Raising the Bar
Andrea Engel: We found, especially with our customer base, there was a lot of confusion. ... We felt it was really important to help our customers have a comfort level. There are so many laws, so many things that are procedures that really aren’t standardized, we thought it was important to do this as a service to our customer base, so they would feel comfortable knowing that no matter what product they bought from this group, they could be sure it met all the requirements, it was safe and there were no worries.
Trevor Gnesin: It is a really fragmented industry. Everybody was trying to do their own thing, but choosing nothing. It’s so broad, and the frame of it we have to work with is so confusing, that to try to do it as individual [companies] was very difficult. So, we got together as a group to try to work it out, and [with] the knowledge that everybody had, we pooled our sources together to come up with an organization that can make a difference to the industry.
PM: So Jay, then, what are your goals? What are you trying to accomplish?
JD: I think the great thing about the QCA is that it’s not just a one-person show. It really has been [a group effort]. We’ve been doing this for a year ... working on what those standards are, how to test the different product lines, how to test different materials, understanding what CPSIA is and formulating what those accreditations and standards are. Now, our goal collectively is to get every member audited, accredited and certified by June 30 of 2009. I think you gotta walk the talk. The members are united in the fact that ... our job now is to get our best practices documented, audited and in action [to be] certified under the QCA label.
PM: Are you finding that, for the end-users, this is an issue with them at this point? Are they calling you and saying, “How do I know that these products are safe?”