QCA’s Vision of the Future

Join Tim Brown, MAS and Kirby Hasseman for this episode of Delivering Marketing Joy, where Tim shares the vision for QCA’s future through end-buyer awareness. He examines the drivers behind what brands are unconsciously expecting of their promotional products providers and how QCA provides a...

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ADMINTS & ZAGABOR ACHIEVES QCA ACCREDITATION

The company joins 30 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 (February 14, 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 Bellmawr, New Jersey-based Admints & Zagabor – a division of Hit Promotional Products. The company is a USA manufacturer of candy, mints, food gifts and personal care items such as lip balm and hand sanitizer—all made in strict adherence to FDA and Kosher guidelines. 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. “Achieving QCA Accreditation has been challenging, as we’ve had a busy year integrating with HIT Promotional Products and managing our continued growth within the industry. Yet our team was able to upgrade our systems and implement many operational improvements while reinvesting in new technology, product offerings, inventory and personnel,” said Brett Hersh, Admints & Zagabor president. “But the process has been extremely beneficial and rewarding. With so many different opinions and testing companies talking about product safety, quality assurance and social accountability, it became clear that achieving QCA Certification was the only way for us to meet the expectations of our customers and their end-user clients.” Admints & Zagabor joins the ranks of 30 other companies that have met the rigorous qualifications to achieve QCA Accreditation—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 Promotional Products; iClick; Jetline; JournalBooks/TimePlanner Calendars; Leed’s; Logomark, Inc.; The Magnet Group; Perfect Line; Prime Resources Corp.; SanMar; Seville Gear; SnugZ USA; Sunscope; Sweda Company, LLC; and Vitronic. “Safety and social responsibility have long been at the forefront of Admints & Zagabor’s values, and I congratulate them on successfully completing the accreditation process,” said Tim Brown, MAS, QCA executive director – operations. “This accreditation further proves the company’s commitment to doing the right thing as it enhances their pre-existing...

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QCA EXPANDS DISTRIBUTOR ADVOCACY COUNCIL WITH BLINK MARKETING

The Council is now comprised of 11 companies, which represent more than $1.6 billion in annual promotional products sales. CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (January 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 expanded its Distributor Advocacy Council (DAC) with the addition of Franklin, Tennessee-based Blink Marketing, Inc. The DAC mission is to elevate the standards by which firms that import and/or manufacture products are consistently delivering safe, high quality, socially compliant and environmentally conscientious merchandise, and its representatives 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 the only way to ensure supply chain transparency and control. Blink Marketing provides clients with an all-in approach to promotional marketing that includes awards and recognition, apparel and uniforms, custom packaging, fulfillment, merchandise, paper products, signs and displays, webstores and ecommerce. It was named the 2015 Distributor of the Year by Promotional Products Association of the Mid-South (PPAMS), and it was awarded the designation of fourth fastest-growing promotional products distributor in the country by Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI). Additionally, the company has been featured on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Company list and holds Best Place To Work titles from PPB Magazine and Nashville Business Journal. “Blink Marketing is passionate about responsible sourcing and has worked tirelessly over the last few years to ensure we are doing all we can to maintain the highest level of product safety for our clients,” says Daniel Gardner, managing partner. “Being a part of the Distributor Advocacy Council gives us an even greater insight into compliance, safety and supplier transparency. We look forward to having a wider scope of supply chain visibility along with a contributing voice when it comes to current product safety and future compliance policies.” By joining the DAC, Blink Marketing connects with the other like-minded distributors who are passionate about furthering the cause of our industry’s responsibility to protect client brands. “Whether stated or not, end buyers expect to receive safe and compliant products from our industry,” says Tim Brown, MAS, QCA executive director – operations. “Distributors such as Blink elevate the professionalism of our industry by promoting the value of accredited supply chain processes through independent third-party auditors.” For more information about Blink Marketing, visit...

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Promotional Industry Social Rock Stars? The Envelope Please.

