Video: Inside Crutchfield's Product Research Team
Zak Billmeier grew up in southern Vermont and coastal Maine. After graduating from Mary Washington College with a Geography degree he still isn't sure quite what to do with, he eventually settled in the mountains of Central Virginia. He spends his free time chasing his daughter around, taking pictures, gardening and cooking. Zak traces the roots of his interest in electronic gadgets to the Casio wristwatch with a built-in calculator he received as a gift one year as a child. He joined Crutchfield's car A/V team in 2007.
More from Zak Billmeier
Our Product Research team examines one of every car and home audio/video product that we have in our warehouse. Check out the steps involved in databasing a product, and where to find the info the team gathers when you're shopping at crutchfield.com.
For car audio products, this product data combines with the data we collect from vehicles to create our vehicle-fit database (as seen in our video about the Crutchfield MasterSheet™). And that's how we know whether or not a product fits your car.
Today I'm going to be researching this Kenwood CD receiver, the KDC-BT948HD. What we'll do first is we'll actually take the unit out of the box and document everything that comes with the unit, so the customer knows exactly what should be in the box when they receive it in the mail. After that, I'll actually open up the owner's manual, and I'll read it front to back to make sure I know everything I need to about the unit before I start writing about it on the web. Once I'm done with the manual, I'll actually hook the unit up to a speaker, put a CD in it, hook it up to an iPod as far as to test iPod compatibility and then look and see what other accessories that we could add to this unit, whether it be Bluetooth, HD radio.
Once I've done playing with that stuff, we'll actually measure the unit to make sure that it fits your vehicle. We'll measure the width, the height, and we'll measure the depth, including cables, so we know there's enough clearance in your dash for it to fit. And additionally, I'll actually document it in our database wiring codes for the head unit as far as knowing what color wires are what whether it's a speaker lead, or a power lead, or ground lead.
Once that's all complete, we put it out there on the web for our customers and internally for our sales advisors and tech people to help assist our customers. We do this for every car stereo that we sell and every product that comes into Crutchfield. We take the time to sit down and make sure that it does everything that it should do, and that you know what you're getting before you're buying.