Raising the Bar
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN SAID it best when he stated, “Certainty? In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes.” So in a changing industry full of uncertainty—one begging for someone to take an ethical stand on how to conduct business, and facing a barrage of new product safety laws—where does the industry look for guidance, a solid knowledge base and products that offer peace of mind? Where can distributors find that certainty?
Perhaps the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), a nonprofit group founded by industry leaders, can provide that assurance. With a solid mission statement, “to raise the bar in providing consistently safe, high-quality, socially compliant and environmentally conscientious merchandise to clients and their constituents,” the organization is attempting to offer as much certainty as possible without a calculator and Schedule C or one foot in the grave.
At the PPAI Expo in January, Promo Marketing sat down with three of the organization’s founding members, Jay Deutsch, CEO of Bensussen Deutsch & Associates (BDA), Woodinville, Wash.; Trevor Gnesin, president of Logomark, Tustin, Calif.; and Andrea Engel, vice president of merchandising for BroderBros., Trevose, Pa., in order to learn more.
Promo Marketing: What is the QCA? ... What was the catalyst behind forming the QCA?
Jay Deutsch: ... We are really excited about this venture. The QCA is really a group of 14 founding members coming together and saying we are going to put together a quality program, a safety program, surrounding products and social compliance inside of the marketplace. The great thing about this organization is that you’ve got suppliers who are in different categories ... [and distributors who] really care about doing the right thing for the industry. And doing the right thing for the industry is really [just] doing the right thing. It’s the law now, [the] Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) is a federal law, in conjunction with Prop 65 and with a lot of the other state regulations. At the end of the day, the right thing is to put out the best and most reliable product every time.