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HPPA Industry News

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  • 23 Nov 2021 11:16 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has suspended its activities related to the implementation and enforcement of its COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), published on November 5, after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted a motion to stay the ETS.

    Applicable to employers with 100 or more employees, the ETS had mandated that, by January 4, 2022, all staff be fully vaccinated or undergo weekly testing. It also specified that unvaccinated employees are required to wear masks at all times and anyone who tests positive must leave the workplace immediately.

    While OSHA says that it “remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies,” activities related to the ETS are pending future developments in the litigation.

    For a summary of OSHA’s ETS, click here. FAQs can be found here.

  • 23 Nov 2021 11:13 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Industry companies who use the United States Postal Service (USPS) to ship customer orders should be prepared for delays during the upcoming peak mailing season—the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day—when the USPS is expecting to deliver more than 12 billion letters, cards and packages. While volume may fall short of the 2020 holiday season’s record-setting 13 billion pieces of mail, it is still a tremendous challenge for postal workers to manage.

    The crunch is expected to start the week of December 6 with the week of December 13-18 anticipated to be the busiest for mailing, shipping and delivery. During that week alone, the Postal Service predicts that nearly 2.3 billion pieces of First-Class Mail, including greeting cards and packages, will be processed and delivered.

    The holidays’ high mail volumes and related delays come at a time when companies are already contending with supply-chain related bottlenecks and their effects, so for some promo companies, this aligns with what they are already communicating to their clients.

    “One proactive approach we took was an email I wrote to all of our clients outlining the supply chain and shipping challenges and encouraging them to order early so they get the products they want and don’t miss their holiday gifts,” says Tom Goos, MAS, president of Kirkland, Washington-based distributor Image Source. “Along with that, our account executive teams have been proactively reaching out to each of their clients communicating that we need to get orders in so we don’t get delays in production and shipping. The shipping challenges have not been a significant issue yet, but they will be in the next few weeks as the consumer demand peaks for the holidays. Current supply chain challenges for inventory and decoration are still overshadowing shipping. For example, most embroidery companies have a six-week production time right now. This already misses the holiday delivery timeframe.”

    To help manage its volume, the Postal Service will expand Sunday delivery, beginning November 28, to locations with high package volume. USPS already delivers packages on Sundays in most major cities and expects to deliver more than 9.7 million packages each Sunday throughout the holiday season. Mail carriers will also deliver packages for an additional fee on Christmas Day in select locations.

    Also, the USPS has leased 7.5 million square feet of additional space across more than 40 annexes to handle the increase in the number of packages being mailed and is currently hiring more than 40,000 seasonal positions to help process and deliver mail. Since April, the Postal Service has installed 92 of 112 new package sorting machines, part of $40 billion in planned investments over 10 years. Additionally, more than 50 machines that can sort large packages are expected to be up and running prior to December. The new machinery gives the Postal Service the capacity to process an additional 4.5 million packages each day.

    Along with the crush of heavy mail volume, prices are rising. As of August 29, the cost of a Forever stamp increased to 58 cents from 55 cents. There are also temporary price increases in place through 12:01 am, CT, December 26, on all retail and commercial domestic competitive parcels for some shipping products, which also includes military shipping—Priority Mail Express, Priority Mail, First-Class Package Service, Parcel Select, USPS Retail Ground and Parcel Return Service. International products are unaffected. The USPS says that these temporary rate increases will cover extra costs in anticipation of peak-season volume surges similar to levels experienced in 2020.

    The temporary pricing increases for Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Parcel Select Ground and USPS Retail Ground and First-Class Package Service are:

    • Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express Flat Rate Boxes and Envelopes: 75 cents
    • Zones 1-4, 0-10 pounds: 25 cents
    • Zones 5-9, 0-10 pounds: 75 cents
    • Zones 1-4, 11-20 pounds: $1.50
    • Zones 5-9, 11-20 pounds: $3
    • Zones 1-4, 21-70 pounds: $2.50
    • Zones 5-9, 21-70 pounds: $5
    • First-Class Package Service: 30 cents
    The USPS has also recommended mailing and shipping deadlines for expected delivery by December 25:
    • December 9 — APO/FPO/DPO (all ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
    • December 15 — USPS Retail Ground service
    • December 16 — APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express Military service
    • December 17 — First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)
    • December 17 — First-Class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
    • December 17 — Priority Mail and First-Class Mail, Hawaii to/from mainland
    • December 18 — Priority Mail service
    • December 18 — First-Class Mail, Alaska to/from Continental U.S.
    • December 18 — Priority Mail, Alaska to/from Continental U.S.
    • December 21 — Priority Mail Express, Alaska to/from Continental U.S.
    • December 21 — Priority Mail Express, Hawaii to/from mainland
    • December 23 — Priority Mail Express* service
  • 23 Nov 2021 11:12 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    The PPAI Expo is the industry’s largest and longest-running trade show. It is also the result of a strong, collaborative relationship between PPAI and Mandalay Bay Convention Center. The PPAI Expo was first held at Mandalay Bay in 2003—in fact, it was the facility’s first major trade show—and has enjoyed a long, productive tenure there ever since. The strength of that relationship will be evident at The PPAI Expo 2022.

