After four years of case study development, refinement, and training, QFD was successfully implemented in the production of mini-vans by Toyota. Using 1977 as a base, a 20% reduction in startup costs was reported in the launch of the new van in October 1979, a 38% reduction by November 1982, and a cumulative 61% reduction by April 1984. Quality function deployment was first introduced in the United States in 1984 by Dr. Clausing of Xerox. QFD can be applied to practically any manufacturing or service industry. It has become a standard practice by most leading organizations, who also require it of their suppliers.
Quality function deployment (QFD) is a planning tool used to fulfill customer expectations. It is a disciplined approach to product design, engineering, and production and provides in-depth evaluation of a product. An organization that correctly implements QFD can improve engineering knowledge, productivity, and quality and reduce costs, product development time, and engineering changes. Quality function deployment focuses on customer expectations or requirements, often referred to as the voice of the customer.
It is employed to translate customer expectations, in terms of specific requirements, into directions and actions, in terms of engineering characteristics, that can be deployed through Product planning Part development Process planning Production planning Service Quality function deployment is a team-based management tool in which the customer expectations are used to drive the product development process. Conflicting characteristics or requirements are identified early in the QFD process and can be resolved before production.
Organizations today use market research to decide on what to produce to satisfy customer requirements. Some customer requirements adversely affect others, and customers often cannot explain their expectations. Confusion and misinterpretation are also a problem while a product moves from marketing to design to engineering to manufacturing. This activity is where the voice of the customer becomes lost and the voice of the organization adversely enters the product design. Instead of working on what the customer expects, work is concentrated on fixing what the customer does not want.
In other words, it is not productive to improve something the customer did not want initially. By implementing QFD, an organization is guaranteed to implement the voice of the customer in the final product. Quality function deployment helps identify new quality technology and job functions to carry out operations. This tool provides a historic reference to enhance future technology and prevent design errors. QFD is primarily a set of graphically oriented planning matrices that are used as the basis for decisions affecting any phase of the product development cycle.
Results of QFD are measured based on the number of design and engineering changes, time to market, cost, and quality. It is considered by many experts to be a perfect blueprint for concurrent engineering. Quality function deployment enables the design phase to concentrate on the customer requirements, thereby spending less time on redesign and modifications. The saved time has been estimated at one-third to one-half of the time taken for redesign and modification using traditional means. This saving means reduced development cost and also additional income because the product enters the market sooner.
THE QFD TEAM When an organization decides to implement QFD, the project manager and team members need to be able to commit a significant amount of time to it, especially in the early stages. The priorities, of the projects need to be defined and told to all departments within the organization so team members can budget their time accordingly. Also, the scope of the project must also be clearly defined so questions about why the team was formed do not arise. One of the most important tools in the QFD process is communication.
There are two types of teams—new product or improving an existing product. Teams are composed of members from marketing, design, quality, finance, and production. The existing product team usually has fewer members, because the QFD process will only need to be modified. Time and inter-team communication are two very important things that each team must utilize to their fullest potential. Using time effectively is the essential resource in getting the project done on schedule. Using inter-team communication to its fullest extent will alleviate unforeseen problems and make the project run smoothly.
Team meetings are very important in the QFD process. The team leader needs to ensure that the meetings are run in the most efficient manner and that the members are kept informed. The format needs to have some way of measuring how well the QFD process is working at each meeting and should be flexible, depending on certain situations. The duration of the meeting will rely on where the teams members are coming from and what needs to be accomplished. These workshops may have to last for days if people are coming from around the world or for only hours if ev-eryone is local.
There are advantages to shorter meetings, and sometimes a lot more can be accomplished in a shorter meeting. Shorter meetings allow information to be collected between times that will ensure that the right information is being entered into the QFD matrix. Also, they help keep the team focused on a quality improvement goal. BENEFITS OF QFD Quality function deployment was originally implemented to reduce start-up costs.
Organizations using QFD have reported a reduced product development time. For example, U. S. ar manufacturers of the late 1980s to early 1990s need an average of five years to put a product on the market, from drawing board to showroom, whereas Honda can put a new product on the market in two and a half years and Toyota does it in three years. Both organizations credit this reduced time to the use of QFD. Product quality and, consequently, customer satisfaction improves with QFD due to numerous factors depicted in Figure 11–1. Customer Driven Quality function deployment looks past the usual customer response and attempts to define the requirements in a set of basic needs, which are compared to all competitive information.
