The good news is that some of the companies who have added these product categories are actually doing their homework. They have invested the time and resources into understanding the requirements for these new products and have developed a new supply chain to meet these requirements. Even better news is that every day distributors are becoming more adept at indentifying risk and valuing those suppliers who actually have core competencies. Something to think about as you walk the aisles and see all the new product offerings at the 2012 PPAI Expo Trade Show coming up in January.
Brent Stone is executive director - operations for the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), the promotional products industry's only independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping companies provide safe products. A Six Sigma Black Belt, Stone has more than 25 years of in-depth supply chain management experience with extensive expertise in process design, development, improvement and management. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.qcalliance.org for more information.