Significantly Fewer Accidents at Cliffs (Bloom Division) After Cognibox Implementation!


  1. To implement Cognibox at the Cliffs Lac Bloom site to ensure sound management of subcontractors for their phase 1 project.
  2. Complete support by SIM for follow-up with subcontractors using the chosen turnkey basic and premium services for a trouble-free implementation.

Solutions implemented

The Cognibox system was implemented and the Cliffs (Lac Bloom) contractors completed the qualification process to obtain information related to health and safety, the environment, quality and insurance and to ensure their compliance with the Cliffs standards.
Cognibox also enabled Cliffs to verify the employee profile of each subcontractor employee to ensure that people entering their site have all the training required for the type of work performed.


Significantly fewer accidents at Cliffs (Bloom Division) after Cognibox implementation! “If we compare the first 6 months of 2011 before Cognibox with the last 6 months of 2011 since Cognibox was implemented, we see a large reduction in the number of incidents. This is not by chance, and our statistics are even more encouraging for the first 2 months of 2012, with an even greater reduction than in 2011,” says Harold Gauthier, Health and Safety Coordinator, Cliffs Lac Bloom Division.

“The Cognibox community and subcontractor qualification enables us to do business with subcontractors who are top performers in health and safety, regulatory compliance, the environment and sustainable development. This translates not only into fewer health and safety incidents, but also into improved overall performance at the Lac Bloom mining site,” adds Mr. Gauthier.


The Premium service from SIM ensures that all of a company’s subcontractors are qualified according to established criteria and that the SIM customer service team will support the contractors until their files are complete and validated. “By choosing the turnkey Premium service package, Cliffs Lac Bloom Division ensured a flawless implementation. We invested minimum time and achieved maximum results,” states Harold Gauthier, Health and Safety Coordinator at Cliffs (Lac Bloom).

Cognibox is a Tool That Meets the Highest Contractor Management Standards


  • To implement Cognibox within a short time frame;
  • To re-contact all subcontractors (Cognibox turnkey service) to obtain complete information for their qualification;
  • To manage subcontractor requalification after the initial deadline.

Solutions implemented

Qualification of all Alcoa subcontractors (around 475) using Cognibox.


The implementation was performed within the scheduled time frame. All subcontractor workers were transferred to Cognibox and their data input into the tool. All subcontractors whose qualifications were due to expire during the transition period received support from the SIM customer service team to enroll in the tool and complete their files. This key phase was completed successfully using only a third of the resources usually assigned to this task. Following this implementation, the qualification process using the turnkey service reduced the time required to complete a file and ready it for validation by 50% to 75%. At Alcoa, the number of hours required for various personnel was reduced by at least 60%, which allowed more time for “floor” activities and reallocation of resources to other projects.


Managing our contractors with the Cognibox tool has enabled us to better consolidate our qualification process and made our document management much more efficient. We have a centralized place where our applicants can search for the resources they need and the means to ensure that a supplier is well qualified before entering into a contractual commitment with them. This allows us, among other things, to coordinate our processes across our various sites and to share information. Well used and supported, this tool is a powerful ally for efficient and integrated management of our contractors and their subcontractors.
Mariano Côté, Regional coordinator, Alcoa Canada première fusion

Comments—Contractor point of view:

As part of its operations, Alcoa uses a large number of contractors and service companies. Managing these suppliers is a big challenge for our organization. The Cognibox tool has enabled us to significantly improve our management of these suppliers while ensuring that they are compliant with the regulations that govern them and to measure their performance in various ways. These performance indicators have, among other things, enabled some of them to improve various facets of their health and safety management.
Alcoa is a recognized leader, particularly in health and safety, and a major concern for us is continuous process improvement. The Cognibox tool enables us to pursue this goal and offers opportunities we could not otherwise have.

Comments–subcontractor point of view:

Cognibox is used exclusively to manage our contractors and their subcontractors. The tool is easy to use and enables Alcoa and its contractors to efficiently manage their health and safety files. Member contractors benefit from increased visibility to various users looking for qualified suppliers. Being a Cognibox member is an Alcoa prerequisite in order to work at its sites. All contractors must first be qualified. Thereafter, the tool is an efficient means for contractors to manage their health and safety file and enables them to improve their performance.

Development of Business Competitiveness


To develop business competitiveness in the context of continuous improvement by focusing on supply chain, development of management skills, adoption of new technologies, marketing, start-up [or go-to-market] and project management.

