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Quality Function Deployment: Voice of Customer Meets Voice of Process

Summary: This article outlines the fundamentals of quality function deployment (QFD), which applies W. Edwards Deming's quality principles (including his famous 14 Points for Management, which are covered in an online supplement). The goal of QFD is to uncover positive quality that will excite the customer, and then to ensure the quality of all downstream activities in design, manufacturing, service, and so forth. QFD is a comprehensive quality system aimed specifically at satisfying the customer. It concentrates on maximizing customer satisfaction (positive quality) by seeking out both spoken and unspoken needs, translating these needs into actions and designs, and communicating these throughout the organization. Further, QFD allows customers to prioritize their requirements and benchmark businesses against their competitors, and then directs those businesses to optimize those aspects of their products, processes, and organization that will bring the greatest competitive advantage. Voice of the customer analysis helps identify critical stakeholders and their most important needs; the article explains how to perform such an analysis. The tools of QFD are linked in an end-to-end system that can be replicated across different market segments, product lines, and product generations. They are also useful in predicting the effects of quality decisions on customer satisfaction and competitiveness. Supplemental figures for QFD are available online.

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  • Topics: Quality Function Deployment, Quality Tools
  • Keywords: Quality function deployment (QFD), Quality functions, Voice of the customer (VOC), Deming's 14 points, Quality management principles, Customer satisfaction (CS), Quality tools
  • Author: Mazur, Glenn H.;
  • Journal: Journal for Quality and Participation