American Ad Bag and Otto International Begin QCA Certification Process
Fortune 1000 companies continue to focus on vetting their supply chains and requiring their partners to prove compliance. In order to meet these customer requirements, two more suppliers have begun taking the necessary, proactive steps to provide safe and compliant products. Woodstock, Illinois-based American Ad Bag and Ontario, California-based Otto International Inc. have applied to participate in the comprehensive compliance accreditation program developed by the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), the promotional product industry's only independent, not- for-profit organization dedicated to helping companies provide safe products.
"The values of QCA—product safety, social compliance and environmental stewardship—are in line with American Ad Bag's corporate values," said Michael Cross, manager of American Ad Bag. "Applying for QCA Accreditation is the natural evolution of our marketplace brand. Our distributors are looking for that same market accountability of product safety, social compliance and environmental stewardship, and while we have been able to meet their needs, the area of compliance constantly changes and we must continue to educate ourselves and improve while filtering these same principles to both our domestic and international partners."
Both American Ad Bag and Otto International have begun the initial self-certification phase, which is followed by a rigorous self-assessment. Once these are complete, the companies then submit their headquarters and supply base to multiple third-party audits.
Finally, the QCA board uses a scorecard representing the performance of each applicant and its supply chain on the third-party audits as the foundation for granting accreditation.
"Deciding to become a part of QCA was pretty simple: We don't want to lose business because we're behind the market," said Courtney Herrin, national sales manager for Otto International Inc. "We're constantly learning about new expectations in the market, and while we've been able to meet our clients' requests for documentation showing our compliance, it's not as seamless as we would like it to be. By being one of the few select headwear companies that have chosen to proactively become QCA Certified, we will not only strengthen our relationships with our clients but also provide our entire company with much needed knowledge of what it means to truly be compliant."
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