    Recently, Chuck Bowling, president and COO of Mandalay Bay, and Ernest Stovall, vice president of sales at Mandalay Bay, recorded a video where they talk about the Association’s long relationship with the convention center and welcome attendees back for The PPAI Expo 2022. Click here to watch the video.

    In the conversation, Bowling and Stovall touch on some of the changes made at the facility, including an updated mobile app that allows guests to check in on their phone, and a partnership with Allegiant Stadium, which sits just across the I-15 freeway from Mandalay Bay and is visible from many of the resort’s hotel rooms.

    Mandalay Bay has implemented numerous other improvements since The PPAI Expo was last there in 2020. First and foremost among these are significant upgrades to ensure a more comfortable, efficient and safer experience at both the convention center and the resort.

    Among the updates, the entire Mandalay Bay resort, including the exhibit halls, is equipped with an extremely efficient ventilation system that provides 12 full air exchanges per hour and is equivalent to the standard found in hospitals and other medical venues. Onsite policies, such as face masks, will follow local ordinances and CDC recommendations. Stay up to date with the latest local ordinances here.

    Additionally, the Mandalay Bay has achieved 
    Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) Star Facility accreditation, the gold standard for prepared and safe facilities awarded by the world’s leading trade association for the cleaning industry. GBAC accreditation means that Mandalay Bay has established and maintains a cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention program to minimize risks associated with infectious agents like the coronavirus. It has undertaken proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques and put practices in place to combat biohazards and infectious disease, and the facility employs highly informed cleaning professionals who are trained for outbreak and infectious disease preparation and response. Additionally, the entire Mandalay Bay resort, including the exhibit halls, is equipped with an extremely efficient ventilation system that provides 12 full-air exchanges per hour and is equivalent to the standard found in hospitals and other medical venues.

    Among the other changes that Mandalay Bay has undertaken to improve the show experience, is its transition to a Cat6 internet infrastructure, which will enhance the wireless internet experience for attendees and exhibitors alike through more bandwidth, better network speed and fewer lost signals. Another change that will be welcome news for attendees’ feet is the removal of the cobblestone flooring in the walkway between Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and the convention center, near the restaurants and Starbucks.

    For more information on The PPAI Expo 2022, including the trade show, education and networking opportunities, visit 
    expo.ppai.org. To register for The PPAI Expo 2022, click here.

  • 20 Nov 2021 9:48 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Employees at Evans Manufacturing’s (PPAI 110747) Nogales, Mexico, facility celebrated Employee Health Week, “Semana de la Salud 2021,” which focused on employees’ health and breast cancer awareness. Health Week is an annual event at the Garden Grove, California-based supplier’s Nogales location and this year included a speech by Nogales Mayor Juan Francisco Gim, with Evans CEO Alan Vaught in attendance.

    “Evans is committed to worker safety, health and welfare because our most vital resource is our employees,” says Vaught.

    Adolfo Centeno, Nogales plant manager, adds, “Semana de la Salud is an important and festive affair with both cultural celebrations, employee recognition and health screening. It is one of many events we provide to encourage employee engagement and show our appreciation for our Evans team. This year, the event was dedicated to Dr. Judith Alcala, our company physician who passed away from COVID at the end of 2020.”

    Recognizing that the psychological aspect is an important part of employee heath, Health Week focused on psychological risk factors in the workplace due to the pandemic. The 2021 Evans Health Week in Nogales also resulted in 250 diabetes tests, 250 hypertension tests, 250 vision tests, 90 cervical cancer tests and 100 oral check-ups and cleanings.

  • 20 Nov 2021 9:47 AM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    SanMar Corporation (PPAI 110788) has made its Purchasing Practices Index scores publicly available in the name of embracing full transparency and accountability. The Issaquah, Washington-headquartered supplier’s index scores are produced by the Better Buying Institute, an organization that provides organizations with data-driven insights to help drive lasting improvements in global purchasing practices that drive profitability while protecting workers and the environment.

    The scores are based on anonymous feedback from SanMar’s suppliers, which is aggregated via Better Buying’s proprietary algorithm, analyzed for trends and turned into actionable insights. SanMar notes that this 360-degree feedback builds a culture of constant improvement, helps create a more resilient supply chain and forges stronger supplier partnerships.

