Monday, February 11, 2019 12:00 AM

Building Long-Term, Mutually Beneficial Relationships

For Shumsky, Promoting And Protecting Clients’ Brands Is The Top Priority

Founded in 1953 and headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, Shumsky/Boost Rewards is a WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprise that holds more than 30 domestic and international patents in product development. With 65 years of experience, Shumsky excels at continual innovation in promotional products delivery, advanced technology platforms and superior management tools to lower costs throughout the supply chain. Boost Rewards provides employee recognition and engagement programs to drive business goals.

Robert SteffekA member of the QCA Distributor Advisory Council since its inception, Shumsky’s leadership understands the vital role that product safety and social compliance play with its customers. “It’s important that we have a voice in the industry to promote and encourage efforts to provide innovative, safe and ethically manufactured products to our end buyers,” says Robert Steffek, director, global product. “Promoting and protecting our clients’ brands is our top priority. We exercise great care in sourcing safe and compliant products of the highest quality from our network of proven and trustworthy suppliers.”

When it comes to sourcing, suppliers that have completed QCA Accreditation rank highest among Shumsky’s preferred sources when selecting products for the brands they serve. “Knowing that the materials and processes we recommend for our clients are safe and compliant is a differentiator for our business, earning the trust and confidence of our customers when they select promotional products to represent their brand,” Robert says. “Our responsibility doesn’t end with simply filling orders; we consider ourselves an extension of our client, ensuring we deliver the best of their brand to their employees and customers.”

It’s this kind of dedication that gives Shumsky a competitive edge, especially in a business environment where buyers are demanding proof of compliance and responsible sourcing. “Like most distributors, we are seeing an increased awareness from our customers of the importance of product safety,” Robert explains. “From factory social compliance to California Prop 65, we’ve seen increased interest on the part of the client. Having a resource of QCA Accredited suppliers is a benefit for us, knowing we have a pool of trusted, verified suppliers to which we can turn. Reassurance that we take the integrity and reputation of our customers’ brands goes a long way in winning their business.”

In fact, Robert says that the majority of Shumsky’s clients have very stringent policies around product safety and social compliance. “Because of our affiliation with QCA and the due diligence we provide for our clients, we’ve developed a strong sense of partnership and trust when sourcing products,” he says. “Our clients appreciate the attention we pay to meeting their specific requirements and our dedication to protecting their brands. Having QCA DAC affiliation in our toolkit gives us a competitive advantage.”

Like many distributors, Shumsky holds an end-user event each year to present top customers with the most up-to-date, creative solutions to promote and enhance their brands. What sets this event apart, however, is how suppliers who have achieved QCA Accreditation are identified to further highlight Shumsky’s commitment to brand safety.

“We have also invited Tim Brown, QCA’s executive director of operations, to speak to our attendees, bringing awareness of the risks that unsafe products can have on the integrity of their brands,” Robert says. “This presentation was very well received by the attendees and brought to light many factors that they had not previously considered. We take pride in the fact that we not only provide great products, but we also educate our customers on the importance of product safety and social responsibility.”

In order to consistently deliver safe, high-quality, socially compliant and environmentally conscientious merchandise, Shumsky must rely on suppliers who are just as passionate about brand safety and responsible sourcing—and are committed to putting in the work to document compliance. While he understands there can be hesitation on the part of suppliers when looking attaining QCA Accreditation, the benefits far outweigh the costs.

“From the distributor’s point of view, we encourage participation in the QCA Compliance Program not only by expressing the importance of product safety for the brands we serve but also by where we direct our sourcing efforts and spend,” Robert explains. “In my role as the director of supplier relations, I encourage our sales team always to consider our preferred, trusted suppliers first when sourcing for their customers. Informing our customers that we take the safety of their brand seriously by using trusted, verified suppliers is a key factor in building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.”   


 

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