Kano-HOQ-GRA Hybrid Methodology for Customer-Driven Product Development

Kano-HOQ-GRA Hybrid Methodology for Customer-Driven Product Development

K. G. Durga Prasad (Gayatri Vidya Parishad School of Engineering, India), K. D. S. Sravani (Andhra University College of Engineering for Women, India) and B. L. Manasa (Jawaharal Nehru Technological University Kakinada, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8223-6.ch005


In order to attain the expectations of the customers and to win their hearts and minds, manufacturing firms are looking towards customer-focused design approach for developing their products. This chapter is devoted to present a hybrid methodology for developing products with customer focus. The methodology is developed by using house of quality (HOQ) with the aid of other techniques, namely, Kano, Swing weighting method (SWM), and Grey relational analysis (GRA). HOQ serves a tool for mapping customers' perception and designers' conception during product development. The Kano helps to understand and categorize the customer needs which is required to capture the voice of customers. The mapping of customer needs and design requirements in inter-relationship matrix of HOQ is carried by using SWM. There may be a scope for ambiguity while preparing inter-relationship matrix due to insufficient data with the design team. It affects ranking of design requirements. To address this issue, GRA is employed. An illustrative example is presented in this chapter to demonstrate the methodology.
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The current market environment is characterized by an increasing rate of aggressive competence. In order to gain competitive advantage in the market scenario, the manufacturing industries have been changing their focus on product development from product - driven approach to customer-driven approach. They recognized the need of engaging with their customers and are searching for ways to promote better collaboration with their design team. In customer-driven approach product development begins with capturing the voice of customer and that forms the basis for the product design. This approach includes the identification of customers and their needs, and market trends for obtaining functional design targets, describing design objectives for generating product design specification, ranking design alternatives for evaluating and selecting the optimal design with customers’ satisfaction (Liu et al., 2011). Therefore, customer focus and satisfaction should be viewed as driving force for developing products to ensure quality as desired by the customers. During product development, there must be appropriate mapping of customer needs and design requirements to delight the customers. House of Quality (HOQ) is the product planning matrix of Quality Function Deployment (QFD), and it is a suitable tool for addressing the issue of translating the voice of customers into the voice of designers during customer-driven product development. The successful applications of HOQ for product design and development in various manufacturing systems has been reported in the literature (Oke, 2013).

Though HOQ is widely employed in manufacturing firms, the traditional methodology for constructing HOQ has certain drawbacks. To capture the voice of customer no specific procedure has been provided. In fact identification of customer needs and their priority structure influences more on establishing the necessary product design requirements. While constructing HOQ, the prioritization of customer needs is critical, since design of products and services with QFD will be driven to fulfill these prioritized needs (Enriquez et al., 2004). In the traditional approach the priority ratings of the customer needs are obtained through assigning different importance weights for customer needs without considering the views of the customers. The weightages assigned are based on QFD team members’ direct experience with the customers or on the results of customer feedback reports. If the customer preferences and the engineering capabilities are in isolation from one another, it is not possible to obtain optimal product development decisions. Therefore, there is a need to modify the methods for input to the traditional HOQ to bridge the conceptual gap between the voice of customers and voice of designers of a product (Prasad et al., 2010). In the proposed hybrid methodology Kano model analysis (KMA) is employed to understand, categorize and prioritize the customer needs. The integration of KMA with HOQ provides a scope for better understanding and obtaining more precise customer needs.

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