DISTRIBUTOR SUPPORT FOR QCA GROWS

Fueled by end buyers’ demand for safe and compliant products, distributors are looking to QCA Accredited Suppliers to meet their needs.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (June 7, 2010) – In today’s hyper-competitive environment, providing safe and compliant promotional products is an essential component of doing business. Fortune 1000 clients expect it, and it’s only a matter of time before smaller businesses require the same assurances.

Promotional products distributors have begun to recognize the role Quality Certification Alliance (QCA) plays in helping suppliers put the processes and procedures in place to deter and detect noncompliant product and use third-party audits for confirmation. As a result, they are using QCA Accredited Suppliers to meet their needs.

“Our industry cannot continue to address this topic in a reactive nature,” said Jay Deutsch, CEO of Woodinville, Washington-based Bensussen Deutsch & Associates, Inc. (BDA). “End users must know that their products are safe and comply with all laws. True client advocacy means we must take the steps to implement processes that ensure their brands are protected rather than accept things at face value. The QCA Accreditation program is the first major step in creating a sea of change in the industry because it holds companies accountable for the products that end-up in consumers’ lives.”

It’s this accountability that appeals to distributors. “QCA Accredited Suppliers are accepting the responsibility for delivering compliant products and taking the proactive steps to address our needs, and these are the types of suppliers with whom we should be working,” said Tim Brown, supplier relationship manager for Mason, Ohio-based Cintas Corporation. “Additionally, the QCA effort is particularly important to us because it not only protects our clients brand equity but it also helps us protect our own brand—and it is the right thing to do.”

In addition to doing the right thing for consumers, Rod Brown, MadeToOrder CFO, believes the QCA initiative is an opportunity to achieve a number of gains. “Selling safe and compliant products through QCA Accredited Suppliers is a way to distinguish oneself from competitors, and there is significant opportunity for increased market share and greater revenue,” he said. “The QCA initiative is one of the most important areas of focus for our company in the next year.”

Memo Kahan, owner of Los Angeles, California-based PromoShop Inc., agrees. “The continued growth of QCA is extremely important to us and the industry because there is no alternative offering that is as comprehensive as QCA Accreditation, especially for the smaller orders with shorter lead times that make up so much of the industry’s volume,” he said. “We are supporting the initiative by adding QCA Accredited Suppliers to our preferred supplier programs and will continue to do so as more suppliers achieve certification.”

Kahan isn’t alone; many other distributors are using QCA Accreditation as a prerequisite for doing business. “QCA Accredited Suppliers allow us to better serve our clients’ corporate social responsibility initiatives,” said Bob Lilly, Jr., president of Dallas, Texas-based Bob Lilly Professional Promotions. “Protecting our clients brand is mission critical, and we appreciate this group of industry leaders taking the initiative to help us do so.”

This is just a fraction of the widespread support for QCA from many distributors, particularly those who have Fortune 1000 clients where product compliance is a minimum performance expectation. “I have spoken with many more distributors who have already begun introducing QCA Accredited Suppliers into their client conversations with a positive result,” said Brent Stone, QCA executive director – operations. “Their clients value the efforts to protect their brands as well as the ease of process that the QCA Accredited Suppliers can provide them. We are looking forward to working with these distributors and their clients as we continue to refine our solutions to best fit the needs of the end users.”

For more information about QCA and its comprehensive accreditation program, e-mail brent@qcalliance.org.

About QCA:
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 with 13 of the founding companies meeting the rigorous qualifications to achieve QCA Accreditation—Avaline, Barton Nelson, Inc.; BDA Inc.; Broder Bros.; Dard Products, Inc.; Fanda Enterprises, Inc. dba PromoFactory; Gemline; Gordon Sinclair; Leed’s; Logomark, Inc.; MMI; Prime Resources Corp.; and Sweda Company LLC—with several others soon to complete the process. D E (Denise) Fenton serves as executive director – compliance, and Brent Stone serves as executive director – operations.

For more information, visit www.qcalliance.org.

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Media Contact:
Lisa Horn, CAS
214-674-8400
lisa_k_horn@hotmail.com

Company Contact:
Brent Stone
206-448-6271
brent@qcalliance.org