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Combining customer needs and the customer’s way of using the product to set customer-focused targets in the House of Quality
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Product and Production Development.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Product and Production Development.
2017 (English)In: International Journal of Production Research, ISSN 0020-7543, E-ISSN 1366-588X, Vol. 55, no 8, 2320-2335 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

An increasing number of products are equipped with software and sensors. This suggests that, in order to deliver more customised performance, future products will be developed to accommodate systems that supply information on how these products are used. Today, information on the customer’s way of using a product is seldom factored into product design, but the opportunities for making use of it are increasing dramatically due to the amount of available data that can be logged. The proposed methodology is to formulate Customer Needs at a detailed level to be able to link customer satisfaction with a clear interface to the Design Requirements. These links are obtained by combining information acquired by means of surveys, among other methodologies, as well as usage data from customer products. The method is based on the planning House of Quality and also takes cost and risk into consideration. Risk is estimated using the Analytical Hierarchy Process, whereby a hierarchy of the most relevant customer information is constructed to make designers aware of how customer-focused the design process is. To validate the proposed methodology an illustrative example is presented. Results show that the method provides valuable information that enables the company to remain customer-focused during the whole process but also when strategic decisions on price and product launch are made.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 55, no 8, 2320-2335 p.
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Research subject
Computer Aided Design
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-59918DOI: 10.1080/00207543.2016.1238114ISI: 000398964300012Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84991272590OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-59918DiVA: diva2:1039551
Note

Validerad; 2017; Nivå 2; 2017-04-06 (rokbeg)

Available from: 2016-10-24 Created: 2016-10-24 Last updated: 2017-05-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Customer Data in the Design Process with Focus on Customer Neds and Way of using the Product
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Customer Data in the Design Process with Focus on Customer Neds and Way of using the Product
2017 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Kunddata i produktutvecklingsprocessen med fokus på kundkrav och sättet att använda produkten
Abstract [en]

Owing to continuous advances in information technology, access to information via the Internet and the steady decline of cost related to data creation, big amounts of customer data now reside in many companies. This data is said to hold a large amount of valuable knowledge that could be used to design customer-focused products, a key factor for maintaining market-share. Information overload hinders the search for knowledge and, therefore, it is a challenge for companies to identify what is relevant to analyse. Different approaches based on data mining tools of web-based customer data have been shown to be useful for gaining customer insight. However, this information is not properly factored into the target setting process. Many improvements in modelling the relation between product performance and customer satisfaction during the target setting have been presented. However, these still rely on customer information obtained from traditional gathering techniques such as questionnaires, which do not provide enough valuable and deep customer information; therefore, designers are forced to make assumptions. While some studies highlight the potential of customer data as an aid to designing future product generations, they do not provide enough details on how such information should be processed to generate valuable information for the designers. 

By taking advantage of the generated customer data, this work aims to increase the reliability of the design decisions on product specifications by reducing the existing gap between the customer and the designer world. To do so, customer information from different sources such as surveys and usage data have been combined to model customer satisfaction as a function of design requirements. In this process, customer needs are defined at a detailed level to be able to link customer satisfaction with a clear interface to the design requirements. By means of usage data, customer-product interaction in the customer environment is investigated, and differences between designer assumptions and customer picture are calculated towards the target fulfilment indicator. Results show that the work presented helps designers to set targets towards a higher customer focus, since customer needs and way of using the product become visible in the process. This allows the design team not only to identify differences among customers but also the possibility to detect changes in customer needs. The target fulfilment indicator acts as a feedback channel for continuous product improvement, allowing designers to validate their decisions. Since the voice of the customer drives the process, the presented approaches guide the design team towards the most relevant customer data, thus streamlining the design process in a situation where the amount of information rapidly increases. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 2017. 35 p.
Series
Licentiate thesis / Luleå University of Technology, ISSN 1402-1757
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Computer Aided Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-61735 (URN)978-91-7583-802-1 (ISBN)978-91-7583-803-8 (ISBN)
Presentation
2017-03-29, E632, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-02-01 Created: 2017-01-31 Last updated: 2017-03-08Bibliographically approved

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