We set out on a journey a month ago. The destination was to identify the Top 25 content producers in the promotional products industry. There has never been a comprehensive, data-driven list of online influencers created for the industry and we set out on this initiative because we think it’s important. There is much for all of us to learn from emulating the thought-leaders providing digital leadership in our industry, and having a list based on a methodical review and analysis seems like a great place to start. We worked with one of the top big data firms doing “netnography” in social media, The Social Studies Group. We wanted to make sure the effort was absolutely objective, so we excluded the accounts managed for the Quality Certification Alliance, as well as the personal accounts of our staff. Additionally, while QCA-accredited suppliers and Distributor Advocacy Council members were included, we made it clear that they were not to be given any preference — there was not going to be any home cooking on this list. The Social Studies Group combined several extensive Twitter lists of North American industry players, including over 1,300 accounts on the PromoPeople list from industry recruiting firm, PromoPlacement.com, and removed all duplication. To make sure we didn’t miss anyone, organizations and individuals in the industry were invited to submit their names for consideration. Many, if not most, of the manual submissions were already on the list, and the total had grown to nearly 2,500 accounts! Wendy Scherer, managing partner at The Social Studies group, explains, “We set up social media monitoring in Brandwatch to collect the 2015 content for everyone on the list. There were so many, it took four queries to fit everyone in. The top 150 authors were selected based on their Impact Score, which is a normalized calculation of the sum of the number of mentions by the Author and the maximum values achieved for Potential (how much potential a mention has to be seen) and Engagement (how often a mention has been viewed, shared or retweeted). Impact Scores were given a score of 1 to 5.” “Next, Social Reach (number of followers on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube) was calculated for each author, again giving a score of 1 to 5. Next, our analyst reviewed the top 50 authors for content quality and industry topics (rather than personal or off topic content) for...

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QCA ACCREDITS SUNSCOPE USA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: QCA ACCREDITS SUNSCOPE USA The company has now 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 (February 2, 2015) – The Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), the promotional product industry’s only independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping companies provide safe products, has granted QCA Accreditation to Commerce, CA.-based Sunscope USA. To achieve QCA Accreditation, Sunscope completed a rigorous self-assessment and submitted its headquarters and supply base to multiple third-party audits. The QCA Board then used a scorecard representing the performance of the company and its supply chain on the third-party audits as the foundation for granting accreditation. “Sunscope recognizes the importance of managing the supply chain and ensuring product quality, safety and social compliance,” said Dilip K. Bhavnani, COO of Sunscope, “with state and federal regulations being updated, as well as higher standards being demanded by our client base, we knew it was a good business decision to dedicate the resources necessary to complete the challenging QCA Accreditation Program”. Added Jeffrey P. Jacobs, executive director of QCA, “We knew Sunscope took the necessary, proactive steps to provide safe and compliant product, and the accreditation process proves it. We congratulate them on completing the journey.” About Sunscope: Sunscope has been a top 40 Supplier since 1997. Family run and owned since 1943, the Sunscope Group has 27 manufacturing/printing facilities, distribution centers and offices around the globe to service the promotional products industry worldwide. The company has built itself as an industry leader by offering a wide range of customizable products that include bags, drinkware, writing instruments, flashlights, tools, frames, timers, pedometers etc. Sunscope’s USA based headquarters are in Los Angeles, California and the company generates $350 million in worldwide sales. Find out more at...

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QCA ACCREDITS Seville Gear

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: QCA ACCREDITS Seville Gear The company has now 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 (January 7, 2015) – The Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), the promotional product industry’s only independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping companies provide safe products, has granted QCA Accreditation to McFarland, WI.-based Seville Gear. To achieve QCA Accreditation, Seville Gear completed a rigorous self-assessment and submitted its headquarters and supply base to multiple third-party audits. The QCA Board then used a scorecard representing the performance of the company and its supply chain on the third-party audits as the foundation for granting accreditation. Mike Jarrett, president of Seville Corporation, said, “We agreed with and embraced the need for industry manufacturers, importers, suppliers and distributors to take the lead in defining and implementing a higher set of standards throughout the supply chain. Everyone benefits and it only improves the integrity and impact of the promotional products industry. We are a better partner with our factories, a better employer, and a better company because of the steps we have taken for certification.” Added Jeffrey P. Jacobs, executive director of QCA, “We knew Seville Gear took stewardship seriously and want to congratulate them on achieving QCA Certification. We knew they took the necessary, proactive steps to provide safe and compliant product, and the accreditation process proves it.” About Seville Gear: Since 1984, Seville Gear has strived to be one of the most reliable suppliers in the promotional products industry. We provide value to our Distributor customers by offering cleverly designed, safe, and in-stock products matched with professional decorating and always on-time delivery performance. Find out more at www.sevillegear.com. 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 clients. Jeffrey P. Jacobs is QCA’s executive director. D E (Denise) Fenton serves as executive...

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