QCA Continues To Expand Distributor Advocacy Council With Stran Promotional Solutions

The Council is now comprised of 13 companies, which represent more than $1.6 billion in annual promotional products sales.   CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (July 10, 2017) – Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), the promotional product industry’s only independent, non-governmental accreditation organization dedicated to helping companies provide safe products, has expanded its Distributor Advocacy Council (DAC) with the addition of Quincy, Massachusetts-based Stran Promotional Solutions.   The DAC mission is to elevate the standards by which firms that import and manufacture products are consistently delivering safe, high quality, socially compliant and environmentally conscientious merchandise, and its affiliates recognize QCA as the industry standard. Together, the DAC and QCA Accredited Companies are forming a new level of collaboration in this industry-changing effort, which is effectively an ideal way to ensure supply chain transparency and control.   Stran Promotional Solutions was founded in 1994 and is a top 50 Distributor of promotional products in the US. Stran provides organizations with physical branded merchandise such as products, print, packaging, & point of sale while also providing the marketing vehicles to distribute that merchandise via eCompany stores, warehousing & fulfillment, kitting, & direct mail. Stran has also been named a “Best Places to Work” for three years running by Counselor Magazine. Stran is based just outside Boston in Quincy, Massachusetts with sales offices across the U.S. Stran utilizes multiple warehousing sites across North America and has partnerships for worldwide distribution capabilities.   “The team at Stran has always taken the role of protecting our client’s brand seriously,” says Andy Shape, President. “We focus on all aspects of brand protection from meeting brand guidelines on every product that we source to exceeding all product safety and testing standards. Joining such an elite group of forward thinking companies on the Distributor Advocacy Council will allow us to continue to share best practices and help drive greater compliance across our industry.”     “The end buyers of promotional products – those with the most to lose – expect to receive safe and compliant products from our industry,” says Tim Brown, MAS, QCA executive director – operations. “Stran understands this and their commitment to doing things the right way is what QCA is all about and looks for in a partner. We welcome Stran into the QCA family and look forward to growing QCA together through end buyer awareness, documented processes, and increasing the accredited supplier base.”   For more...

Read More

QCA Expands Distributor Advocacy Council With Distributor Cotton Candy

The Council is now comprised of 12 companies, which represent more than $1.2 billion in annual promotional products sales.   CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (June 30, 2017) – Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), the promotional product industry’s only independent, non-governmental accreditation organization dedicated to helping companies provide safe products, has expanded its Distributor Advocacy Council (DAC) with the addition of Mississauga, Ontario-based Cotton Candy.   The DAC mission is to elevate the standards by which firms that import and manufacture products are consistently delivering safe, high-quality, socially compliant and environmentally conscientious merchandise, and its affiliates recognize QCA as the industry standard. Together, the DAC and QCA Accredited Companies are forming a new level of collaboration in this industry-changing effort, which is effectively an ideal way to ensure supply chain transparency and control.   Cotton Candy Inc. is an award-winning promotional agency with a North American operational footprint and an international client base. Offering a comprehensive complement of ‘tangible marketing’ services, the company’s strengths include special order and online corporate program sales of branded merchandise, apparel and uniforms, reward and recognition, marketing and design, displays and brand presence, warehousing and fulfillment, and in-house product embellishment. In 2017, the company celebrated its twenty-fifth year in the brand enhancement business.   “Cotton Candy has understood from the day we opened our doors in 1992 that every product we adorn with a client’s logo becomes an extension of the brand. And, how that product subsequently looks or lasts or performs can greatly influence the way that brand is perceived,” says John Houlding, president, and founder. “Over the years, we’ve made a point of implementing protocols, policies, and measures, including establishing the position of a dedicated compliance officer in 2010, to help us identify and work with suppliers who produce quality sustainable products in well-managed and socially acceptable work environments. Joining the QCA Distributor Advocacy Council is an integral part of what we are endeavoring to do as an organization in ascertaining the commitment and sincere efforts of our suppliers to provide quality sustainable products manufactured from well managed and socially acceptable work environments.”   By joining the DAC, Cotton Candy connects with the other like-minded distributors who are passionate about furthering the cause of our industry’s responsibility to protect client brands.   “Cotton Candy has long understood the value of responsible sourcing. Their interest in QCA is nothing new, and we are thrilled that have chosen...

