In life as in business, there is something to be said for working smarter, not just harder…
Fast approaching 70 successful years in business, Canadian Bearings Ltd. helps all customers through strategic solutions to manage a wide area of their businesses more efficiently, from maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) to databases of in-stock product inventory, storeroom organization security, optimizing inventory, managing key supplier performance, and a great deal more to prove accuracy, free up internal resources, and reduce costs.
“Smart program solutions are focused around finding better ways to process transactions and manage customer stores,” explains Peter Goodwin, who has served as Vice President at Canadian Bearings since 1986. Providing bearings and a great deal more – including industrial lubricants, chemicals, paints, industrial coatings, MRO chemicals, conveyor components and belting, cleaning solutions, belting fabrication, mechanical fasteners, transmission belts and more – Canadian Bearings has positioned itself to become a one-stop source for all its customers.
Committed to providing products and services to meet the exacting needs of industrial clients, universities, hospitals, manufacturing facilities and leaders in many other sectors, the company has earned a tremendous amount of respect and repeat business.
“The fact that we are committed to providing what the customer requires – in other words, we will not substitute without authorization – counts for a tremendous amount,” says Goodwin, “and we remain cost-competitive because we focus on lowest total cost.” While it is possible to find mass-produced bearings or components made abroad, Canadian Bearings has fostered numerous relationships over the decades with trusted suppliers, and will not sell questionable imported products to its customers. The reasons are simple: machinery is extremely expensive, and while using a cheaper component costs less initially, it can wear out much more quickly – or worse, compromise the safety or integrity of equipment. “The cost of replacing the bearing more frequently and/or repairing collateral damage to the machine typically puts the customer in favour of buying a higher quality product at a higher price,” says Goodwin.
In business since 1946, Canadian Bearings started in Toronto, Ontario, expanding and relocating several times over the years to its present headquarters in Mississauga, Ontario. Supplying an enormous range of mechanical components including motors, variable frequency drives, gearboxes, clutches, brakes, shafting, and couplings, the company also provides fasteners, sanitation and janitorial supplies, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as hardhats, eyewear, coveralls, boots, gloves and much more. Many sectors, from manufacturing to universities and hospitals – literally any and all utilizing moving equipment, large roof-mounted air conditioners, lab equipment, and pharmaceuticals – benefit from Canadian Bearings’ expertise and products.
As a leader in its field, the company’s solid reputation can be attributed to a number of factors, the first being a commitment to customer service. The second can be credited to the 185- strong staff at Canadian Bearings. Turnover at the company is low – although Goodwin has been with CB for 30 years, there are a number of employees who have been with the company for over five decades – and this has resulted in an incredible depth of knowledge. “Our ability to source parts is definitely a contributing factor,” states Goodwin. “Our team members are mechanically inclined; they have a good understanding of things that move and turn. They have quite frequently an encyclopedic memory for the part numbers, tremendous attention to detail, and genuinely care about their customers.”
In business, time is money, and Canadian Bearings is proud to offer CB Smart Supply Chain Solutions™ to its clients. Providing time-tested experience, industry knowledge, and an array of tools to manufacturers, CB helps clients “achieve significant and measurable cost savings, cycle time compression and accuracy throughout the supply chain.” Working closely with customers, the company provide solutions and identifies opportunities for improvement in many areas, ranging from product information database management to inventory management, regulatory compliance to storeroom practices, requisitions and procurement processes, repaired asset tracking, performance measurement and reporting, and continuous improvement.
Canadian Bearings provides Smart Program Solutions for its clients. Rather than searching out products from numerous suppliers – which can be time-consuming, costly, and frustrating – CB serves as a single source for every product group. The company’s Smart Program Solutions empowers customers by uniting product offerings, supply chain solutions, and expert technical expertise into one, reducing total cost of ownership, managing MRO inventory, and recommending standardization programs. By surveying customers’ stores, doing on-site checks of equipment, and organizing essential just-in-time inventory, ordering is tied directly to work orders, and comes back to Canadian Bearings.
“One of the factors that has made a significant difference to the development of the company has been our ability to be a single-store,” says Goodwin of CB, which typically aims to supply about 80 percent of MRO requirements for its customers. In addition to saving money and time, another advantage today for Canadian Bearings customers is that they have to deal with only one set of invoices, and do not have other companies constantly trying to sell them more product. “Working with CB reduces the cost of their purchasing time. For some companies, we act as the purchasing resource.”
Selling products to a wide range of industries, such as automotive, energy, forestry products, transportation, and pharmaceuticals, to name a few, the majority of product comes from manufacturers to Canadian Bearings, where it is then distributed to the end customer. While the company itself does not manufacture, it will cut conveyor belts to length and put attachments on them, along with offering vulcanization, guides, cleats, grooves and punching for lightweight and heavy-duty belting, and providing cleaning solutions such as scrapers, skirting, and rotary and strip brushes. Additionally, Canadian Bearings provides exceptional technical expertise and assistance to help customers determine the correct components, troubleshoot, improve reliability, and work on failure and root cause analysis to boost overall performance.
“We’ve done a fair amount of training, in conjunction with suppliers providing training to customers on the materials we sell,” explains Goodwin. “We also provide training to customers on inventory management concepts in terms of doing a better job at managing their store’s inventory.”
Ahead of the Competition
As an industry leader, Canadian Bearings remains firmly committed to helping all customers lower their total cost of ownership of MRO and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) products. With the mission of working in tandem with its clients, CB is dedicated to helping them operate, build, and maintain equipment in good working order while remaining cost-competitive at the same time, a vision it has maintained for almost 70 years.
Focused on continuous improvement and dependability, the company’s extensive selection of thousands of products is grouped into nine categories. “Our customers have the choice of getting one part or fulfilling their entire needs in each of the categories,” says the company.
Goodwin credits company staff for much of CB’s ongoing success. From highly professional and knowledgeable staff to an incredible breadth of product selection, the company is able to offer the complete package. Through teamwork, decades of experience, and a commitment to ongoing improvement, Canadian Bearings is passionate about meeting and exceeding customer expectations through error-free service, fast response times, diverse selection of high-quality products, and building strong relationships with clients and suppliers.
Investing in a number of entities over the years, such as the respected conveyor belt installation company Max Splicing, Canadian Bearings also owns Quebec-based motor experts, Moteurs PM Inc. Through the delivery of consistent, reliable products and services, including bearing repairs, the company looks forward to building successful relationships with customers and suppliers for decades to come.
“Our long-term vision is very much to be a global company that makes it easier for our customers to operate equipment safely, efficiently, and in an environmentally sustainable way,” says company VP Goodwin. Already selling internationally, a considerable amount of the company’s business is based in Eastern Canada, from Ontario all the way to the East Coast. And just as the company has fostered relationships with clients, it has built numerous solid arrangements with suppliers, who often call on Canadian Bearings for customers who need products but cannot find a reputable supplier. “A lot of times, suppliers come to us,” says Goodwin. “When you’ve been in the business as long as we have, people tend to know the Canadian Bearings name.”