What do you do? Describe your company.
Benoit Pineault Inc., Refraco parent company, was founded in 1955. Refraco has been present in the refractory’s market for primary and secondary aluminum transformation since 1995 and still plays an important role in Aluminum research in Canada. We also manufacture parts and turn-key systems for smelters, the mining industry, and high temperature, and aggressive environment industries. Our knowledge of refractory materials allows us to produce complex parts that will be subjected to thermal and mechanical shocks at very high temperatures. The Refraco parts are hailed the world over for the quality of their raw materials, the expertise used to make them, and the rendering of the surfaces of the manufactured parts.
What was your problem, and what challenges prevented you from easily solving the problem?
In the last few years, our quality management system was supported by different electronic files or specific applications which were time consuming and high effort. With the company growing at a high-speed level, it was painful to make all those tools following our needs in quality improvement. Also, building KPI’s was tough because we had to link many different data with different systems to get them well and risk was not controlled as well.
How did you find out about our solution? Did you consider other providers? What criteria did you use to select BPA and Microsoft?
We did some research on the internet to find software or cloud base application available that could fulfill our needs. We have selected 5 or 6 different providers that can be able to provide us with solution adapted to our business and future needs in terms of quality management and technologies. The criteria that put us to choose BPA were:
- Full Compliance with ISO standards;
- Cloud base or Software;
- Integrated to Microsoft Office 365, following the corporate decision to use primarily Microsoft Tools;
- Implementation cost;
- License cost;
- Support cost;
- Access on mobile device;
- Customizable interface;
- Easy access to support team (Time zone);
- Easy to learn;
- Low effort in managing;
- Training time.
What was the solution? How did it address your challenges?
BPA allows us to comply to ISO 9001:2015 requirements while it simplifies the way to manage quality throughout it’s specific modules. The interface is customizable which is a really good thing because we have the opportunity to setup every information and see only what we need to see on screen. Alerts are easily set to make actions considered ant taken in charge by assignees whether they‘re BPA members or not.
How did you implement the solution? How long did it take? What new challenges did the implementation create?
We chose to go for a minimum support plan to implement BPA, having good IT knowledge already in place. We have been and still are well supported in the development of the solution by the BPA Solutions team. We had one super user full time dedicated to the project and it took us only 3 months to get to the Go-Live and it was a great success. In the first part of the project, we focused on the non-conformances process in parallel with the audit process.
We had some specific targets to reach in a way to respond to the organization’s KPI needs. This required major improvement inside the database itself. That takes us to add data tables, data fields and adapt BPA tools to comply to those needs. We had to set workflows to adapt customized procedures.
The COVID-19 pandemic adds to the challenge, by working outside our facilities. Online training was the actual rule and not always easy to realize.
What results did you gain from BPA Solutions – both anecdotally and measurably?
Collaborating with Microsoft Office 365 tools is one of the greatest advantages of using BPA.
Time and effort to get to the quality management objectives are decreased and quality management cost is lower than it was with our prior solution. System management time had been decreased by at least 25%.
BPA is very simple to use and allows us to communicate efficiently to every Microsoft Office 365 users within our organization.
You don’t need to log on to a member session every time you open the App, so the interest of documenting quality elements is increased.
You can access to BPA on every mobile device which decreased the delay in documenting events.
Customization is not too complicated and allows us to setup every frame upon every department request.
Was there anything spectacular about how easy it was to deploy or engage employees?
Within less than 3 hours training, you can get new user to easily work with the App, needing minimum support.
Users are fully engaged to use BPA throughout the entire quality process.