Quality and Productivity in Industry and Technology
Assignment No. 1
Sai Krishna Paluru
An exercise in exploring
“The Voice of The Customer”
In this exercise groups of students are formed as small firms which make ear rings and are asked to create “Happy Ears” and the customer is chain of stores in mall. Series of production runs were conducted with different inputs each time and observing the outputs during the runs and aiding in understanding some of the crucial qualities required by a successful firm.
Production Run 1 : The only specifications that were instructed were that the ear rings are to be portrayed as HAPPY FACE, ear rings will hang down from ear via a pipe cleaner and the face is made of Styrofoam Ball. All the firms that are participating use their own creativity and ideas and make the happy ears in particular amount of time. As the customer requirements known to the firms are limited, there is a chance that the ear rings may or may not satisfy customer expectations such as quality, on time delivery, etc. There is also a chance that some of the firms may have used more materials on a single pair of ear rings and hence increasing the cost of the product. Translating the voice of customer is very important aspect in production of anything, in this case Happy Ears. One method of translating “the voice of the customer” is by Quality Function Deployment (QFD). QFD is a structured method in which customer requirements are translated into appropriate technical requirements for each stage of product development and production.
Simply verbalising the customer requirements was not an effective method to produce what customer wanted.
Production Run 2 : In this run “voice of the customer” is translated by marketing and engineering into a proto-type. A pictorial representation of the desired ear ring was provided for the firms. In this run, production quality is improved compared to the production run 1. The time taken to make the ear ring is reduced as firms were able to plan how the ear ring must be made. Voice of the Customer was translated better than during the production run 1. But there were other conditions and situations against the firms like faulty materials or less number of materials available for some of the firms. With the faulty materials the production of the product takes more time in gathering of the required materials and sometimes reduces the quality of the