FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lisa Horn, CAS
SEVILLE CORP. & SUNSCOPE BEGIN QCA CERTIFICATION PROCESS
The companies have applied to participate in the comprehensive compliance program developed by the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), the promotional product industry’s only independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping companies provide safe products.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (June 13, 2012) – Eliminating risk. This is the reason Fortune 1000 companies continue to focus on vetting their supply chains. The damage to brand equity caused by a highly visible promotional products recall places our entire industry in danger as we potentially could be viewed as a high-risk advertising medium.
To mitigate this risk, it is imperative that our industry takes proactive steps to meet our biggest customers’ growing demand for safe and compliant products. A robust compliance program is the place to start, and these comprehensive solutions are of critical importance as they are becoming an entry-level requirement for the distributor partners Fortune 1000 companies select.
Two more suppliers have begun taking these necessary, proactive steps to provide safe and compliant products. McFarland, Wisconsin-based Seville Corporation and Commerce, California-based Sunscope USA have applied to participate in the comprehensive compliance program developed by the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), the promotional product industry’s only independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping companies provide safe products.
“Our industry is doing many things right to prepare for the future—one of the most important is ensuring the products that are so vital to the overall value we offer are being sourced and produced to standards the whole world will recognize, accept and take pride in,” said Mike Jarrett, president of Seville Corporation. “We feel that QCA Certification will help us meet this goal. It not only complements the steps we have already taken in managing our supply chain but will also provide us the support and professional guidance to meet the future requirements of the constantly changing compliance environment.”
Dilip K. Bhavnani, COO of Sunscope Group of Companies, agrees. “Sunscope recognizes the importance of managing the supply chain and ensuring product quality, safety and social compliance,” he said. “With state and federal regulations being updated as well as higher standards being demanded by our client base, we are looking forward to going through the QCA Accreditation Program and joining the industry’s pioneer in comprehensive compliance programs.”
Both Seville and Sunscope have begun the initial self-certification phase, which is followed by a rigorous self-assessment. Once these are complete, the companies then submit their headquarters and supply base to multiple third-party audits. Finally, the QCA board uses a scorecard representing the performance of each applicant and its supply chain on the third-party audits as the foundation for granting accreditation.
Brent Stone, QCA executive director – operations, said, “With each passing month, QCA is pulled into more interactions with distributors and their Fortune 1000 clients. There is no question that the demand for compliance is growing, and those companies that can deliver it are adding value and strengthening their relationships because of it.
“Fortune 1000 companies are asking for 100% QCA Accredited Supplier product offerings, and there is a critical need to expand the number of QCA Certified product categories available to help these end buyers fill their preferred supplier programs and RFP needs,” he continued. “So many companies in our industry continue to delay serious compliance efforts hoping that product safety and compliance is just the next trend, but the genie is out of the bottle. These companies might not realize it yet, but there are many conversations that they are no longer even a part of because of their lack of having a comprehensive compliance program.”
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, and today 19 companies have met the rigorous qualifications to achieve QCA Accreditation—BAG MAKERS, Inc.; Barton Nelson, Inc.; BDA Inc.; Broder Bros.; Bullet Line LLC; Cutter & Buck; Dard Products, Inc.; Garyline, Gemline; Gordon Sinclair; Hit Promotional Prouducts; Jetline; JournalBooks/TimePlanner Calendars; Leed’s; Logomark, Inc.; MMI; Prime Resources Corp.; SnugZ USA; and Sweda Company LLC—with others soon to complete the process.
In May 2012, the QCA Distributor Advocacy Council Charter was created to formalize the relationship the organization has with distributors who understand the value compliance programs have in building stronger relationships with suppliers, creating competitive advantage in the marketplace and building loyalty with their end-buyer clients. It is currently comprised of 15 companies, which represent more than $800 million in annual promotional products sales.
D E (Denise) Fenton serves as executive director – compliance, and Brent Stone serves as executive director – operations.
For more information, visit www.qcalliance.org.