QCA White Papers

QCA Product Safety Compliance White Paper Measuring and Defining Safe Product Manufacturing Compliance QCA measures and evaluates the management practices – a company’s policies, procedures and protocols – that provide for the predictable output of safe product continuously manufactured and shipped under the company’s name. Management practices must at minimum assure conformance with all applicable regulatory (legal) requirements related to design and construction of the company’s product line. Read more.     QCA Product Quality Compliance White Paper Measuring and Defining Quality Manufacturing Compliance QCA measures and evaluates the management practices – a company’s policies, procedures and protocols – that provide for the predictable output of quality product continuously manufactured and shipped under the company’s name. Read more.     QCA Supply Chain Security Compliance White Paper Measuring and Defining Product Manufacturing Security Compliance QCA measures and evaluates the management practices – a company’s policies, procedures and protocols – that provide visibility into the supply chain and the processes assuring predictability in the secure delivery of product manufactured and shipped under the company’s name. Read more.     QCA Social Accountability Compliance White Paper Measuring and Defining Labor Rights Compliance in Manufacturing Social accountability in the manufacturing sector has come to mean the environment under which an item was manufactured as pertaining to labor. These programs are frequently referred to as labor standards or ethical manufacturing programs. Social accountability policies are designed to ensure minimum protections are provided to workers who produce the product that is then sold / provided to the end user. Read more.     QCA Environmental Stewardship Compliance White Paper Measuring and Defining Environmental Compliance Firstly, QCA requires Accredited Companies to maintain policies, procedures and protocols that assure compliance with all legal requirements. QCA also advocates a commitment to promoting Environmental Stewardship throughout the product realization process. From a client-customer’s initial interaction through delivered product, accredited QCA companies strive to assure companies policies protect and preserve the environment. Read more.  ...

Read More

Brand Safety — More Than Digital Media

Brand Safety — More Than Digital Media

This white paper discusses risks and rewards of promotional products. Then it provides guidance that will help to protect and grow brands....

Read More

All About Brand Protection: AMA Summer Conference Takeaways

By Tim Brown, MAS, QCA Executive Director, Operations   Last week, I traveled to San Francisco to participate in the American Marketing Association’s Summer Academic Conference. It was an intimate gathering of 300 or so attendees, most of whom were marketing professors and marketing researchers.   Many of these professors and researchers represented some of the top business and marketing schools in the country. Which is why I was so surprised to learn that most of the professors at these institutions didn’t teach their students about brand protection.   However, nearly every professor I spoke with immediately took to the message and wanted to learn more. One professor mentioned that he would be interested in doing his next research project on the subject. Several wanted more information and content that they could share with their students. A handful were so engaged with the topic that they asked if I could be a guest speaker for their classes, which I am happy to do.   Buyers of Tomorrow Ironically, the value of brand protection is something most of these young students already “get.” They see the damage that can be done by social media campaigns like #DeleteUber, which can go viral and crush a brand’s reputational value very quickly. They know that a brand’s identity and reputation have never been more in flux — or at risk. These students will be the end buyers of tomorrow.   Once they graduate with marketing degrees and get entry-level jobs, they’ll likely be the ones ordering promotional products. I’ve talked to a lot of end buyers who’ve told me their primary objective is to build and protect their brands. So, they expect you to take care with the products they’re buying and on which they’re putting their logo. They want to make sure their brand has reputational value and they want to prevent a loss of brand integrity.   Getting in Touch My conversations with marketing professors at the AMA conference reminded me that, until now, marketing academia had not given much thought to promotional products. However, with PPAI’s “Get In Touch” campaign and their efforts to work with the AMA and others, I see the beginnings of awareness and interest in our medium from marketing professionals, professors and students.   The marketing professors I spoke to were able to quickly make a correlation between QCA Accreditation and ISO Certification, or FLA Certification and other...

Read More

Have We Met?

I was fortunate to have been invited by Shumsky Promotional to attend a great end-user event. The QCA Distributor Advocacy Council member invited folks from a broad array of industry categories, including research software providers, insurance brokers, law firms, transportation and logistics companies, property management services, city government, and publishing houses. We met at the home of Dayton Dragons baseball team at Fifth Third Field in downtown Dayton, Ohio to check out new products and ideas. Kindly, Shumsky invited me to speak to the event attendees as part of the program. I spoke from the perspective of QCA on the importance of safe and compliant products, and from a former end-user’s perspective on the importance of brand protection. I always look forward to the opportunity to connect the dots every time I have the opportunity to share ideas on transparency of the entire supply chain. My attendance, and the speaking engagement got me thinking, “Have we met?” Well, maybe not literally, but have you taken the time to “get to know” the basics about why it’s a good idea to source from QCA-accredited suppliers? I spoke to the end-users, not just about the “right way” to do business in promotional products, but about the concept of simply doing the right thing for them and protecting their brand at the same time. At QCA we have produced a series of white papers called the “Knowledge Series.” I suggest you check it out if protecting the integrity and reputation of your brand is as important to you as mitigating risk is. Mitigating risk by sourcing safe products up front is a far better alternative than incurring the costs and the damage of a recall, lawsuit, public relations nightmare, and, most importantly, the loss of consumer goodwill from a failed product. The need to source safe products is not going away and is something that cannot be ignored. Bottom line, consumers want to be safe, and they have every right to expect that from the people they do business with. This idea, of course, works its way right back up the supply chain to each and every one of us. The role of Shumsky, as well as the eleven other members of the Distributor Advocacy Council, is twofold: First, they want to ensure that they are securing accurate documentation from their vendors on an ongoing basis while sourcing from QCA-accredited suppliers. Second, they are...

Read More

Safety and Compliance: Run Toward the Problem Not Away

A topic that’s top of mind for both brands and promotional products distributors and sales teams is safety and compliance. So when the discussion turns to delivering safe and compliant promotional products, and specifically how difficult it is to do, I usually go with this response: “You can either run toward the problem, or you can run away from it.” It really is that simple. While many opt to bury their heads and not think about the risks that are associated with dealing with unsafe or noncompliant products, that  tide is most definitely changing. This is driven by a number of things. Brands want to do the right thing by buying safe and compliant products, to protect their customers as well as their brand reputation. And consumers increasingly want products they know are manufactured safely and with a view toward corporate social responsibility. They want to trust the people they’re doing business with, because that matters. As these attitudes become more prevalent and as compliance and social responsibility move to the fore, suppliers and distributors in the promotional products industry are now starting to run towards the problem. They want to do the right thing for their clients, which also turns out to be the right thing for their companies, and their reputations as well. The role of a savvy promotional products distributor these days is focused on helping clients clearly understand the potential dangers based on the risk assessment of products they are considering sourcing. This also involves helping to educate clients about the reality that safe and compliant product may not be the least expensive choice now, but in the long run, it’s a much better choice than recalls, lawsuits and potential brand damage. Having product safety as a key component of the sourcing and selection discussion is coming more into the mainstream and that’s a good thing. In fact, it’s vital to the sustainability of our industry. That’s why you may have seen our announcement this week about a new partnership we’ve formed with Promo Marketing Media Group. Our collective mission with this partnership is to work together and utilize all the platforms of Promo Marketing and Print+Promo, including video, email newsletters, webinars, and white papers. We’ll be delivering on a year long informational initiative, and one that we believe can help change the promotional products industry and impact the whole supply chain – suppliers, distributors,...

Read More