The $500 Average Order Dilemma
Unfortunately, whether you want to admit it or not, nearly everyone has a story of a large project where the client's demand for auditing or testing came very late in the project. I've heard many stories throughout the years where this has happened to some very good suppliers. I can't image the lesser suppliers in our industry are any better. I've even received some panicked calls asking for help with finding a solution while the order was in production, in transit from overseas or, worst case, sitting at the client's event.
You get what you ask for and pay for. If you make product safety and compliance part of the upfront criteria for which suppliers you use, there's a much greater likelihood of getting it when you need it.
Brent Stone is executive director - operations for 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.