QCA Accreditation Granted to Crown Products
The Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), the promotional product industry's only independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping companies provide safe products, recently granted QCA Accreditation to Mobile, Alabama-based Crown Products Inc.
To achieve QCA Accreditation, Crown Products began by endorsing a self-certification and completing a rigorous self-assessment, followed by the company submitting its headquarters and supply base to multiple third-party audits. The QCA board then used a scorecard representing the performance of the company and its supply chain on the third- party audits as the foundation for granting accreditation.
"While we tried to ensure everything was compliant with CPSIA, FDA and all other federal and state regulations, once we began the QCA Certification Program we learned that not only were our procedures not as detailed as they needed to be, but also that we did not have any procedures at all in other areas where they were required," said Janie Chestang, vice president of procurement for Crown Products. "Additionally, our processes needed to be documented more in the production areas, and we were way below par in the aspects of flow-charting our product development steps. By going through all the steps necessary to achieve QCA Accreditation, we now have more internal controls, more employee security and more quality control over our factories. We implemented sign-off processes for new products, created our CTPAT manual and now have the documentation to answer very detailed customer questions regarding compliance."
It's a rigorous process and, according to Dorene Lanza, Crown Products' marketing manager, it is a major accomplishment that will help distinguish Crown Products in the marketplace. "By joining the other top promotional products companies that have achieved this prestigious certification, we are able to move forward in servicing those customers who require QCA Accreditation as a prerequisite for doing business," she said. "Partnering with QCA on our compliance efforts demonstrates our continued commitment to providing safe, high quality products, and we will continue to set our standards high and give assurance to our customers that we will always be complaint with the guidelines."
For more information about QCA Accreditation and to inquire about the process and benefits received, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chicago, Illinois-based Quality Certification Alliance is an independent accreditation organization whose mission is to elevate the standards by which industry firms that import and/or manufacture promotional products provide consistently safe, high-quality, socially compliant and environmentally conscientious merchandise. QCA Accreditation is granted to companies who complete an independent third-party audit and comply with stringent standards, which are based upon a combination of state and national laws, international standards and industry-accepted best practices that are recognized for their strength and effectiveness by QCA Accredited companies, the promotional products industry and end-user clients.
QCA was formed in July 2008, and today 23 companies have met the rigorous qualifications to achieve QCA Accreditation—BAG MAKERS Inc., Barton Nelson Inc., BDA Inc., Bodek and Rhodes, Broder Bros., Bullet LLC, Crown Products Inc., Cutter & Buck, Dard Products Inc., Design Resources Inc./Caps Direct, Garyline, Gemline, Gordon Sinclair, Hit Promotional Products, Jetline, JournalBooks/TimePlanner Calendars, Leed's, Logomark Inc., MMI, Prime Line, SnugZ USA, Sweda Company LLC and Towel Specialties-with others soon to complete the process.
In May 2012, the QCA Distributor Advocacy Council Charter was created to formalize the relationship the organization has with distributors who understand the value compliance programs have in building stronger relationships with suppliers, creating competitive advantage in the marketplace and building loyalty with their end-buyer clients. It is currently comprised of 15 companies, which represent more than $800 million in annual promotional products sales.
Jeffrey P. Jacobs is QCA's executive director. D E (Denise) Fenton serves as executive director - compliance.
For more information, visit www.qcalliance.org.