Catalyst AV/TechSource Distributors: 

They made sure we get what we need. —Respondent comment

Best Technical Support 

ADI: 

All our sales team members participate in numerous trainings per year, including new product training every month. In addition, our customers depend on ADI’s Systems Design Team for assistance with systems design, configuration and product selection for any project. —Bob Appleby, Vice President & General Manager, ADI North America 

Anixter: 

Three other companies were unable to get the parts for 6 months. Somehow Michael at Anixter found me six access points I needed for a job we were going out of town to do. —Respondent comment

Best Shipping Policies 

ADI: 

ADI offers thousands of items in-stock every day at all our branch locations and available online through our Digital Branch. —Bob Appleby, Vice President & General Manager, ADI North America 

Blackwire Designs: 

No comment provided. 

DOW Technologies: 

No comment provided. 

Future Ready Solutions: 

No comment provided. 

PowerHouse Alliance/Davis Distribution Systems: 

No comment provided. 

WAVE Electronics: 

WAVE developed new key relationships with vendors who could supply inventory needs on PoE switches immediately when other vendors had supply constraints. We were able to order it completely via their website. —Respondent comment 

LK Stockroom: 

LK Stockroom conducted a seminar to help us wade through the application process for business loans during the pandemic. —Respondent comment

Best Training Programs

DOW Technologies: 

No comment provided. 

Anixter: 

Anixter is always helpful when we need anything, especially technical support. They will stay on the phone until all issues are resolved. —Respondent comment 

Almo: 

Their E4 events offer demos, trainings and briefings about technology. —Respondent comment

Best Dealer Programs/Incentives 

DOW Technologies: 

No comment provided. 

WAVE Electronics: 

WAVE conducts dozens of trainings to keep us up to date. —Respondent comment

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