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A Kano Model based Computer System for Respondents determination: Customer Needs Analysis for Product development Aspects

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Abstract: The first step to develop a product is to identify a set of customer needs. In this regard, Kano model is often used. Using Kano model, a product developer can identify whether or not a product attribute is attractive, must-be, or alike. To
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  M ANAGEMENT S C I ENCE AND E NG I NEER I NG   Vol. 4 , No. 4 , 2010 , pp. 70-74 www.cscanada.org   ISSN 1913-0341 [Print]  ISSN 1913-035X [Online]  www.cscanada.net 70 A Kano Model based Computer System forRespondents Determination: Customer needs analysis for Product Development Aspects Md Mamunur Rashid 1  Jun'ich Tamaki 2  Sharif UllahAkihiko Kubo Abstract: The first step to develop a product is to identify a set of customer needs. Inthis regard, Kano model is often used. Using Kano model, a product developer canidentify whether or not a product attribute is attractive, must-be, or alike. To do so, it isimportant to obtain customers' opinions using a prescribed questionnaire. This raises afundamental question that is how many customers should be asked to make a reliableconclusion. We have developed a system that simulates customer answers in accordancewith Kano model. We have used the system to know the minimal number of customersneeded to determine whether or not a product attribute is attractive, must-be, reverse, oralike. We intend to show the results related to the abovementioned issue and discusshow to integrate the system into a real-life product development process. Keywords: Virtual Customer; Computer System; Product Development; Kano Model 1.   INTRODUCTION Product development is a complex engineering task wherein a great deal of human-physical resources,methods, and tools are involved (Fujita and Matsuo, 2006 and Browning et al. 2006,). Figure 1 shows theproduct development cycle that consists of Strategic Goal, Customer Needs Assessment, Conceptualization,Product Realization, and Satisfaction. In this study, we deal with the issue of Customer Needs Assessment.To know the needs of the customers for a given product (or a set of products), the usual practice is to usequestionnaires and obtain the opinion of customers. This raises a fundamental question that is how manycustomers should be asked to make a reliable conclusion. To support a product development team byproviding the answer of the above question, a simulation system can be used, as schematically shown in Fig.1. This paper is written from this context. This paper is presented in the Conference (Rashid et al.2010) .The remainder of this paper is as follows. Section 2 shows the basic considerations to simulate the customeranswers. Section 3 shows some results, which is followed by the concluding remarks of this study. 1 Doctoral Student, Kitami Institute of Technology, Hokkaido, 090-8507, Japan. E-mail: dse10831@std.kitami-it.ac.jp. 2 Kitami Institute of Technology, Hokkaido 090-8507, Japan.*Received 11 August 2010; accepted 18 November 2010   Md Mamunur Rashid; Jun'ich Tamaki; Sharif Ullah; Akihiko Kubo /Management Science and EngineeringVol.4 No.4, 2010 71   Strategic GoalCustomer NeedsAssessmentConceptualizationProduct RealizationSatisfactionSimulation System forVirtual Customer NeedsProductDevelopment TeamProduct DevelopmentCycleRealCustomersQuestionnaires   Figure 1: The context of this study 2. KANO-MODEL-BASED CUSTOMER ANSWERS There are many models for customer needs assessments. One of the well-respected models is Kano model(Kano et al.1984). To implement Kano model, a two-dimensional questionnaire is prepared for eachproduct attribute. One of the parts of a questionnaire is called  functional part and the other is called dysfunctional part. A respondent selects Like, Must-be, Neutral, Live-with, or Dislike from the functionalpart assuming the proposed attribute is   working . A respondent also selects Like, Must-be, Neutral,Live-with, or Dislike from the dysfunctional part assuming that the proposed attribute is not working . Functional Answer:LikeMust-beNeutralLive-withDislikeDysfunctional Answer:LikeMust-beNeutralLive-withDislike(Must-be, Dislike)  Must-be   Figure 2: A Must-be attribute   Md Mamunur Rashid; Jun'ich Tamaki; Sharif Ullah; Akihiko Kubo /Management Science and EngineeringVol.4 No.4, 2010 72 Functional Answer:LikeMust-beNeutralLive-withDislikeDysfunctional Answer:LikeMust-beNeutralLive-withDislike(Dislike, Like)  Reverse   Figure 3: A Reverse attribute The combination of functional and dysfunctional answers is then used to know whether or not the proposedattribute is  Attractive (A) , One-dimensional (O) ,  Must-be (M) ,  Indifferent (I) ,  Reverse (R), or Questionable(Q) . For example, consider the case shown Fig. 2 where the product attribute is a “circular-shaped bicyclewheel”. The circular-shaped bicycle wheel is a Must-be attribute (“  Atarimae ” in Japanese). As such, arespondent most likely answers Must-be from the functional part and Dislike from the dysfunctional part.Figure 3 shows another example, wherein the product attribute is a “triangular-shaped bicycle wheel.” Inthis case, the answer would be Dislike from the functional part and Like from the dysfunctional part. Thisleads to a conclusion that the product attribute (triangular-shaped bicycle wheel) is Reverse attribute.Kano model provides a mapping between two-dimensional answers and attribute status, as shown inTable 1. Therefore, to simulate customer answers in accordance with the Kano model, it is important tosimulate functional answers (X) and dysfunctional answers (Y) independently and then map thecombination (X,Y) into a Kano evaluation ((X,Y)  Z) shown in Table 1. Note that X, Y  {Like, Must-be,Neutral, Live-with, Dislike} and Z  {A, O, M, I, R, Q}. Table 1: Kano evaluation (Z) of product attribute. Functional Answers (X) (  )Dysfunctional Answers (Y)LikeMust-beNeutralLive-with Dislike Like Q A A A OMust-be R I I I MNeutral R I I I MLive-with R I I I MDislike R R R R Q 3. RESULTS Based on above consideration, a simulation system is developed using MS Excel  . The system is shown in Appendix A . To use the system, the user needs to input the probabilities of Like, Must-be, Neutral,Live-with, and Dislike for both functional and dysfunctional parts. The system uses Monte Carlo simulationof discrete events (Ullah and Tamaki, 2010) and provides the probability of Kano evaluation. The user candefine how many times he/she wants to run the simulation. For example, consider the case of Must-beattribute, as shown in Fig. 2. For this case, a most-likely probability distribution of functional/dysfunctionalanswers is shown in Fig. 4.   Md Mamunur Rashid; Jun'ich Tamaki; Sharif Ullah; Akihiko Kubo /Management Science and EngineeringVol.4 No.4, 2010 73   Figure 4: Probabilities of functional and dysfunctional answers Based on these probabilities the simulation system has been used to simulate functional anddysfunctional answers independently and to identify the corresponding Kano evaluation. The probabilitiesof Kano evaluations of the simulated answers are observed. The results of 1000 and 100 simulations areshown in Fig. 5. 00.51A O M I R Q       P    r    o      b    a      b      i      l      i      t    y Evaluations   00.51A O M I R Q       P    r    o      b    a      b      i      l      i      t    y Evaluations   (for 100 simulated answers)(for 1000 simulated answers) Figure 5: Variation in the simulated evaluation The above results imply that if someone relies on answers from 100 respondents and get relativefrequencies of functional and dysfunctional answers similar to those shown in Fig. 4, he/she can definitelysay that the underlying attribute is a Must-be attribute. This also implies that one can use the survey of 100respondents to prove clearly whether or not an attribute is Must-be or something else. Further study will becarried out to determine the threshold number of respondents for such attributes as Attractive,One-dimensional, Indifferent, and Reverse. 4. CONCLUDING REMARKS A simulation system has been developed to simulate Kano-model-based customer answers and evaluation.Using this system a product development team can identify beforehand how many customers that shouldask to determine whether or not a product attribute is Attractive, Must-be, One-dimensional, Indifferent, orReverse.   Md Mamunur Rashid; Jun'ich Tamaki; Sharif Ullah; Akihiko Kubo /Management Science and EngineeringVol.4 No.4, 2010 74 REFERENCE Browning, T.R., Fricke, E. and Negele, H. (2006). Key Concepts in Modeling Product DevelopmentProcesses. Systems Engineering, 9 (2), 104-128.Fujita, K. and Matsuo, T.. (2006). S urvey and Analysis of Utilization of Tools and Methods in Product  Development  . Trans Japan Soc Mech Eng Ser C 72 (713), 290–297. (in Japanese).Kano, N. Seraku, N. Takahashi, F. and Tsuji, S.. (1984). Attractive Quality and Must-be Quality.  Hinshitsu,14 (2), 39–48. (in Japanese).Rashid, M.M., Tamaki, J., Ullah, A.M.M.S. and Kubo, A. (2010). A Virtual Customer Needs System forProduct Development, Proceedings of the JSPE Hokkaido Chapter Annual Conference , 4 September2010, paper No.307, pp53-54.Sapporo, Japan.Ullah, A.M.M.S. and Tamaki, J.. (2010). Analysis of Kano-Model-Based Customer Needs for ProductDevelopment. Systems Engineering . APPENDIX A: A DEVELOPED COMPUTER SYSTEM
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