Trying To Be Perfect In An Imperfect World
The reality in any industry is that there is no such thing as perfection. No one-not even companies that have proactive, comprehensive third-party audited compliance programs-is 100 percent safe and compliant every day until the end of time. These companies are not perfect, and they make no claims to be. However, the companies that have embraced compliance are simply the best and brightest of our industry and are true thought leaders. They have put their money where their mouths are and worked very hard to improve what they can control, and our entire industry is better for it.
And distributors are taking notice. They are turning in droves to suppliers who have elevated their performance. These distributors recognize that the demand for product safety and compliance is coming from their clients-and the need is accelerating. By providing a supplier-driven compliance solution, they are making a difference to their top- and bottom-line results.
Much damage can be done to end-buyers' brand equity if a product decorated with their logo causes harm or becomes part of a product recall. There are a few companies within our industry who have spent a number of years developing their compliance programs because they recognize the implications. They are fully aware of the challenges with manufacturing and importing from China and other developing countries, and they have made vast improvements in their supply chains as a result.
Should something slip through in spite of their checks and balances and vigilance, a product recall process is in place and is ready to be implemented. They have planned for the best and prepared for the worst. These are companies that you can count on to consistently deliver the kinds of performance that will help you grow your business with end-buyer customers.
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.