Who Cares If You Have A Compliance Program?
Here's the thing: Companies that have compliance programs can and are able to service Main Street America as well as Corporate America, but companies without compliance programs are finding it much more difficult to reach up in an attempt to sell to Corporate America. It's becoming a race to the top, and safe and compliant products are paving the way. See what I mean in this previous post.
The ability to deliver safe and complaint products has been creating tiers in our industry for the past two years—and the pace is accelerating. I hear this every day through inbound conversations with suppliers and distributors. The divide is less on company size and more on the type of customers the company has or how it goes to market.
These two distinct groups want different things from their promotional partners. Obviously, compliance is good business for everyone. But when selling to the typical small business that doesn't have much of a brand to protect, the conversation almost exclusively fixates on cost. If you have any hope of selling to Corporate America, however, there is opportunity to talk about something other than just price. You have the opportunity to sell the value proposition of safe and compliant promotional products.
Truly successful promotional products companies provide solutions rather than just logoed merchandise. There is truth to the common wisdom that "you get what you pay for." So much truth, in fact, that the Chinese have their own version of the saying, "yi fen qian, yi fen huo." This translates roughly into "one cent gives you one cent's worth of merchandise." Isn't it worth the extra pennies to get safe and compliant products? Ask you customers and see if they care. I bet they do.
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.