Management Strategies in Action

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In a highly competitive environment today, it is imperative for companies to continually know about the changing expectations of the customers. Quality function deployment (QFD) is a powerful technique to know the customers requirements and accordingly design new products and services.


In most cases, the number of customers may be too many having different expectations, some of which may be contradictory to those of other customers. For example, some customers expect high mileage from an automobile, while others want more power. Another set of customers may want both mileage and power. The designer of the engine of the automobile has to satisfy the expectations of this whole group of customers in the best possible way. Customers have their own unique way of expressing their expectations, when enquired about. QFD helps to convert these expectations, called 'Voice Of Customers' (VOC), into engineering or technical requirement. In the example of automobiles, expectation of high power would technically mean generation of high torque by the engine, while expectation of high mileage would employ the technical need for a 4 stroke engine. QFD lets the designers know where their products or services stand vis--vis the competitors' products or services on the customer expectation profile. QFD aids in objectively determining which technical requirement implemented would result in maximum possible satisfaction of most customers. Also it lets the designers know which technical requirements if neglected completely and not implemented, would not affect the satisfaction level of customers much. QFD emerged as a useful tool manufacturing but also in services set-ups. ...
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