In order to continue meeting buyer demands for brand safety and responsible sourcing, Woodinville, Washington-based Bensussen Deutsch & Associates LLC. (BDA), as well as Dayton, Ohio-based Shumsky/Boost Engagement, have applied to participate in the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA) Compliance Certification Program.
QCA, the only coalition dedicated to ensuring accountability and independent validation of corporate responsibility throughout the promotional products industry’s supply chain, launched the Certification Program at the end of July, and BDA and Shumsky immediately replied.
Built upon the existing Advocacy Council, the Certification Program is designed specifically for the needs of distributors and decorators, allowing them to further their commitment to brand safety and responsible sourcing. It begins with companies completing a thorough self-assessment, which includes a gap analysis to identify process and procedure voids, and requires supporting documentation for review by the QCA Compliance Committee.
From there, applicants build upon the self-assessment by developing a comprehensive compliance manual that ensures they have an effective program for detecting and deferring unsafe or non-compliant product before it enters into the supply chain. Upon successful completion of this process, a series of audits are authorized for the company’s headquarters, where corrective action may be required before certification is granted.
“More and more frequently, our respective and current clients are requesting that we provide verification that we are using sources that place ethical and socially responsible manufacturing at the top of our priorities,” said Robert Steffek, director of global product for Shumsky/Boost Engagement. “As the market pays more attention to environmental and human rights issues, as well as the quality and safety of products, it is imperative that we take steps to ensure that every item we are offering is compliant. We look at the opportunity to become a QCA-certified distributor as an important reassurance to our customers that we are taking every step possible to protect their brands.”
“Our clients come to us because we provide safe and reliable product from inception to production, and the independent and authoritative voice of QCA is instrumental in communicating this standard with our clients,” added Jay Deutsch, CEO and co-founder of BDA. “Going through the QCA certification process has provided yet another opportunity to closely examine every detail and ensure every step in our process is outlined, understood and rightfully executed. By examining our procedures with a new lens, we can continue to adapt and meet our clients’ needs.”
The Certification Program works in conjunction with the QCA Accreditation Program for suppliers, and is designed to strengthen the relationship between suppliers and distributors/decorators even further.
For more information about QCA, visit www.qcalliance.com.