QCA GAINS NEW APPLICANT FOR ACCREDITATION

Crown Products has applied to participate in the accreditation program developed by the Quality Certification Alliance, the promotional product industry’s only independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping companies provide safe products.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (August 2, 2011) – Fortune 1000 customers are becoming more proficient at vetting their promotional products supply chains, and companies that do the best job of providing proactive, comprehensive compliance solutions can differentiate themselves in an industry where it is truly challenging to differentiate. This type of delineation allows companies to better meet their Fortune 1000 client needs, which results in enhanced relationships, greater confidence, growing trust and reliance, and ultimately in increased revenues.

The Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), the promotional product industry’s only independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping companies provide safe products, introduced its comprehensive compliance program in 2009 to help suppliers capitalize on this opportunity. Since then, 18 companies have become QCA Certified and another 14 applicants are currently enrolled in the QCA Accreditation Program with Mobile, Alabama-based Crown Products, Inc. being the newest applicant.

“Product safety is a critical differentiator among suppliers in today’s market, and we take our commitment to product safety very seriously,” said Bob Bickert, Crown Products president/general manager. “Through our extensive due diligence and research this past year, however, we realized that obtaining QCA Accreditation would bring us to a higher level of product safety and compliance than we could achieve on our own. Additionally, we will be able to not only improve our compliance by leveraging the knowledge and standards of the growing QCA Certified Suppliers that have gone before us but also participate in our customer’s growing support of companies with QCA Accreditation. We are motivated and welcome the journey ahead for continuous improvement and QCA Accreditation.”

Crown Products has begun the initial self-certification phase, which is followed by a rigorous self-assessment. Once these are complete, the company then submits its headquarters and supply base to multiple third-party audits. Finally, the QCA board uses a scorecard representing the performance of the applicant and its supply chain on the third-party audits as the foundation for granting accreditation.

“As Fortune 1000 end buyers and their distributor partners continue to vet the QCA Accreditation Program and validate the quality and comprehensiveness of the QCA Certification process, QCA is becoming recognized as the industry standard for product safety and compliance programs,” said Brent Stone, QCA executive director – operations. “It’s actually quite remarkable that such a large market share of suppliers that represent the bulk of the industry’s overall sales have embraced this complicated issue in the relatively short time QCA has existed. These companies believe QCA Accreditation is a differentiator in a crowded marketplace, and their customers are confirming this position.”

For more information about QCA accreditation and to inquire about the process and benefits received, 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, and today 18 companies have meet the rigorous qualifications to achieve QCA Accreditation—Avaline, Barton Nelson, Inc.; BDA Inc.; Broder Bros.; Bullet Line LLC; Cutter & Buck; Dard Products, Inc.; Fanda Enterprises, Inc. dba PromoFactory; Garyline, Gemline; Gordon Sinclair; Jetline; JournalBooks/TimePlanner Calendars; Leed’s; Logomark, Inc.; MMI; Prime Resources Corp.; and Sweda Company LLC—with others soon to complete the process.

In July 2010, the QCA Distributor Advocacy Council 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. In is currently comprised of 10 companies, which represent more than $700 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.

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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