All competitors are evaluated equally from customer and technical perspectives. This information can then be prioritized using a Pareto diagram. Management can then place resources where they will be the most beneficial in improving quality. Also, QFD takes the experience and information that are available within an organization and puts them together as a structured format that is easy to assimilate. This is important when an organization employee leaves a particular project and a new employee is hired. Reduces Implementation Time
Fewer engineering changes are needed when using QFD, and, when used properly, all conflicting design requirements can be identified and addressed prior to production. This results in a reduction in retooling, operator training, and changes in traditional quality control measures. By using QFD, critical items are identified and can be monitored from product inception to production. Toyota reports that the quality of their product has improved by one third since the implementation of QFD. [pic] Figure 11–1 Benefits of QFD Reproduced with permission from James L.
Brossert, Quality Function Deployment—A Practitioner’s Approach (Milwaukee, Wisc. : ASQC Quality Press, 1991). Promotes Teamwork Quality function deployment forces a horizontal deployment of communication channels. Inputs are required from all facets of an organization from marketing to production to sales, thus ensuring that the voice of the customer is being met and that each department knows what the other is doing. This activity avoids misinterpretation, opinions, and miscues. In other words, the left hand always knows what the right hand is doing. Efficiency and productivity always increase with enhanced teamwork.
Provides Documentation A data base for future design or process improvements is created. Data that are historically scattered within operations, frequently lost and often referenced out of context, are now saved in an orderly manner to serve future needs. This data base also serves as a training tool for new engineers. Quality function deployment is also very flexible when new information is introduced or things have to be changed on the QFD matrix. THE VOICE OF THE CUSTOMER Because QFD concentrates on customer expectations and needs, a considerable amount of effort is put into research to determine customer expectations.
This process increases the initial planning stage of the project definition phase in the development cycle. But the result is a total reduction of the overall cycle time in bringing to the market a product that satisfies the customer. The driving force behind QFD is that the customer dictates the attributes of a product. Customer satisfaction, like quality, is defined as meeting or exceeding customer expectations. Words used by the customers to describe their expectations are often referred to as the voice of the customer.
Sources for determining customer expectations are focus groups, surveys, complaints, consultants, standards, and federal regulations. Frequently, customer expectations are vague and general in nature. It is the job of the QFD team to break down these customer expectations into more specific customer requirements. Customer requirements must be taken literally and not incorrectly translated into what organization officials desire. Quality function deployment begins with marketing to determine what exactly the customer desires from a product.
During the collection of information, the QFD team must continually ask and answer numerous questions, such as What does the customer really want? What are the customer’s expectations? Are the customer’s expectations used to drive the design process? What can the design team do to achieve customer satisfaction? There are many different types of customer information and ways that an organization can collect data, as shown in Figure 11–2. The organization can search (solicited) for the information, or the information can be volunteered (unsolicited) to the organization.
Solicited and unsolicited information can be further categorized into measurable (quantitative) or subjective (qualitative) data. Furthermore, qualitative information can be found in a routine (structured) manner or haphazard (random) manner. [pic] Figure 11–2 Types of customer information and how to collect it Reproduced with permission from James L. Brossert, Quality Function Deployment—A Practitioner’s Approach (Milwaukee, Wisc. : ASQC Quality Press, 1991). Customer information, sources, and ways an organization can collect data can be briefly stated as follows:
Solicited, measurable, and routine data are typically found by customer surveys, market surveys, and trade trials, working with preferred customers, analyzing products from other manufacturers, and buying back products from the field. This information tells an organization how it is performing in the current market. Unsolicited, measurable, and routine data tend to take the form of customer complaints or lawsuits. This information is generally disliked; however, it provides valuable learning information. Solicited, subjective, and routine data are usually gathered from focus groups.
The object of these focus groups is to find out the likes, dislikes, trends, and opinions about current and future products. Solicited, subjective, and haphazard data are usually gathered from trade visits, customers visits, and independent consultants. These types of data can be very useful; however, they can also be misleading, depending on the quantity and frequency of information. Unsolicited, subjective, and haphazard data are typically obtained from conventions, vendors, suppliers, and employees. This information is very valuable and often relates the true voice of the customer.
The goal of QFD is not only to meet as many customer expectations and needs as possible, but also to exceed customer expectations. Each QFD team must make its product either more appealing than the existing product or more appealing than the product of a competitor. This situation implies that the team has to introduce an expectation or need in its product that the customer is not expecting but would appreciate. For example, cup holders were put into automobiles as an extra bonus, but customers liked them so well that they are now expected in all new automobiles.
