The most significant change in the upcoming revision to ISO 9001 is probably not what you'd expect it to be: It's not customer satisfaction, continual improvement or even the process-model structure of the standard. The most significant change is the requirement for quality objectives. ISO 9001:2000 requires that quality objectives be established at each relevant function and level within the organization (i.e., just about everywhere).
What is quality? An academic definition of quality as it relates to business might be that quality is a product or service that consistently has zero defects, conforms to particular specifications, and is satisfactorily received by the customer. Another aspect of quality is that it is a thought process sought out by organizations to create an overall drive toward efficiency, the reduction of waste, and the continual creation of more streamlined management processes.
Energy generation is a multifaceted industry comprising dozens of major discrete technologies and thousands of companies. For reasons that are at once political, economic, and environmental, the energy industry occupies a central place in modern human society, and it will for the foreseeable future.
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.