Read More

QCA ANNOUNCES RICK RAYL STEPPING DOWN AFTER 10 YEARS

Founding representative and instrumental contributor to the development of QCA, Rick Rayl, has stepped down from the QCA Board of Directors.   CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (May 16, 2017) – After assisting in successfully guiding the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA) for a decade, Rick Rayl, announced that he is stepping down from his position on the QCA Board of Directors where he also served as chair of the Distributor Advocacy Council (DAC) Committee.   Mr. Rayl has served QCA for ten years, which includes its conceptualization and on the Board of Directors. He was one of the catalysts for the development of QCA and the creation of its founding documents. During his tenure, QCA became the promotional product industry’s only independent, non-governmental accreditation organization dedicated to helping companies provide safe products.   “We thank and honor Rick for his dedicated service and commitment to responsible sourcing. He was instrumental in building QCA into an innovative, industry-leading organization and his valuable counsel has played a huge part in QCA’s growth and impact on the industry,” said Larry Whitney, QCA Board President. “Rick is leaving us in a strong position and gaining momentum as we are poised for significant growth over the next few years.” Rick thanked QCA and the board for the opportunity to serve on this groundbreaking initiative, and he commented that “QCA has achieved unparalleled success in the promotional products industry. Working with the finest leaders, both suppliers, and distributors, to build and grow the gold standard in compliance is an honor I will always cherish.” Rick will be honored with QCA’s first award for Innovation and Leadership.     About QCA: Chicago, Illinois-based Quality Certification Alliance is an independent, accreditation organization whose mission is to elevate the standards by which industry firms that import and/or manufacture promotional products provide consistently safe, high-quality, socially compliant and environmentally conscientious merchandise. QCA Accreditation is granted to companies who complete an independent third-party audit and comply with stringent standards, which are based upon a combination of state and national laws, international standards and industry-accepted best practices that are recognized for their strength and effectiveness by QCA Accredited companies, the promotional products industry and end-user clients.   QCA was formed in July 2008 when a group of industry thought leaders met to address the safety, compliance and social responsibility needs of the promotional products industry. By providing the tools required to help companies within...

Read More

FEY INDUSTRIES, INC. ACHIEVES QCA ACCREDITATION

The company joins 31 other currently accredited companies that have met the rigorous qualifications to receive the promotional products industry’s only certification dedicated to product quality, product safety, supply chain security, social accountability and environmental stewardship.   CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (May 9, 2017) – Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), the promotional product industry’s only independent, non-governmental accreditation organization dedicated to helping companies provide safe products, has awarded QCA Accreditation to Edgerton, Minnesota-based Fey Industries, Inc. (dba: Fey Promotional Products Group). Brands include Fey Line, Magna-Tel by Fey, Mi Line by Fey, Reflectix by Fey.   The company specializes in products that keep you and your business organized. From exclusive Techfolios to their U.S.A. Made custom 3-ring binders, specialized holders, and Peel-n-Stick® calendar collection. Their Magna-Tel by line is a leader in promotional magnets, decals and exclusive tech-friendly products. Mi Line offers hundreds of clever everyday products that pack a promotional punch along with the industry favorite “World’s Best Pizza Cutter®” while Reflectix offers vibrant personal safety products with an exclusive prismatic reflective material.   QCA Accredited companies endorse a self-certification, complete a rigorous self-assessment, and then submit their headquarters and their supply base to multiple third-party audits. The QCA board uses a scorecard representing the performance of the applicant and its supply chain on the third-party audits as the foundation for granting accreditation.   “The QCA accreditation process created awareness to the much broader responsibilities with social accountability/compliance, supply chain security, and environmental stewardship. It exposed gaps we had and strengthened our protocols. We are in a much better state to avoid problems as we have procedures in place to ensure accuracy and compliance,” said Mike Fey, MAS, Fey Industries, Inc. president. “The process is an exhaustive one which involves dedication and diligence across the company. Additionally, we found it requires a willingness to see the “current state” of our internal processes in order to truly improve and advance our business forward. Only those companies who are genuinely committed to quality and compliance, as well as continuous improvement, should start the QCA journey.”   Fey Industries, Inc. joins the ranks of 31 other companies that have met the rigorous qualifications to achieve QCA Accreditation—Admints & Zagabor; AlphaBroder; American Ad Bag; AZX Sport; Bag Makers, Inc.; BDA Inc.; Bic Graphic; Bullet Line LLC; Castelli; Chameleon Like, Inc.; Crown Products, Inc.; Cutter & Buck, Inc.; Design Resources, Inc.; Garyline; Gemline; Gordon Sinclair; Hit...

