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"Time was when a man could order a pair of shoes directly from the cobbler. By measuring the foot himself and personally handling all aspects of manufacturing, the cobbler could assure the customer would be satisfied," lamented Dr. Yoji Akao, one of the founders of QFD, in his private lectures.
Quality Function Deployment (QFD) was developed to bring this personal interface to modern manufacturing and business. In today's industrial society, where the growing distance between producers and users is a concern, QFD links the needs of the customer (end user) with design, development, engineering, manufacturing, and service functions.
Glenn Mazur, executive director of QFD Institute, offers this explanation.
As a quality system that implements elements of Systems Thinking with elements of Psychology and Epistemology (knowledge), QFD provides a system of comprehensive development process for:
QFD is a comprehensive quality system that systematically links the needs of the customer with various business functions and organizational processes, such as marketing, design, quality, production, manufacturing, sales, etc., aligning the entire company toward achieving a common goal.
It does so by seeking both spoken and unspoken needs, identifying positive quality and business opportunities, and translating these into actions and designs by using transparent analytic and prioritization methods, empowering organizations to exceed normal expectations and provide a level of unanticipated excitement that generates value.
The QFD methodology can be used for both tangible products and non-tangible services, including manufactured goods, service industry, software products, IT projects, business process development, government, healthcare, environmental initiatives, and many other applications.
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