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 Baltimore, Maryland-based Towel Specialties.
“As a supplier catering to many Fortune 500 companies protecting their brands, we are continuously being asked to provide both proof of product safety as well as social and environmental compliance,” said Eric Weinstein, Towel Specialties president. “When we learned of QCA, we realized that the process of achieving QCA Accreditation would help us address the rapidly increasing demands of our customers.”
To achieve QCA Accreditation, Towel Specialties began by endorsing a self-certification and completing a rigorous self-assessment, and the company submitted its headquarters and supply base to multiple third-party audits. Then the QCA board used a scorecard representing the performance of the company and its supply chain on the third-party audits as the foundation for granting accreditation.
While Weinstein said the company has always had a strong focus on quality and customer satisfaction with practices in place to address client concerns, there was a bit of a surprise when the process for QCA Certification began. “We initially believed that the process of achieving QCA Accreditation would be relatively simple, but we found it to be quite the opposite!” he said. “The process revealed that there were numerous holes in what we believed were best practices. By identifying and addressing these holes, we have become a stronger company. With QCA requiring ongoing re-certification, we will continuously improve our practices.”
D E Fenton, QCA executive director – compliance, said that Towel Specialties began the QCA Accreditation process recognizing the market had changed and the company’s management team wanted to work with an organization that not only understood the promotional products industry, but also had express experience developing compliance processes for manufacturing. “Towel Specialties’ customers are demanding a partner with a sophisticated understanding of how to better serve them with promotional merchandise that meets product safety and quality standards as well as social compliance needs,” she said. “The company’s enthusiasm for process improvement combined with a collaborative effort both internally and with its supply base were the driving factors behind the successful accreditation.”