Because information in document form drives nearly every action in any organization, the ability to control this information usually means the difference between success and failure. Thus, document control remains the single most critical quality assurance discipline. As with many other systems, document control is more successful if it's simple, intuitive and user-friendly. And the first step toward this end is deciding exactly which documents need to be controlled.
Imagine that you oversee the quality control department for a small lug nut manufacturer that supplies the major U.S. automakers. One night, as you're watching the news, the station features a story about a car that lost one of its wheels while traveling more than 55 miles per hour. The car hit a guard rail, and all persons in the vehicle were badly injured. The ensuing investigation determines that the wheel failed because its lug nuts sheered off.
In today’s business environment, any organization that wishes to exceed customer expectations and stay competitive needs a long-range strategic plan. This plan must be forward-looking, visionary, and achievable, while at the same time striving toward continuous improvement of the organization’s key business processes. The organization must, in effect, keep both hands on the wheel to move forward successfully. The hoshin strategic planning process in use at Hewlett-Packard Co.
Quality improvement is a tough undertaking for even the savviest organization. There’s no need to go it alone, however. Quality system consultants and trainers can help keep you and your organization on the right path, and ensure that you’re current in your knowledge of best practices.