    SanMar first subscribed to Better Buying in 2019 and has now taken part in two consecutive ratings cycles. The company’s Better Buying Scorecard outlines its overall score for 2021 in seven key purchasing practice categories. The results show how the company’s ratings from their suppliers have improved, stayed the same or declined from previous years, and how those ratings compare against industry benchmarks.

    SanMar has also publicly shared its 2021 Company Report, which provides a detailed breakdown of how suppliers rated the company on specific purchasing practices, as well as suggested priorities for improvement. The report also includes anonymized, open-ended comments from suppliers detailing examples of best practices and suggestions about how the company might improve in each of the seven key purchasing categories.

    “We have agreed to share our Better Buying 2021 Scorecard and Company Report because we believe transparency and leadership are essential to being a great partner to our global vendors,” says Pat Noonan, SanMar’s chief product officer. “We believe in strong, fair partnerships with our factories and want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to help our vendors succeed.”

    Better Buying and SanMar have also collaborated on a short video that shares the value the company derives from engaging with Better Buying and from improving its supplier relationships. The video also includes interviews with some of SanMar’s suppliers.

    “We’re delighted that SanMar has taken this step,” says Dr. Marsha Dickson, president and co-founder of Better Buying. “Amid the growing global concern around purchasing practices, we have seen a number of our subscriber brands include Better Buying in their sustainability strategies and place purchasing practices at the heart of their business operations.”

    Noonan adds, “We particularly like the totally anonymous nature of Better Buying, as it makes sure there is no pressure on vendors to be anything other than completely open in their reviews of us. By encouraging other subscribers to the platform, we think we can help drive meaningful change in the way apparel companies work with their vendors beyond just SanMar—moving the needle for the whole industry.”

    SanMar’s score cardcompany report and case study are available for download.

  • 16 Nov 2021 2:51 PM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Addison, Texas-based SAGE, official technology provider of PPAI, has promoted Carmen Murphey, MAS, to supplier training manager. Murphey joined SAGE in 2003 as a supplier sales representative and went on to receive the SAGE Rising Star of the Year Award in 2009. As supplier training manager, she will reach out to suppliers on a more consistent and proactive basis to ensure that they are using all resources available to them to help increase their visibility in SAGE.

  • 16 Nov 2021 2:50 PM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Supplier Evans Manufacturing (PPAI 110747, S10), based in Garden Grove, California, has supported Orange County police for several years, and recently donated hundreds of backpacks for the Orange County Traffic Officers Association’s (OCTOA) Annual Police Motorcycle Training and Skills Competition.

    “I don’t know of a more difficult job than being an officer,” says Alan Vaught, owner of Evans Manufacturing. “Risking their lives daily, to do what they can do to keep our communities as safe as possible and keep our lives moving forward is a herculean task and they need to know the public they serve is supportive of their efforts.”

    Ron Williams, Evans CMO, adds, “Since Evans makes products for better living, it’s a natural fit to support the professionals who help us live better… And we’ll continue to do so moving forward.”

    The OCTA annual competition draws hundreds of law enforcement officers from six counties to compete and nearly 1,000 spectators. The donated backpacks will be used by participants to hold their personal belongings during the competition.

    The Annual Police Motorcycle Training and Skills Competition benefits officers and their families who have been injured or killed in the line of duty.

  • 16 Nov 2021 2:49 PM | Cassondra Franze (Administrator)

    Supplier S&S Activewear (PPAI 256121), headquartered in Bolingbrook, Illinois, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cincinnati, Ohio-based supplier TSC Apparel (PPAI 174523).

    Founded in 1988, S&S has grown to approximately $1.5 billion in sales. With about four million square feet of warehouse space and more than 2,000 employees, the company specializes in distributing blank sportswear, corporate apparel and accessories. It has also made significant investments in national distribution capacity and technology, and has expanded geographically with three acquisitions since 2010, including the acquisition of Technosport in 2020, one of Canada’s largest wholesale apparel distributors. TSC Apparel was established in 1976 and has grown into a national distributor of blank apparel and accessories, and now serves more than 30,000 customers.

    "We saw a great affinity between TSC and S&S," says S&S CEO Jim Shannon. "We both built our business through a positive company culture, retail-brand focus and the development of relationships with employees, vendors and customers."

    TSC CEO Dave Klotter adds, "We see this as an exciting next chapter for our company. Through a similar customer-centric approach, S&S will be able to build on our success that will greatly benefit our industry."

    Today, S&S says its products can reach 99 percent of the U.S. within two days and 44 states in just one day. The acquisition of TSC Apparel is expected to bring it a greater depth of inventory and allow it to offer the marketplace an expanded line of products.

    “We're excited to inherit such a well-established company," says Frank Myers, S&S's chief operating and financial officer. "For years, we have thought it made a lot of sense to acquire TSC, not only for both our companies, but for our industry as a whole. We are bringing together two organizations dedicated to creating a first-class customer experience."

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