Safety: It's Never Black and White
When I worked in the corporate world, I worked for a Fortune Global 500 company. When it came to sourcing brand merchandise, protecting the corporate image by mitigating damage from an unsafe promotional product was the only way to do business. At the time, at least in my mind, safety was pretty much a black or white issue. It was either safe, or it wasn't. Since then, I've come to understand that product safety is more like a thermometer. So many factors can turn safety up or turn it down; one lot of goods is compliant, the next is not. No matter where you source, or from whom, always—ALWAYS—remember that you have to operate on the principle of trust, but verify. Safety is anything but simple—that's why QCA accredits a process, NOT a product. A process by which a supplier demonstrates the protocols are in place to detect, and deter, unsafe products BEFORE they get into the marketplace.
Jeff is executive director of the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA). Prior to that, he was responsible for developing safe and compliant brand merchandise for Michelin. He has worked with brands in publishing, consumer products, broadcasting and film for over 30 years. Follow Jeff on Twitter, and QCA on Facebook.