The companies have now met the rigorous qualifications to receive the promotional products industry’s only certification dedicated to product quality, product safety, supply chain security, social accountability and environmental stewardship.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (September 10, 2012) – The Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), the promotional product industry’s only independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping companies provide safe products, has awarded QCA Accreditation to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based Bodek and Rhodes and Overland Park, Kansas-based Design Resources, Inc./Caps Direct.

To achieve QCA Accreditation, companies must endorse a self-certification, complete a rigorous self-assessment, and then submit their headquarters and their supply base to multiple third-party audits. 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.

“Going through the steps to achieve QCA Accreditation, we learned that we were already doing most of the right things, but it also made us aware of the bigger picture and the advantages of having a comprehensive compliance program,” said Mike Rhodes, president/CEO of Bodek and Rhodes. “The QCA Certification Program helped us crystallize our processes, create our own vendor manual, communicate our requirements better and strengthen our inspection and quality review. We now have a Quality Assurance Team that has learned the requirements and is able to drill down the processes and guidelines to all employees and vendors.”

Jason Krakow, vice president of Design Resources Inc./Caps Direct, said the company has also expanded staffing to address all the facets of compliance. “We enlarged our compliance committee and established a new position of compliance manager to lead the team and the process in an efficient and effective manner,” he said. “Through the QCA Certification Program, we recognized increased opportunities to enhance our monitoring efforts, develop stronger product safety standards and improve our ability to organize all of our efforts into a streamlined, comprehensive compliance program.”

The internal changes both companies made to integrate compliance into their daily operations demonstrates their ongoing commitment to delivering safe and compliant product to their distributor customers. And while this is important to distributors, it is equally—if not even more important—to end buyers, who continue to demand the products they purchase are safe.

“To our customers, QCA Accreditation means two things: confidence and peace of mind,” said Rhodes. “Because we are QCA Certified, we are more confident that we have a quality, safe product that will please the customer consistently, every time. In turn, our distributors can more confidently show and sell our products—even to the most competitive Fortune 1000 companies that insist on quality assurance partners—because they have peace of mind that we have compliance standards and controls in place. They now have that advantage as our partner.”

Krakow agrees. “Our customers can be confident that we have a mechanism for ongoing partnership with them to help navigate the complex issues of product safety and compliance,” he said. “Top brands need this confidence, and obtaining QCA Certification confirms our ability to deliver this to them.”

For more information about QCA Accreditation and to inquire about the process and benefits received, e-mail dfenton@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 20 companies have met the rigorous qualifications to achieve QCA Accreditation—BAG MAKERS, Inc.; Barton Nelson, Inc.; BDA Inc.; Bodek and Rhodes; Broder Bros.; Bullet Line LLC; Cutter & Buck; Design Resources Inc./Caps Direct; Garyline; Gemline; Gordon Sinclair; Hit Promotional Products; Jetline; JournalBooks/TimePlanner Calendars; Leed’s; Logomark, Inc.; MMI; Prime Resources Corp.; SnugZ USA; and Sweda Company LLC—with others soon to complete the process.

In May 2012, the QCA Distributor Advocacy Council Charter 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. It is currently comprised of 15 companies, which represent more than $800 million in annual promotional products sales.

D E (Denise) Fenton serves as executive director – compliance.

For more information, visit www.qcalliance.org.


Media Contact:
Lisa Horn, CAS

Company Contact:
D E Fenton