15 Distributors Sign Charter Pledging QCA Support
Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), the Chicago-based independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping promotional product companies provide safe products, has created a Distributor Advocacy Council (DAC) Charter that allows distributors to formally pledge their support for the organization. The purpose of the charter is to allow QCA DAC participants to officially commit to meeting the higher standards of Fortune 1000 companies through partnering with QCA Accredited suppliers that have been independently verified as having processes and procedures in place to deliver safe and compliant products.
To show their commitment to protecting their clients' brands, DAC participants sign the Charter to affirm that they:
- Recognize QCA as the industry standard for product safety and compliance, and support its mission to elevate the standards by which industry firms that import and/or manufacture products provide consistently safe, high quality, socially compliant and environmentally conscientious merchandise
- Commit to partnering with QCA in educating their employees on the various aspects of compliance, becoming familiar with the state and federal requirements that must be met on behalf of their Fortune 1000 customers
- Understand compliance solutions are often best when they reflect a collaborative effort between distributors and suppliers
- Recognize the commitment to product safety and compliance QCA Accredited suppliers are making and elevate these suppliers within their preferred supplier programs, making them primary supplier partners in servicing their Fortune 1000 client needs
- Pledge that 90 percent of their purchasing volume will come from QCA Accredited suppliers by end of year 2015 as a commitment to meeting their client expectations for product safety solutions
The QCA Distributor Advocacy Council Charter can be viewed in its entirety at http://qcalliance.org/qca-dac-charter/.
Initially, 15 companies, which represent more than $800 million in annual promotional products sales, have signed the QCA DAC Charter. They are:
- Activate! Promotions + Marketing, based in Charlotte, N.C.
- Axis Promotions, based in New York
- Bensussen Deutsch & Associates Inc. (BDA), based in Woodinville, Wash.
- The Image Group, based in Holland, Ohio
- InnerWorkings Inc., based in Chicago
- Lapine Associates Inc., based in Stamford, Conn.
- Leaderpromos, based in Columbus, Ohio
- MadeToOrder, based in Pleasanton, Calif.
- Overture Premiums & Promotions, based in Vernon Hills, Ill.
- PromoShop Inc., based in Los Angeles
- Shumsky Enterprises, based in Dayton, Ohio
- Signet Inc., based in Memphis, Tenn.
- Summit Group, based in Silver Spring, Md.
- Sunrise Identity, based in Bellevue, Wash.
- The Promotional Specialists, based in Markham, Ontario, Canada
"The QCA board is pleased to see many in our industry act in the best interest of both our Fortune 1000 clients and the long-term sustainability of our industry," said Jay Deutsch, CEO and co-founder of Bensussen, Deutsch and Associates (BDA), an accredited founding company of QCA. "The promotional products industry needed to address the absence of any product safety and compliance standards that could meet the needs of Fortune 1000 clients. The frequent occurrence of negative news coverage of corporate compliance failures has these clients laser-focused on protecting their brand image and equity, and they do have other advertising options if our industry cannot demonstrate the ability to deliver safe product. It is reassuring to see many of the thought leaders in our industry making the strategic decision to embrace compliance in spite of the difficulty and expense for doing so."
Mitch Monger, CEO of Sunrise Identity, agreed, saying that being a part of the QCA Distributor Advocacy Council is a testament to the commitment and seriousness with which industry leaders take product safety and compliance. "QCA's work is a positive step in helping the promotional products industry become a model for others to follow with respect to the important issues of product safety and compliance," he said. "By joining other like-minded industry leaders in their support of QCA, through the QCA DAC, we can work directly with fellow distributors, suppliers, factories and customers to ensure the promotional products industry is as well known for product safety and compliance as it is for innovation and creativity-and that's a very exciting prospect."
Brent Stone, QCA executive director - operations, concluded, "We are pleased that the relationship QCA has with these and other distributors continues to grow through increased interaction between end buyer clients, their distributor of choice and QCA. Fortune 1000 customers expect this level of compliance and are supporting these industry leaders because they have proven themselves to be serious about protecting their clients' brand equity. The QCA Distributor Advocacy Council participants have been engaged early and often with QCA, and they are continuing to vote with their purchase orders and by including QCA Accredited Suppliers in their preferred supplier programs and events. We look forward to continued engagement with our distributor partners and their clients who are driving the demand for compliance solutions. QCA now has nearly $3 billion worth of industry support behind it and continues to establish itself as the only proactive comprehensive compliance solution available in our industry."
For more information about the QCA Distributor Advocacy Council, its Charter or the QCA Accreditation Program, contact 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 18 companies have met the rigorous qualifications to achieve QCA Accreditation—Barton Nelson Inc.; BDA Inc.; Broder Bros.; Bullet; Cutter & Buck; Dard Products; Garyline; Gemline; Gordon Sinclair; Hit Promotional Prouducts; Jetline; JournalBooks/TimePlanner Calendars; Leed's; Logomark; MMI; Prime Line; SnugZ USA; and Sweda Company LLC—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.
D E (Denise) Fenton serves as executive director - compliance, and Brent Stone serves as executive director - operations.
For more information, visit www.qcalliance.org.