Solutions implemented

The objectives were to develop stakeholders’ management skills and to act as mentor to the company’s senior management.

To ensure that the strategies adopted during an earlier project were monitored, to implement work methods and inventory management, production planning and, beyond that, to continue establishing costs, budget and estimates, we met with the company leaders one day per month over the course of a year.

Improving Supply and Stock Management in the Retail Sector


At the first meeting, Benjo, a major toy retailer, mentioned several organizational features that it wished to improve, including:

To support it on its road to improvement, the company wanted to enlist SIM’s services for a structured approach that would allow prioritization of activities in optimizing the use of human and material resources. The objective was to promote an increase in company profitability and to structure its operations.

Solutions implemented

  • Review of the procurement, receiving, and inventory management processes

The first step was to study the procurement, receipt of goods and inventory management processes and assess the strengths and weaknesses of the resources involved. In this step we also defined the corporate objectives in order to establish which indicators should be developed to measure the progress of the organization. Companies usually evaluate themselves according to three components: revenues (study of customers and representatives), stock turnover (inventory management) and costs. These corporate objectives were then clearly defined for each area of the organization.

  • Development of a procurement process and cash flow maximization

The second step was to develop the procurement process to measure inventory turnover and maximize cash flow use. We implemented the tools necessary to measure supply costs, return management and waste management. Purchase orders were linked to production costs and the planning table to facilitate tracking of each production order. Those responsible for purchasing received training and coaching during the development of the process and at the end of the project.

Coaching has enabled the staff to improve, to better manage their time, and to be proactive rather than reactive.

Implementation of a Cost Management System and Support and Guidance for Managers


Les industries Fermco Ltée is a company that manufactures roof trusses, joists and prefabricated walls. In recent years, its market has changed and the products to be manufactured have become more complex. This reality has affected all sectors and production costs.

Production costing is therefore an essential element in ensuring:

  • That all product lines offer a profit margin that is acceptable to the company;
  • That the production system is controlled and remains within the expected costs;
  • Analysis of the most important elements to set cost reduction targets.

Solutions implemented

SIM’s involvement began by implementing a cost price per product category. To do this, we studied the various computer tools already in place at Fermco.

We then determined the various methods of data collection for direct labour and material. Manufacturing overheads were assigned according to the most appropriate method for this type of industry.

Key employees who work with production costing took the SIM Cost and Performance Measures course.

The SIM team of experts then supported (coached) and trained the staff to master all aspects of costing and related performance measures so that the company could be totally autonomous.

After a six-month period, an audit of costs was made to ensure the accuracy of the data and costs was also part of the mandate.

Developing Business Competitiveness : Analysis, Training, Coaching and Implementation


Enterprise Madawaska is an economic development agency that supports the businesses it serves. One of its objectives is to develop business competitiveness within the context of continuous improvement by focusing on supply chain, business strategies supported by action plans, development of management skills, the adoption of new technologies, marketing, go-to-market and project management.

Solutions implemented

The SIM team mandate was to perform a general analysis of the participating companies. After analysing the companies involved, SIM produced a summary of the training and coaching requirements, in terms of management systems, to be implemented in the second phase of the project.

Training courses were given in groups, as shown in the following table:

Training group companies
Performance indicators and dashboard 10
Cost and performance measures 10
Business strategy 10
Value-added production (LEAN) 10
Marketing strategy 10
Analyzing financial statements and budgetary control 10
Problem-solving techniques 10

There was a total of 19 training days.

All the business leaders demonstrated a keen interest in developing their staff and wanted to implement proven techniques to increase the quality of their products and services. The SIM team of experts supported (coached) and implemented the management and production techniques necessary to achieve quality in accordance with market demands.

The companies involved in this project were:

  • Érablière de la montagne verte Inc.;
  • Fiready Inc.;
  • Fenêtres Unique Inc.;
  • Fraser Specialty Products Inc.;
  • G.L. Machine Shop Inc.;
  • Grand Falls Milling Co.;
  • Lattes Waska Inc.;
  • Prima Innovations Inc.;
  • Computech Inc.;
  • Imprimerie Excel Inc.;
  • Gagnon Ornemental Inc.;
  • AGB Products;
  • M & M Services Inc.;
  • Beaulieu Mechanical Inc.