Waterloo Industries

Waterloo Industries, Inc. by: Michael L. Hetzel, VP/Americas, Pro QC International (mlhetzel@proqc.com)

Waterloo Industries, Inc., based in Waterloo, Iowa, USA, is the world’s largest supplier of tool storage products. We interviewed Paul Pechacek, Corporate Quality Engineer at Waterloo, about their experiences using Pro QC for the last 6 years to represent their quality interests at supplier locations in China.

Although Waterloo manufactures over 90% of their products in 2 manufacturing facilities in Iowa totaling more than a million square feet, they rely on Pro QC to reduce their outsourcing risks and cost for the products that they source in China.

Pro QC has provided inspection services to Waterloo for six years. With Paul’s arrival 4 years ago, the company also began to utilize Pro QC for capability studies, process development and ISO9001-2000 supplier capability audits, which all continue today.

According to Paul, “We’ve used Pro QC to sort out problems when customers have complained, along with using Pro QC inspection data as a guideline along with data from our clients in order to define skip-lot intervals.”

He continues, “We use Pro QC to make our suppliers better. Some of our clients have visited and audited the suppliers and can’t believe the improvements in quality and conformance. Pro QC isn’t the only cause for improvements, but they certainly contribute to our success.”

The direct benefit to Waterloo from using Pro QC services, according to Paul, is an estimated 7-10% reduction in costs.

Paul pointed out some other benefits of using Pro QC; “Pro QC provides comments about the info not on our inspection plans, which is very helpful to us so we can update the plans. Also, I’m really happy with the inspectors discussing problem issues with suppliers before leaving. Suppliers also really appreciate this.”

Of course, since all Pro QC field personnel have engineering degrees, they are very capable of providing guidance on improvements, not just observations of failures.

He also commented that “One other extreme positive is the integrity of the inspectors and the R&R (reliability and repeatability) of auditors.” And, last but not least, “Jeffrey (Jeffrey Moellering, Pro QC account manager for Waterloo) is super, response and reply is great – a super asset to Pro QC.”

It’s no surprise that Paul is able to deploy the services of Pro QC so skillfully to create great results. His background as a quality professional goes back over 30 years and includes certification as an ISO9000 auditor and training in quality at the Deming Institute, where he then became an instructor working with Dr. W. Edwards Deming, one of the true pioneers of quality management as it’s applied today.

For more information about Waterloo Industries visit: www.waterlooindustries.com

Our account managers are ready to help you achieve the same results. To get started using Pro QC’s services to reduce your outsourcing risks and cost, contact us through our web site at www.proqc.com.

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