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Where do I buy a podium? Sound-Craft Systems

The Club Portable Podium
The Club Portable Lectern rendered in Solid Oak

Where do I buy a podium?  Or, where do I buy a lectern?  Moreover, where do I buy a podium or lectern online?  Excellent question!  I have been in and around the podium or lectern industry most of my life.  When I asked myself that same questions, I went to Google to check my options.  Wow!  Was I confused.  All of these names appeared.  A lot of them some sort of distributor or reseller competing for my business.  Who is trustworthy?  Who can provide what I want?  It is hard to tell.

Therefore, I wrote this blog post.  Warning:  My name is Ed Love. I am the owner and President of Sound-Craft Systems, one of the oldest and finest lectern manufactures in the United States.  Hence, I might be a little bit biased towards it.  Anyway, I will do my best to be objective.

Briefly: If you are the presenter, you are standing on the podium and behind the lectern. Accordingly, I bet that you really desire to purchase a lectern instead of a podium. Anyway, most people call lecterns podiums, and that is fine. In this post, I treat them as synonyms and use the words interchangeably.

When I began the evaluation of the purchase of a podium, five criteria immediately popped into my mind – Quality, Value, Features, Service, and Beauty. So, let’s discuss each criteria.

Buy a Podium of High Quality

Lecterns are not something that you buy everyday. Similarly, they are not something that typically excites you. “Where do I buy a podium?” is like “Where do I buy tires?” or “Where do I buy a roof for my house?”. Something that you want to last for a long time of the highest quality while looking nice and being of great value. Likewise, you need a lectern that

  • is well designed by a thoughtful engineer who is a Six Sigma expert,
  • uses the finest materials, and
  • is built by experienced craftsmen (and women).

Sound-Craft Systems started designing, building, and selling lecterns in 1947. That is over 73 years ago. Just imagine how much experience and know-how we have gained in that time. We know what we are doing. A company can’t remain in business that long unless they produce an outstanding product and take care of their dealers, customers, and end users

Engineering & Design

Specifically, out of the gate is Engineering and design. They are at the heart of what we do. For instance, I do most of the design work at Sound-Craft. I have two engineering degrees and over 25 years of design and manufacturing experience pursuing the mastery of Six Sigma. Everything that I create, is produced, analyzed, and tested in Autodesk Inventor. As a result, all of our designs are verified and rendered for the customers’ review and approval. This practice enables each customer to know that their design is well thought-out, and allows them to see what they are getting before they receive it. Accordingly, surprises are eliminated and expectations are exceeded.

Materials

After the design is set, the highest quality materials are the most important things. If you want buy a lectern to last, don’t cut corners with low quality materials. Sound-Craft only purchases top quality wood products and hardware. Most of our wood products come from Schaller Hardwood in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. Our salesman there, Glenn, has only been selling forest products for over 30 years. He just might know a thing or two. Similarly, most of our hardware comes either from our local Hardware Store, Diamond State Industrial Products, or Hafele America. All experts in their respective trade. All of whom give us expert advise on what is the best to buy for our specific need(s).

Experience

Cutting Podiums

Subsequently, after we established our ideal design and acquired the finest materials, all of the focus shifts to the experienced craftsmen. At this time, I produce all of the CAD files and present them to Brooks to cut on a CNC router. Keep in mind, Brooks is a third generation wood worker who has over 40 years of experience creating amazing hardwood cabinets at Brooks Hardwood Products. He uses all of his expertise applying the optimum toolpath(s) on my files and cutting and edgebanding each part like no other.

Building Podiums

Following Brooks in our manufacturing process is Dwight. Dwight is new to the game. Just kidding, he starting building lecterns in 1972. That is 48 years of experience folks. He masterfully assembles all of the parts with Lamello Cabineo’s. They are excellent and strong joiners. Next in the line up is Dave. He puts his 20 plus years of experience into the careful sanding and preparation of the lecterns for finishing. Please don’t overlook what a critical step this is in the process. Sanding is an art that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Finishing Podiums

Then the real magic happens – the finishing. This is the step that sets Sound-Craft apart from its competition. Mike leads all aspects of finishing Sound-Craft lecterns. Similarly, he has over 30 years of experience finishing high end furniture. He knows every trick of the trade. Consequently, each piece that he finishes shows it with its perfect color, consistency, and shine. He is an artesian. His ability to custom match walls, wood panels, and existing furniture is amazing. As a result, it’s almost worth buying a lectern just to see his workmanship.

Are you still asking yourself, “Where do I buy a podium?”

Assembling Podiums

Finally, we get to the assembly process. Recently, Timmy retired after 45 years of service assembling lecterns at Sound-Craft. Also, Denise changed careers after a 20 year stint with the company. Not to fear, Mike has stepped up into a supervisory role and is now supervising all facets of production. That being said, he is focusing on assembly and bringing in new talent. All is good and secure for Sound-Craft to continue making the highest quality lecterns in the business.

