Committing to brand safety takes dedication, persistence and time. For American Ad Bag, one of the initial challenges was the time required. However, this supplier, who has been manufacturing a line of reusable bags since 1992, believes that brand and product safety is of the utmost importance. So they were up for the challenge to consistently deliver safe, high-quality, socially compliant and environmentally conscientious merchandise—and be able to prove it by achieving QCA Accreditation.

In this week’s Partners In Brand Safety conversation, we chat with compliance manager Michael Cross about why the investment in brand safety is so important, the misconceptions surrounding compliance and how QCA Accreditation has benefited the company.

1. What does brand safety mean to you?

Brand safety means that we hold our company to the highest standards of safety, quality and compliance across our entire supply chain and ultimately in the marketplace. Brand safety is paramount to ensuring that branded merchandise is an effective means of positive brand awareness.

 

2. How has QCA Accreditation benefitted/improved your company?

Baby Shower
The Arizona team takes a timeout to celebrate the upcoming birth of a fellow teammate.

QCA has shown us how to allocate manpower and resources to the compliance process appropriately. We have also realized that preferred supplier considerations are given to those companies who are committed to responsibly sourcing safe quality products. QCA is a respected organization, and many distributors ask if we are QCA Accredited. QCA is important to our distributors and their customers because they know they can rely on our products.

 

3. Did you have any misconceptions about QCA prior to applying that were cleared up through the process?

Go Cubs Go
A victory party to celebrate the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series

Before starting the QCA Accreditation process, we were expecting more of what was the norm in past experiences when seeking accreditation from other organizations or third-party agency audits. In these instances, the process felt more like a one-way dialogue to acceptance in which information and existing procedures were either approved or denied.

 

Early on in the assessment process with QCA, we found this was not the case. The insights, comments and information went both ways. Moreover, during the weekly conversations, our plans, policies, procedures and documents were reviewed, improved upon, updated and even added to. This dialogue gives our company an operational and compliance blueprint for now and, with the continuing association with QCA, for the future.

 

4. What did you find most challenging about the process and how did you overcome/address this?

Community Involvement
Community involvement is highly encouraged at American Ad Bag.
For 18 years American Ad Bag has been involved in the Gavers Community Cancer Foundation’s Annual Barndance

The initial time and resource commitment were, for us, the most challenging. By midpoint in the process, however, all the discussions both internally and with QCA resulted in immediate in-house process reviews and additions. Because of this collaboration, the buy-in from all personnel was evident, and thus the final stages went quicker.

 

5. What question(s) do you wish distributors would ask you about product safety/compliance but they never do?

It is not really a question; it is more of the educational process. Brand safety and product safety are of the utmost importance. However, the communications from supplier to end users is riddled with misconceptions from who is responsible to what regulations apply.

 

As it has been said in many seminars, one size does not fit all. What regulations apply, what testing is needed and when third-party tests are needed are constant questions. To this end, I believe the QCA logo will communicate to end users that the accredited company has the knowledge and has made the commitment to ensure its products comply with the required regulations.

Biggest Loser Challenge
Both the Arizona and Illinois locations have a Biggest Loser Challenge.
The contest promotes healthy eating and living plus the winner gets to enjoy a little extra cash.

 

Stay in touch with QCA on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

 

If you are a promotional products supplier and want to learn how to make your sourcing program more robust, learn more about QCA here.

For industry distributors who want to add value and differentiation to their promotional products offerings, reach out to QCA Accredited Companies.

For brands who want to work with companies who go above and beyond to protect their reputation and image, work with promotional consultants who support the QCA mission and request that your vendors use QCA Accredited Companies.