Read More

PWS BEGINS QCA ACCREDITATION PROCESS

By applying to participate in the QCA Accreditation process, PWS has joined other industry leading practitioners taking a hard look at their business models and best practices. The Quality Certification Alliance (QCA) is the promotional product industry’s only independent, not-for-profit organization certification dedicated to product quality, product safety, supply chain security, social accountability and environmental stewardship.   CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (April 25, 2017) – End-Buyers are becoming more proficient at vetting their promotional products supply chains, and companies that do the best job of providing proactive, comprehensive compliance solutions can differentiate themselves in an industry where it is truly challenging to differentiate. This type of delineation allows companies to better meet their Fortune 1000 client needs, which results in enhanced relationships, greater confidence, growing trust and reliance, and ultimately in increased revenues.   PWS has been diligently working through the accreditation process, which includes rigorous assessments and multiple third-party audits. The QCA board will use a scorecard representing the performance of the applicant and its supply chain on the third-party audits as the foundation for granting accreditation.   “We have been talking about doing this since QCA’s inception, but wanted to wait and see how the market reacted to it. After listening to our customers and researching the QCA program, we determined that the accreditation program not only provides assurances to our customers, it ensures that PWS, all the way through the supply chain, meets standards today and into the future,” said Andrea Pennington, PWS VP of Customer Relations. “Our QCA rep, D.E. Fenton, not only guides us through the way we should be organizing and documenting processes and procedures, she makes us stop and think about the way we currently do things, and if there is a better way to do it. Because of this we are scrutinizing and thinking about every detail of the company and the factories with which we work. This process will ensure that we are training all of our people to the exact standards in how PWS is to operate.”   For more information about QCA Accreditation and to inquire about the process and benefits received, e-mail tbrown@qcalliance.org.   For more information about PWS, visit http://gopwsproducts.com/Main/default/default.aspx .   For more information about the Quality Certification Alliance, visit http://www.qcalliance.org/.   About QCA: Chicago, Illinois-based Quality Certification Alliance is an independent, accreditation organization whose mission is to elevate the standards by which industry firms that import...

Read More

QCA Retains Juli Sinnett As Consultant To Distributor Group

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: QCA RETAINS JULI SINNETT AS CONSULTANT TO DISTRIBUTOR GROUP QCA hires former SwervePoint founder and principal as a consultant to the QCA Distributor Advocacy Council. Sinnett was retained to drive more collaboration between the distributor group and the accredited suppliers of QCA. CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (February 18, 2016)   The Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), the promotional product industry’s only independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping suppliers provide safe products, has retained Juli Sinnett to coordinate with the QCA Board and continue to lead the DAC (Distributor Advocacy Council). QCA is committed to a higher level of collaboration with its distributor group, and this newly-created consultant position is the next step in that initiative. Sinnett left SwervePoint at the end of 2015, where she was co-founder and principal, while already heading the DAC leadership. Her responsibilities included business development, leading the sales organization and vendor relations. In addition to consulting for QCA, Sinnett will continue her work as a board member with the Center for Women and Enterprise, and as chair of the WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council) Membership Committee. “I have always been very impressed with QCA as an organization, from the certified suppliers, to the Distributors on the Advocacy Council (DAC), and of course, the mission of QCA” said Sinnett. “The companies associated with QCA are raising their hands and saying “I make a difference. I walk the walk, and I want everyone to know it.” Sinnett continued, “QCA has been clear that the distributor is an important part of the equation. I will be working with the DAC to find out how we can provide more value to the distributors.” Added David Clifton, chief marketing officer at alphabroder, and QCA Board Member, “We thank Juli for her contributions and leadership on the DAC and want to congratulate her on this new role.”   About QCA: Chicago, Illinois-based Quality Certification Alliance is an independent, non-governmental accreditation organization whose mission is to elevate the standards by which industry firms that import and/or manufacture promotional products provide consistently safe, high-quality, socially compliant and environmentally conscientious merchandise. QCA Accreditation is granted to companies who complete an independent third-party audit and comply with stringent standards, which are based upon a combination of state and national laws, international standards and industry-accepted best practices that are recognized for their strength and effectiveness by QCA Accredited companies, the promotional products industry and end-user...

Read More