Needs-Based Product Development (QFD)
CRS often works with clients who want to have the “Voice of the Customer” drive their new product development and innovation efforts. This means understanding what the customer wants, the relative importance of these needs, and then developing products that deliver the desired benefits.
Customers cannot always articulate what new features or functions they want in a product, but they can tell us what they want or need the product to do. It is then up to R&D, Engineering, and Manufacturing to solve these wants and needs through existing or new technologies and solutions.
Japanese automotive manufacturers, and later domestic manufacturers, embraced a cross-functional team approach to understanding customer wants and needs almost 50 years ago called Quality Function Deployment (QFD). It helps to ensure that products are developed with the attributes and features that customers want often using what is referred to as a Planning Matrix or “House of Quality.” The technique can be used to improve and extend existing product lines or identify new product opportunities that result in breakthrough ideas.
CRS has extended the basic QFD premise to incorporate many leading-edge statistical techniques including Needs-Based Segmentation, Impact Models, Discriminating Quadrant Analysis (DQA), and Opportunity Quadrant Analysis (OPQA). In fact, CRS presented its leading-edge approach at the International Symposium on QFD.
CRS has a tremendous amount of experience and success with this type of strategic research effort. The company is often asked to conduct this type of study across a company’s whole product line.
If you would like a whitepaper on this approach, please let us know using the Contact Us form or call us at the office 770-246-0298.