Barton Nelson, Inc., Gordon Sinclair, Prime Resources Corp. and Sweda Company LLC have completed the necessary requirements to maintain their QCA Certified status.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (July 18, 2012) – Compliance is a journey, not a destination. And while it’s significant that companies make the original commitment to becoming accredited by Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), the promotional product industry’s only independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping companies provide safe products, what’s even more important is that companies make compliance part of their long-term, ongoing processes and continue to maintain the high standards required to be a QCA Certified Supplier.

Unlike other certifications, QCA Accreditation requires ongoing quarterly maintenance audits. Additionally, every two years companies must complete full reaccreditation requirements, which often take up to six months to finish and include independent, third-party audits of the company’s headquarters as well as three factories in its supply chain.

Four more companies have completed the QCA reaccreditation process, allowing them to maintain their QCA Certified status. They are:

  • Barton Nelson, Inc., based in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Gordon Sinclair, based in New Hyde Park, New York
  • Prime Resources Corp., based in Bridgeport, Connecticut
  • Sweda Company LLC, based in City of Industry, California

“QCA has been a huge part of Prime’s very fabric since the organization’s inception in 2009,” said Rick Brenner, Prime Resources CEO. “If promotional products are viewed as a risky in the eyes of the end buyers, then it harms us all. That’s why we have not only embraced what QCA embodies, but we have also put strict testing protocols in place since 2007 and have instituted an in-house lab. At the end of the day, product safety and compliance have become a big part of why distributors have the peace of mind when choosing to work with Prime and our other QCA Certified counterparts.”

The purpose of reaccreditation is for QCA Certified Companies to show continuous improvement and ongoing vigilance to ensure compliance is a daily best practice. This is especially important to end buyers, who expect compliance to be a proactive part of the normal course of business rather than reactive and only when they ask for it. Having an ongoing system of checks and balances reinforces that compliance is a journey not a destination and demonstrates our industry is getting better every year.

“We truly look at QCA Certification as a journey rather than as a destination because it is ongoing effort,” said Jennifer Gluck, director of marketing for Gordon Sinclair. “I love that the whole process of reaccreditation is required every two years to maintain QCA Certification because it keeps us in check. It ensures that all the processes and procedures that we built and put in place are still working and being improved upon. Compliance is a part of the lifestyle we embrace in our factories and headquarters. The QCA Accreditation standard is a tough one to meet, and it certainly raises the bar for other suppliers that are not part of QCA.”

While maintaining QCA Certification is certainly important for all QCA Accredited Companies, Brent Stone, QCA executive director – operations, said the story doesn’t stop there. “Perhaps the most significant aspect of these companies’ successful QCA reaccreditation efforts is the confirmation of their organizational commitment to protecting and enhancing the relationships their distributor partners have with end-buyer clients,” he explained. “Compliance programs are not a casual effort, nor are they a box that can be checked on an RFP. Rather, comprehensive compliance programs require a long-term commitment that permeates all business practices, and these companies demonstrate their depth by meeting the continuous improvement philosophy that is the cornerstone of the QCA Certification Program.”

For more information about QCA Accreditation and to inquire about the process and benefits received, contact 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 19 companies have met the rigorous qualifications to achieve QCA Accreditation—BAG MAKERS, Inc.; Barton Nelson, Inc.; BDA Inc.; Broder Bros.; Bullet Line LLC; Cutter & Buck; Dard Products, Inc.; Garyline, Gemline; Gordon Sinclair; Hit Promotional Prouducts; 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, and Brent Stone serves as executive director – operations.

For more information, visit www.qcalliance.org.


Media Contact:
Lisa Horn, CAS

Company Contact:
Brent Stone