Six companies will be heading home from this week’s 17th annual NSCA Business and Leadership Conference with suitcases that are slightly heavier than when they arrive in Tampa, thanks to the way they’ve stood out from the crowd during the last 12 months.
NSCA will present the companies with its 2015 Excellence in Business awards in six categories: business performance (Spinitar in La Mirada, Calif.); customer experience (All Systems in Kansas City); differentiating strategies (ESCO Communications in Indianapolis); employee engagement (Mechdyne in Marshalltown, Iowa); strategic transformation (VCRNow in Red Oak, Texas) and talent development (Electro Acoustics in Ft. Worth, Texas).
“This year’s winners are a motivating group,” says NSCA executive director Chuck Wilson in a press release announcing the 2015 honorees. “The quality of entries improves every year. We’re continuously impressed by the changes integration companies are making to achieve business goals. These winners understand the importance of forward-thinking ideas to encourage growth, employee engagement, and customer satisfaction.”
The annual awards honor companies for “their efforts to implement new strategies to navigate the constantly changing industry,” according to the announcement.
All Systems earned the customer experience award by being among the first companies to “determine that recurring monthly revenue would be vital to growth and survival,” according to the announcement. All Systems created a customer experience department to standardize its customer agreements, reorganize the standard maintenance department and improve customer responsiveness and communication. This led to increased customer satisfaction and the largest service agreements in All Systems’ history.
Electro Acoustics secured the talent development award based on its low turnout level and “commitment to developing a talented team,” according to the announcement. The 23-person firm has invested about $250,000 in training during the last five years, including paying for CTS certification prep time, training and testing and reimbursement for college classes and seminars.
ESCO Communications is the differentiating strategies winner after instituting changes to adapt to “declining margins in the traditional AV systems environment,” according to the announcement. ESCO restructured four independent offices under a single umbrella and rebranded the company from top to bottom. ESCO sales teams are grouped by vertical markets rather than office locations and ESCO added health care as a new focus as well as launching a CRM system to increase accountability. This led to 120 percent gross margins, a 10 percent jump in staff and major gains in healthcare work in 2014.
Mechdyne won the employee engagement category after creating Mechdyne University “to help employees identify and obtain skills for career growth,” according to the announcement. As part of the offering, Mechdyne officials celebrate and communicate various goals internally and remotely to ensure all employees are made to feel like part of the larger group. These moves have helped Mechdyne experience record customer satisfaction, significant bottom-line growth, and an increasing net-promoter score.
Spinitar is the business performance winner after seeing its maintenance agreements and managed services agreements “grow exponentially, thanks to performance improvements,” according to the announcement. An integrated ERP system serves as Spinitar’s primary portal for client, sales, project, and service data. The company has also begun to make service the focus of its sales process, “approaching technology as something that follows services.”
VCRNow earned the strategic transformation award category after taking major steps to “become an integrator that could sustain industry changes and bring in more RMR.” The company acquired a small IT company and restructured its team into three divisions: integration, live production/creative services and managed services. VCRNow’s service contracts have grown from $7,000 to more than $40,000 per month and officials anticipate increases of between 150 and 200 percent in 2015.