QFD, integrating technique and customer orientation
A comparative qualitative international survey among internationally operating Japanese, American, German and Dutch industrial and industrial services companies shows that technological lead is the critical factor to a companys success, the factor that makes the company stand out. A constant fine tuning between the technicians and the market (the customer) contributes significantly to this technological lead and determines the success or failure of a company. Market Research can play a vital role in the fine tuning between the technicians and the customer. In this process the market researcher has to take the lead or has to participate actively in the Quality Function Deployment process. The researcher, being equipped with advanced tools to measure the demanded quality and customer needs, is able to contribute significantly. The advantages of the QFD process are: speeding up and shortening of the product development process; early indication and killing of unsuccessful projects; better products and less claims; improved cross-functional and cross-disciplinary communication, cooperation and mutual understanding; a significant increase in return on the investment in R&D.
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