This paper provides an explanation of Quality Function Deployment (QFD), the role of customers, and the tools that support Quality Function Deployment . Quality refers to providing advanced value of the products by meeting the requirements of customers. Therefore, an intense focus on satisfaction of the needs of the customers calls for employment of methodologies like Quality Function Deployment (Mehrjerdi, 2011). This technique is significant for providing an understanding of such needs in order to accompany a product with superior quality. Quality Function Deployment, therefore, is a methodical manner of developing products, or (goods and services) in accordance with the requirements and needs of the customers (Mehrjerdi, 2011). This means that, in order to develop a proper design of any product, the design teams require having sufficient information regarding the expectations of customers of the same product. It is, therefore, a complimentary technique, which the design teams implement to assign priorities to a product during its development (Chao & Ishii, 2004).
According to Chao and Ishii (2004), QFD first started in Japan in 1966 by someone called Yoji Akao. Its first implementation was at the Mitsubishi’s Kobe shipyard in 1972 (Chao & Ishii, 2004). Later on, various Japanese companies including Toyota adopted, and then other companies around the globe followed the trend. The main objectives of Quality Function Deployment were to identify certain features of a product, which had influence on particular customer needs. The second objective was identifying the relation between the product features and customer needs. The third objective was to assist in recognition of the correlations in the context engineering characteristics (Akao, 2004). In most cases, “voice of the customer” is a common terminology in Quality Function Deployment, and it is significant for referring to the intended requirements of the customers. The most appropriate ways of capturing such a voice entails field reports, warranty data, observation, customer specifications, focus groups, surveys, interviews, or direct discussions.
The most significant role of the customers in Quality Function Deployment is to indicate their needs in the market through a common voice. The Quality Function Deployment will then capture that voice and translate it into the process of product development from an abstract design (Akao, 2004). In actual sense, it starts with a matrix that connects the needs of the customers to the engineering needs of the product alongside aggressive benchmarking information. Therefore, it is worth noting that, for a product or a service to remain successful in the market, it must have the abilities to meet and satisfy the needs of the end users (Chao & Ishii, 2004). It is for this reason that most successful businesses around the globe devote more time and resources researching on the actual needs of the customers. There are various tools that support Quality Function Deployment. The QFD matrix is significant for structuring the acquisition and documentation of information. In the correlation matrix, the “how,” “what” and “how much” questions are essential for the development of the process (Mehrjerdi, 2011). The most essential information entails the design requirements, customer requirements, and the design targets. All these constitute a relationship matrix that acknowledges competitor ratings. While launching Quality Function Deployment , the initial step entails the establishment of a house of quality (HOQ) (Mehrjerdi, 2011). HOQ is essential in the sense that it facilitates correlation among production requirements, process operations, part characteristics, engineering characteristics, and customer requirements.
In conclusion, Quality Function Deployment is a methodical manner of developing products, or (goods and services) in accordance with the requirements and needs of the customers. This technique is significant for providing an understanding of such needs in order to accompany a product with superior quality. Quality F unction Deployment is the correlation between the voice of the customer and the voice of the engineer.