What led to the formation of CERTIFIED, INC.?
After MADE in USA CERTIFIED identified the need for an independent third party source for certification of country of origin claims, the FTC and other Federal and state agencies started to prosecute companies that either erroneously or falsely claimed that their products and services were “Made in USA”. That led to millions of dollars in fines and the closing of several branding firms that distributed labels without audit or other investigation of the claim. But just as importantly, firms outside the US were having similar problems, as well as a rampant counterfeit market that cost manufacturers millions monthly in lost sales.
CERTIFIED, INC. stepped in and acquired MADE in USA CERTIFIED and started the necessary steps to enhance the efficiency of the certification process so as to accommodate millions of customers nationally and internationally, and to create a tracking system that could capture the shopping habits of consumers worldwide. In this way, consumers could see if what they were buying was genuine, and manufacturers could learn WHO specifically is shopping for their products, their ages and location, and WHERE they are shopping.Given the technical expertise of the Founder, a technology was born and a app was created working with world class programmers, while working with technology companies like IBM and Google over their respected Cloud infrastructure, one day CERTIFIED will have world’s largest database of consumer shopping habits.
Are there other companies that do the same certification as CERTIFIED and Made in USA Certified®?
There were initially a few businesses that attempted to offer “Made in USA” branding simply by selling labels and flags to manufacturers and retailers but the FTC and lawsuits, coupled with huge fines did away with all that tried to bend the rules and act dishonestly with consumers with “self-certification” and outright falsehood.
Now only CERTIFIED and its MADE in USA CERTIFIED® brand remain along with CERTIFIED Seals in multiple countries around the world. CERTIFIED is now the only company that does a full supply chain audit—so much so, that we have earned a reputation in the industry as the leader in certification for the “Made in USA”, “Product of USA” and “Service in USA” claims. We have been endorsed by President Bill Clinton in his book “Back to Work”, and by Democratic Whip & Leader of the Make it in America agenda for the White House, Steny Hoyer, along with Republican Senator,George LeMieux and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
Manufacturing logistics and resource supply can be fluid. How do you take this into account once a CERTIFIED Seal has been given?
We recognize these ongoing factors. We address this issue clearly in writing in our initial documentation requesting supply chain information. Each certified company signs an agreement that if for any reason their vendors should change, it is their obligation and sole responsibility to immediately notify us with the information. If a company does not update us on a supplier change, they risk having their certification temporarily or even permanently revoked. There is a clear understanding of this with all our certified companies from the onset, and we get this in writing. All of our certified companies have done an excellent job of keeping this information accurate and current. So far, no company’s certification has been revoked for this reason. CERTIFIED also sends a monthly email to each client proactively asking if any part of the supply chain has changed.
Do companies seek out this certification?
Yes. Many companies are looking for independent verification for government contracts and need to prove they are “made in the COUNTRY” to qualify them in the bidding process. Many companies also recognize the powerful marketing tool our seal is for their brand and product line. We lend third party instant credibility to the verification and certification of being “Made in COUNTRY”, “Product of COUNTRY”, and “Service in COUNTRY” claims. This sets their product or service apart from their competition giving consumers another reason to choose them.
How does one become Made in USA Certified®?
We have a proprietary supply chain audit system we use to identify the percentage of U.S. components value, within a product, and the last place of substantial transformation. We also evaluate the cost of direct labor and the cost of direct manufacturing overhead.
What are the various Made in USA Certified® seals?
To help ensure transparency and clarification for consumers wanting to purchase “Made in USA” products; Made in USA Certified now offers (4) distinct seals available to manufacturers. The Product of USA Certified Seal, Grown in USA Certified Seal require 100% U.S.content. “Product of USA Certification” is for food products that are grown, raised or produced. The Service in USA Certified Seal requires 100% of the labor force be in the United States of America. “Service in USA Certification” is for service based businesses in the U.S. like call centers, customer support, software developers, accounting, etc. Companies that qualify are issued a unique identifying number for more complete traceability.