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Identifying business priorities...

Identifying business priorities... - The current issue and...

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Identifying business priorities through quality function deployment Insights from a case study Davide Maritan Geotherm Srl, Padua, Italy, and Roberto Panizzolo Department of Industrial Innovation and Management, University of Padua, Padua, Italy Abstract Purpose – Although important concepts and steps for strategic planning have been identiFed, there are few practical, systematic and powerful methodologies and tools to support an integrated and well-managed process. This paper aims at describing in details how the quality function deployment (Q±D) methodology can be applied in order to deFne the strategic priorities of a Frm, to establish clear customer needs/expectations and to draw up a range of product and service characteristics in order to enhance customer satisfaction and thus competitive advantage. Design/methodology/approach – ±rom a methodological point of view, an exploratory case study has been taken with multiple level of analysis and multiple data collection methods. The case study refers to a small manufacturing Frm operating in Italy which designs and sells geothermal heat pump systems. Findings – The proposed methodology provides an excellent mechanism for integrating the important concepts and linking major steps of strategic planning and offers a rigorous methodology for identifying business priorities and developing order winning criteria. Originality/value – In the last two decades many studies have appeared in the literature regarding the use of Q±D procedure in supporting different types of planning. The main problem with these studies is that few explain the details of the process and even fewer present in-depth case studies to demonstrate the process. Given the intrinsic characteristics of the case study, it is the authors’ opinion that the analysis can give relevant indications about the feasibility and general applicability of the proposed methodology. Keywords Quality function deployment, Strategic planning, Case studies Paper type Case study 1. Introduction There is no doubt that current and future customer requirements are the driving force behind the creation of strategic direction for best-in-class organisations. Then, the development of a “customer strategy” is a vital step in the strategy process and customer satisfaction must be integrated into the company’s strategic management objectives. Despite considerable initiatives to achieve better customer focus, too few companies have realized the promise of becoming fully customer aligned. Often, organisations that are striving for improved performance realise that they should be customer-driven, but do not know how to gather and analyse the market research The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/0263-4503.htm MIP 27,5 714 Received September 2008 Revised ±ebruary 2009 Accepted March 2009 Marketing Intelligence & Planning Vol. 27 No. 5, 2009 pp. 714-728 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 0263-4503 DOI 10.1108/02634500910977917
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data, or how to use it to determine an effective customer strategy. In other words,
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