In order for promotional products companies to remain relevant in today’s highly competitive marketplace, they must meet end-buyer demands not only with product selection that addresses consumer needs but also with verification that these products are manufactured safely and responsibly. That’s why it’s more critical than ever for suppliers and distributors to work together to ensure the safety of the supply chain.
Foamworx, a supplier of advertising-based imprinted foam promotional products operating out of Calais, Maine, and Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, Canada, is doing its part by participating in the QCA Accreditation Program.
“We’ve always understood the value QCA Accreditation could add to our business,” says Heather Garner, Foamworx CEO. “Once QCA expanded the criteria to include all North American suppliers and created a participation model that wasn’t cost prohibitive for smaller suppliers, we were eager to begin.”
Foamworx began the QCA Accreditation Program in mid-2019 and was awarded Accreditation in February 2020. (View the official press release here.)
“With QCA Accreditation, distributors are assured that their products are being made with quality and safety in mind,” said Heather Garner, Foamworx CEO. “They will have no concerns with us or our supply chain regarding compliance, social responsibility or environmental stewardship.”
Placing Safety At The Forefront
As an international manufacturer of foam toys, Foamworx has always placed importance on safety because children are using the products. So while the company had many of required practices already in place, each of the policies and procedures still needed to be reviewed and documented.
“It was imperative for us to create a compliance manual where every aspect of manufacturing and decorating was covered to allow consistency throughout the plant,” Heather says. “Going through the QCA Accreditation Program was an intense period of scrutiny while all practices and procedures were evaluated. It required not only a time commitment from all levels of management but also buy-in from all employees.”
The investment of time and resources was well worth it. “Distributors, especially those who understand the depth of commitment required to successfully complete the QCA Accreditation Program, have indicated to us that we’ll have a more valued relationship going forward.”
These stronger relationships will serve Foamworx well, especially when distributors are sourcing products for larger, more lucrative contracts with brands that demand compliance documentation. “Having streamlined internal processes and with documentation readily available, we are able to respond to distributor inquiries quickly and confidently,” Heather says.
While Foamworx could have developed their own compliance program, they chose to rely on QCA’s expertise and the proven Accreditation Program that has been continually refined to meet current industry standards and legislative requirements throughout the past decade.
“Taking the factory to this level of compliance would not have been possible without the guidance of QCA and, in particular, Dee Fenton,” Heather explains. “Being QCA Accredited is invaluable, and we are a stronger company having gone through this process.”