Frequently Asked Questions
Although we've been a part of the industry for eighteen years, we realize that some people retire, some leave for other positions, and new people enter the industry's workforce. We also acknowledge that while we may not have had the opportunity to work with some companies yet, we want to get to know you and want you to get to know us. Here are some frequently asked questions about RSC Engineers and our answers to them. We hope this information will help you understand what we do and the way we work with our client partners. We'd love to stay in touch with you, too. Email us with you contact information, and we'll add you to our list of very important people!
1.- How do I know you are able to deal with all of my different situations?
We have completed just about every type of project possible over the years. In fact, we believe we've done more types of projects during our eighteen years of existence than anyone else. While we are widely known for our PRA work, we have both the staff and the experience to be able to assist client partners with any type of situation that may arise.
2.- How do I know your methods will be compatible with my operations?
We have always used a CLIENT-CENTERED APPROACH to our work. After all, the work we do isn't about us - it's all about the people and the companies for whom we do the work. Within that framework, we have the flexibility to apply a number of different methodologies that best meet the client's needs. We consider all client relationships as PARTNERSHIPS. In fact, over the years, we've developed techniques and procedures, including software packages, to help provide a higher level of quality results to our partners. In addition, we incorporate our client's own methodology, nomenclature, and PRA-related materials into their project, when appropriate.
3.- How can I be certain of the accuracy of your results?
We have developed a thorough system of quality assurance that functions both internally and with client partner input. This multi-step program is purposefully designed to provide unbiased, independent evaluation and analysis of all work completed BEFORE it is ever submitted to our client partners. We then receive comments from the client and review/revise our work as necessary. If necessary, we will take the project back through the entire QA internal process, in order to provide the best results to our client. Every RSC project that has been submitted in support of regulatory applications has passed NRC review.
4.- Is your company big enough to handle my large scale projects?
We have approximately 20 people in our company. Our size is suited to deal with both large and small projects. We view our size as one of our most important company assets. In fact, we find our size ideal for providing flexibility in adapting and adjusting swiftly to changing project parameters and challenges. Our staff works extremely well together as a team. Everyone is always ready and willing to assist others with advice or an alternative point of view. In addition, we maintain close working relationships with several companies similar to ours so that we can call upon them for assistance as ancillary staff, in the event a particular project would require it. You may be interested to know that these larger companies call upon us for assistance from time to time as well.
5.- How confident can I be that your staff has the experience necessary to deliver valid, accurate results?
Our staff has experience at a number of key levels. Cumulatively, the RSC Engineers team has over 150 years of industry experience. Our staff's experiences include actual control room experience, as well as INPO inspection experience. This allows us to go beyond the theoretical to provide you, our client, with solutions from your perspective. Because we've handled so many different problems so often over the years, when clients contact us to schedule projects, they know that we're not using them as guinea pigs and learning as we go. We regularly unravel the unusual characteristics of complex problems because we've seen them before. Our staff has an extremely diversified educational background, providing expertise in specific areas our client partners want addressed. We don't offer "one size fits all" solutions.
6.- If I contacted key industry leaders and organizations, what would they say about you?
We are proud of our highly respected reputation within the industry. Key organizations, such as the NRC and EPRI, hold us in high regard because of the way we've conducted our business for many years. Our work has always met NRC standards, and EPRI uses us for training programs from time to time. All of these things add CREDIBILITY to our reputation and confidence in the work we do for client partners. Here's what one of them recently said about us: "...there are no PRA RAIs for the application. I don't think I've seen that before for a risk informed application. My thanks to Ricky Summitt for his group's excellent work."
7.- When you complete a project for me, what can I expect in terms of presentation and delivery of information?
It pays to remember that we view the client-company relationship as a partnership. So we really don't just "hand off" the completed project to our client partner. We complete the QA review as described above. Then, we present the information to our client partner in a format that allows for a smooth, easy, fast transfer of technology (both information and processes) to the client's staff. We've all heard the horror stories about getting information that, six months later, is still not decipherable by client staff and is useless to them. We go to great lengths to provide materials that can be applied using client's normal training channels. Where appropriate, we provide onsite training to assist our client partner in applying project technology. We also offer training at our corporate headquarters. The all-important peer review and documentation are key components of these processes. In short, we present project materials in ways that we would appreciate, if we were the client partner.
8.- If I need other types of training services, can you provide them as well?
Yes, we can. In fact, we can provide a complete range of training options based upon the specific needs to our client partners. This includes training at the client's site while using training protocols customized specifically for that client and those needs. To enhance the quality of the experience, we use the client's own nomenclature, methodology, PRA and related information if the client desires. There are times when a client believes it is in his best interest to meet at our corporate headquarters in Knoxville, TN. we are well equipped and experience in conducting client training here at our corporate offices. The bottom line is that we do what it takes to provide training to client partners where, when and at whatever level they desire. Doing so is fundamental in our client-centered approach to doing business. It may interest you to know that our training expertise and experience is so highly thought of that EPRI uses us frequently to provide training on their behalf.
9.- The industry is very technology driven. How do you keep up with technological developments and integrate them into your processes? How does this benefit me?
We pride ourselves on being on the cutting edge of technology that can be useful in our work. Not only do we maintain close ties with EPRI, we sit on several committees and co-chair one of them. This keeps us in the forefront of evolving technology for the industry. One of the things that separates us among our peers is the fact that we don't wait around for technology to appear in order to fulfill a vital need. WE DEVELOP our own technology when appropriate and necessary. Over the years, our proprietary QA-QC software package has assisted many clients in applying more easily implemented solutions to their problems. Our innovative solutions continue to be utilized on a daily basis throughout the industry. You benefit in a number of ways because of these factors - because we are right at the front of technological advances, we are able to assimilate them into our processes faster and easier, and because we develop and implement many of our own proprietary processes, nobody knows how to utilize them better than we do.
10.- When I analyze costs associated with your services, how do you compare with your peers?
When you consider the many "extras" we afford our client partners when working with them, you would logically think that our services cost a lot more. However, we are known for REDUCING COSTS to clients. Our experience and expertise for over eighteen years of industry participation enables us to identify problem parameters more quickly and in greater detail. Our proprietary technology enables us to provide technology to clients that enable them to implement necessary changes in a smooth, trouble-free manner. Because we deliver our information in ways that are designed for client staff to understand, they are able to adapt faster, with fewer errors. Clients are also able to utilize this information in application to similar future situations, often eliminating the necessity for outside assistance. This provides real cost reduction. An additional benefit to clients is INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY through less downtime, fewer errors, less confusion, and smoother, shorter adjustments to new/revised procedures. Increased productivity leads to increased revenue, as well as reduced costs.