Now that the customer expectations and needs have been identified and researched, the QFD team needs to process the information. Numerous methods include affinity diagrams, interrelationship diagrams, tree diagrams, and cause-and-effect diagrams. These methods are ideal for sorting large amounts of information. The affinity diagram, which is ideally suited for most QFD applications, is discussed next. Affinity Diagram The affinity diagram is a tool that gathers a large amount of data and subsequently organizes the data into groupings based on their natural interrelationships. An affinity diagram should be implemented when
Thoughts are too widely dispersed or numerous to organize. New solutions are needed to circumvent the more traditional ways of problem solving. Support for a solution is essential for successful implementation. This method should not be used when the problem is simple or a quick solution is needed. The team needed to accomplish this goal effectively should be a multidisciplinary one that has the needed knowledge to delve into the various areas of the problem. A team of six to eight members should be adequate to assimilate all of the thoughts. Constructing an affinity diagram requires four simple steps: . Phrase the objective. 2. Record all responses. 3. Group the responses.
Organize groups in an affinity diagram. The first step is to phrase the objective in a short and concise statement. It is imperative that the statement be as generalized and vague as possible. The second step is to organize a brainstorming session, in which responses to this statement are individually recorded on cards and listed on a pad. It is sometimes helpful to write down a summary of the discussion on the back of cards so that, in the future when the cards are reviewed, the session can be briefly explained.
Next, all the cards should be sorted by placing the cards that seem to be related into groups. Then, a card or word is chosen that best describes each related group, which becomes the heading for each group of responses. Finally, lines are placed around each group of responses and related clusters are placed near each other with a connecting line. HOUSE OF QUALITY The primary planning tool used in QFD is the house of quality. The house of quality translates the voice of the customer into design requirements that meet specific target values and matches that against how an organization will meet those requirements.
Many managers and engineers consider the house of quality to be the primary chart in quality planning. The structure of QFD can be thought of as a framework of a house, as shown in Figure 11–3. [pic] Figure 11–3 House of quality Reproduced with permission from James L. Brossert, Quality Function Deployment—A Practitioner’s Approach (Milwaukee, Wisc. : ASQC Quality Press, 1991). The parts of the house of quality are described as follows: The exterior walls of the house are the customer requirements. On the left side is a listing of the voice of the customer, or what the customer expects in the product.
On the right side are the prioritized customer requirements, or planning matrix. Listed are items such as customer benchmarking, customer importance rating, target value, scale-up factor, and sales point. The ceiling, or second floor, of the house contains the technical descriptors. Consistency of the product is provided through engineering characteristics, design constraints, and parameters. The interior walls of the house are the relationships between customer requirements and technical descriptors.
Customer expectations (customer requirements) are translated into engineering characteristics (technical descriptors). The roof of the house is the interrelationship between technical descriptors. Tradeoffs between similar and/or conflicting technical descriptors are identified. The foundation of the house is the prioritized technical descriptors. Items such as the technical benchmarking, degree of technical difficulty, and target value are listed. This is the basic structure for the house of quality; once this format is understood, any other QFD matrices are fairly straightforward.
Answering questions about a case scenario
You accepted a position at the company to lead a team of 3 multi-media developers (excluding yourself). This team will be responsible for graphic design, animations, and promotional material. Your role is to manage the team members, their hardware and software needs, and projects. Your employer asks you to assess the HARDWARE needs for the team and propose a computer configuration that would meet the functions of the team yet the least expensive.Based on the information that you were given above (and not more), do your research (internet, friends, companies, etc…) and answer the following questions (briefly but at least close to 200 words):What are the TOP two (2) MOST important computer parts you would need to consider for the team computers and why? (RAM, CPU, Graphics Card, Hard Drive, etc…)
For these computer parts that you identified in the previous question, what general specifications would you recommend and why?
Go to http://www.sigmawave.com/index.aspx?lang=en and use their configurator to generate a quotation [use the expert PC customizer] (http://www.sigmawave.com/sdxl.aspx?lang=en) to create a quotation.
you are only looking at building a desktop computer. laptops, tablets, etc… are not considered parts.
the quotation generated only needs to be for one example computer.
Note: The quotation should include the parts identified as important as well as any other parts needed to build the full computer (this can also include screen, keyboard and mouse but those are not required).
NOTE: should the site be unable to meet the required specifications you may use any other online configurator that can show the price.
you can use any way of citing that you like, as long as you reference where you received your information
Please submit a PDF document containing your answers to the above questions as well as a screenshot of the generated quote (pasted in your document)
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