Buy a Podium that Holds its Value

Where do I buy a podium? As mentioned earlier, when you buy a lectern, you want it to last. Back to the tire analogy. When your automobile needs tires, you don’t buy the cheapest tires. Nor do you buy the most expensive racing tires. You buy the “right” tires. Similarly, you must buy the “right” lectern for the job. Accordingly, the unit that gives you the most value. In this setting, I define value as years of suitable service divided by the cost.

Sound-Craft‘s quality craftmanship leads to our products’ value. You definitely pay a little more when you buy a podium from Sound-Craft, but you most certainly get more than you pay out of it. We have installed lecterns in major metropolitan convention centers that are approaching 30 years of trusted service. We instill value by building them exactly the way you want them. With us, you don’t have to settle for what we have in inventory or what our standard options can create.

Lecterns Built Uniquely for You

The Classic Podium with a LG 43LT340C Mounted in the Front
The Classic with a LG 43LT340C Mounted in the Front

Alternatively, we build each lectern uniquely for you. That way, you get it the way you need it to endure the test of time. For example, if you need a Planar PT1945R mounted flush in your work surface and a LG 43LT340C mounted inset into the front of your unit, no problem. We will take care of it. If you need a Crestron TSW-760 on the right and an Extron Cable Cubby 700 in the middle, no problem. We will add those cutouts in the correct dimensions. Additionally, we will make sure that you have sufficient clearance and plenty of room for your cables, cable retractors, and connectors taking into account bend radius and heat management.

Rural Benefits

As mentioned above, we are not the cheapest lectern that you will find. However, we definitely are not the most expensive one either. Our rural Arkansas setting provides us with a competitive cost environment. Plus, we are located in the middle of the United States and well serviced by FedEx Freight, our preferred carrier. We can ship to many metropolitan areas next day at affordable rates. For example, Dallas, Texas. If we ship a lectern to Dallas today, it will be received tomorrow. By the way, all of our products are Made in the USA!

Entrepreneurial Spirit

I like to compare us to a nice restaurant. When you are ready to buy a podium, we jump right on it, confirm that we understand each other, and then harness our entrepreneurial spirit and hustle to create your ideal lectern. Another similarity to a fine restaurant is that we have extremely busy times and very slow times. If your schedule allows it, let us serve you before or after the summer rush. We will make it worth your while.

Buy a Podium with the Right Features

The Keynote Executive Traditional Lectern
The Keynote in Solid Walnut Hardwood

Are you still wondering “Where do I buy a podium?” Sound-Craft offers all of the features that you will likely ever need. Take a look at our options. There are quite a few. And those shown are only the ones that are frequently requested. We have others that I haven’t taken the time to render. If you don’t see something that you desire, just ask us for it.

I am a former systems integrator. For five years in the nineties and early two thousands, I owned a small audio visual integration firm in Memphis, Tennessee. I have pulled the all night jobs trying to get a system to work, toned cables that were improperly labeled. sweat a river in a church attic trying to perfectly hang a huge screen, and programmed control systems for the most critical of customer. I understand what our dealers and end users need in a lectern.

In summary, if there is a feature that you need, we have it, can make it, or can get it. For example, solid hardwood. How many lectern manufacturers work in solid hardwood? Sound-Craft does. Just take in the beauty of the solid Walnut The Keynote that is in the adjacent picture. It currently lives in the athletics department at The College of William and Mary.

Buy a Podium that Includes Service

Where do I buy a podium? From Jeffery. Ask any of our repeat customers why they keep buying lecterns from Sound-Craft, and many of them will say because of Jeffery. Jeffery is the face and voice of Sound-Craft. He’s the guy that answers your telephone call, provides you a quote, takes your order, and makes sure that your unit is ready for the trip when it departs our shop. Surprisingly, he is our near rookie with a mere 25 years of service to Sound-Craft. You call, he answers. He answers not only your call, but your questions. You will find with Sound-Craft that service really does matter. It makes the difference.

So let me help you answer your question “Where do I buy a podium?” Sound-Craft Systems. Give Jeffery a call at 800-643-8747 or an email at sales@sound-craft.com.

Buy a Podium that is Beautiful

Lastly, we come to beauty. Buying a lectern is like buying a car or a fine suit. You not only want to like how it looks but how you look with it. So many of the lecterns that are on the market are unattractive. We don’t make those. We value appearance and work very hard to create beautiful pieces of furniture.

So in closing, if you want a beautiful lectern that will stand the test of time, give us a call or order straight from our website, www.sound-craft.com. You will be happy you did.

Regards,

Ed

William E. Love, President, Sound-Craft Systems

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