Like it or not, manufacturing is undergoing a significant shift. Heightened awareness of product safety and compliance legislation is having a huge impact on the promotional products industry.
The buzzword is compliance. Not only is product safety necessary, but it requires knowledge of the intricacies of the laws surrounding compliance. Are your manufacturing partners integrating product safety and compliance into their process? Producing promotional products without considering product safety and compliance issues is a risky business.
Here are two examples of product safety legislation out there. The most comprehensive U.S. federal law is the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).CPSIA was enacted in August 2008 and imposes strict lead limits for children’s products and toys. State law may also affect product safety and compliance. One such piece of legislation is California’s Proposition 65. Proposition 65 requires businesses to notify Californians about significant amounts of chemicals in the products they purchase.
A supplier who is doing their due diligence in respect to product safety and bringing a compliant product to market will likely come at a higher price. Product safety and compliance costs more, but the cost of ignorance is much higher.
Being knowledgeable about product safety and compliance issues can reduce risk. Asking a few leading questions can give you a better idea of how savvy your manufacturing partner is.
EVALUATION & ASSESSMENT
- Does your supplier have a compliance officer who can understand AND explain compliance issues?
- If they manufacture overseas, do they have boots on the ground for vetting and securing reliable factories?
- Does your supplier adhere to a code of conduct that respects human rights?
- Can the supplier provide compliance testing from a reputable third-party?
- Do they conduct AQLQC inspections?
- How do you obtain the current test report for each product?
- Do the test reports include photographs specific to the suppliers products or are they generic reports for similar products?
- Does the report include all the required tests to comply with U.S. regulations or is it a report referring to European standards?