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>> as well as missing documents suggest that quality assurance is largely ignored. In this case, the marketplace will certainly regulate itself in the near future. Those companies that include quality assurance as an integral part of their corporate philosophy will survive. How do you see the future of the promotional product industry? In principle, I am optimistic about the promotional and merchandising product, just as the studies of PSI and GWW mostly assume positive developments in the industry. However, large advertising companies have a “zero tolerance philosophy”: They do a lot to avoid putting any defective or hazardous products onto the market, and therefore have a particularly critical view of promotional products. The potential threat of damaging their own brand is seen in promotional products. What do internationally operating advertisers need to consider? Promotional products of large, globally operating customers go all over the world, so they must also satisfy the legal requirements of the respective sales regions. Those who use or sell promotional products in the USA or China naturally have to be aware that they must comply with the local legal requirements. No product is excluded. Complying with EU requirements is not sufficient if the products are to be sold globally. The authorities at home and abroad are increasingly focussing on promotional products. Those who do not sufficiently care about issues of quality assurance will suffer as a result. In this case, the marketplace will certainly regulate itself. How can Intertek support PSI members? We can support the promotional product industry in many areas with our A-T-I-C approach (Assurance, Testing, Inspection, Certification) and develop pragmatic, customised solutions, both for major companies as well as for medium-sized companies and their suppliers. We speak to all parties involved in the value-added chain of promotional products, know the respective concerns, needs and wishes. Our goal is to represent the interests of our customers and to support the promotional product industry in attaining sustainable growth – taking into account the applicable legal framework. Intertek naturally has the great advantage of operating internationally. We advise companies not only in Europe but worldwide. Intertek currently has around 41,000 employees at over 1,000 locations. 10 years ago we had 26,000 employees worldwide – the demand for our services in the area of quality assurance 36 PSI Journal 10/2016 measures is growing tremendously. Our customers come from all branches of industry, and the promotional product industry can also benefit from our experience. Specifically, we will offer workshops in the future in cooperation with PSI, and an e-mail hotline is also planned. Given countless food scandals, product warnings and recalls, consumers are now quite insecure. Therefore, in closing, allow me to ask you a personal question: As a quality assurance expert, where do you buy things? As an ordinary consumer, I purchase from traders in my neighbourhood, particularly regional products that are off fered here very fresh. Of course, we also buy our food and consumer goods at discount stores or supermarkets. My advantage is I know the quality assurance concepts of many companies, whether it be food or non-food. Often I also personally know the persons responsible and am convinced of their sincerity in wanting to offer only good and safe products on the market. Are there products or companies you do not trust? Yes, there are, also in Germany. There have been times when German companies falsified Intertek test reports by making a “PASS” out of a “FAIL” and then sold the product. We have already rejected cooperating with certain companies because we were not convinced of their quality management concept. What should a consumer beware of? Personally, I avoid buying fake or dubious goods at any markets, bazaars or ethnic supermarkets at home and abroad. There is indeed a reason why the price of such products is surprisingly low: Inferior raw materials, poor workmanship, toxins in the paint are just a few negative aspects in this context. At some supermarkets, a glance at the freezer is sufficient to be put off. I also see a danger in online trading. It is not always clear from which sources the products originate. It is certainly best to buy from well-known, accessible and reputable companies. Contact Martin Muendlein Director of Global Project & Service Management · Intertek Holding Deutschland GmbH · Stangenstr. 1 · 70771 Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Germany Phone: +49 711 27311 255 · Mobil: +49 171 5498 460 · Skype: Martin Muendlein Intertek ·

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