Polyconcept North America Uses The Structure And Processes Through QCA Accreditation To Mitigate Risk And Deliver Safety
Many companies that inquire about QCA Accreditation want to know if going through the compliance program will result in more sales. While this is a legit question, David Nicholson, president of Polyconcept North America (parent company to Bullet Line, Journal Books and Leed’s) says there are more significant considerations.
In this week’s Partners In Brand Safety conversation, we chat with David about how QCA Accreditation has strengthened PCNA’s internal policies and procedures as well as the inherent long-term risks to businesses that do not have a well-developed compliance program in place to address consistently delivering safe, high-quality, socially compliant and environmentally conscientious merchandise.
1. What does brand safety mean to you?
Brand safety means giving our distributors, and their clients, the confidence and trust to know that the products they are purchasing–and that carry their company’s brand name–are safe and reflect a positive image.
2. How has QCA Accreditation benefitted/improved your company?
QCA’s certification program has provided us the structure and processes to strengthen our overall compliance program. By bringing best practices and an outside perspective, we were able to identify not only improvement opportunities but also implement new processes. QCA’s visibility and credibility within the industry also helped instill a broader awareness and commitment to compliance across our organization.
While our compliance program pre-dates the establishment of QCA, we have benefitted from the second set of eyes looking at our policies. QCA Accreditation is like a going to the doctor for a check-up or stress test. The outside review can illustrate what is working well as well as point to areas for improvement.
3. How confident were you in your compliance program prior to going through the QCA Accreditation program? (And did this opinion change after completing the program?)
PCNA was a founding member of QCA. Each of our U.S.-based entities pursued QCA Accreditation, starting with Leed’s, then Bullet and finally Journal Books. We had fairly robust internal compliance policies and procedures, but the QCA Accreditation process helped us to tighten them up and make improvements.
What changed for us in going through the QCA program was that our compliance efforts expanded to be more comprehensive, looking at all aspects of product safety throughout our supply chain. It now begins with our product development/design and carries through to our domestic decorating operations. We have a much stronger program now, and it continues to improve.
4. What would you say to a fellow supplier that is on the fence about whether or not QCA Accreditation is worth the investment?
I do not think you can look at the QCA investment solely based on “will this result in more sales for my company?” This is certainly part of the equation as more distributors look to QCA-Accredited suppliers as partners. However, the much more important consideration is what is the risk to your business long-term if you do not have a well-developed compliance program?
If you believe quality and compliance are critical requirements in today’s world, QCA offers a proven and recognized path that digs into social accountability, workplace safety, quality systems, supply chain security and environmental stewardship to improve any company’s supply chain. There are no other independent bodies that do this. It is a small investment relative to the value your business will derive.
5. What is the most common question(s) distributors ask about product safety/compliance?
First and foremost, we get tons of requests for test reports and product-specific issues. After that, we seem to get questions where we are being asked to explain what all these crazy regulations mean. While there are a lot of very knowledgeable distributors out there, there are a number who seem to be overwhelmed by the complexity of the changing product regulatory environment.