Bearing Service Company manufactures ball and roller bearings for the steel industry and other industrial applications. Founded in 1933, the company employs 125 at its facility in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County.
ISO 9000 is a set of quality management system guidelines established by the International Standards Organization in order to create an internationally uniform and recognizable set of quality management requirements. While adoption of ISO 9000 standards is voluntary, Bearing was receiving numerous inquiries and, in some instances, pressure to pursue the certification from customers who wanted to be reassured of the company’s commitment to quality. Bearing realized the need to meet customer expectations, but was unfamiliar with the ISO process and how to approach it in the best, most efficient way possible. Knowing Catalyst Connection’s capabilities and reputation for excellence and efficiency, Bearing approached the organization for ISO assistance.
Beginning with interviews and data gathering research, Catalyst Connection conducted a quality systems audit that compared Bearing’s established system, standards and specifications to the ISO 9000 requirements. A Catalyst Connection advisor then provided project management assistance that focused on the company’s organizational structure and helped Bearing develop a process necessary to produce an ISO 9000 compliant quality system ready for certification. Upon completion, Catalyst Connection presented Bearing with a management briefing that detailed key findings, made recommendations for improvements and addressed weaknesses that, when corrected, would significantly reduce ISO 9000 compliance audit expenses. When it came time to implement the system, Catalyst Connection was there to assist Bearing in the completion of its painstakingly thorough documentation and pre-audit preparations. Bearing collected, via interaction with its employees, enough data to map its processes. Catalyst Connection then analyzed the maps and gave the company feedback as to whether or not they met the requirements of the standard.
With access to Catalyst Connection’s unparalleled quality system expertise, Bearing had a significant leg up on its ISO 9000 preparation, along with the quality improvements it was seeking. According to Bearing Service Company Vice President of Production Robert Banks, Catalyst Connection helped Bearing realize reduced training costs; improved management productivity as a result of fewer audits; improved information flow on the shop floor due to better document control; reduced errors in concurrent engineering activities as a result of improved design; reduced rework and scrap; and the establishment of a system that archives valuable company information.