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From expectations and needs of service customers to control chart specification limits

Ruben Gregorio (Lean Delphi Manufacturing Systems, Delphi Diesel Systems, Barcelona, Spain, and Business Administration and Management, UPC‐BARCELONATECH, Barcelona, Spain)
Peter Cronemyr (Propia AB, Norrköping, Sweden and Quality Technology and Management, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden)

The TQM Journal

ISSN: 1754-2731

Article publication date: 1 March 2011




The aim of this paper is to develop a model to help service organizations to set the specification limits according to the customer expectations.


A review of relevant literature has been used to develop a new integrated model with ideas from the Kano model, SERVQUAL, Taguchi loss function, Importance Performance Analysis (IPA) and a new model, “the Trade‐Off Importance”. A survey was carried out with 18 external customers and internal stakeholders of the Service Division of Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery AB in Finspong, Sweden.


The model has demonstrated its robustness and credibility to set the specification limits. Additionally, it is a very powerful tool for service quality measurement and to set strategic directions.

Research limitations/implications

First, articles published on this subject are few and there is no similar model in the literature to confirm or compare results. The proposed model must be further validated in future research. Second, this study is applied in a single service division, with a relatively small sample. Ideally, research should be conducted using multiple industries in order to ensure that the model is generalizable.


To the best of one's knowledge, this paper is the first attempt to create a road‐map to set the specification limits in services. Researchers should find that the proposed model fills the research gap. From a managerial standpoint the practical benefits in Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery AB suggest a new way of communicating to customers. The model will also improve the target setting in the Six Sigma projects.



Gregorio, R. and Cronemyr, P. (2011), "From expectations and needs of service customers to control chart specification limits", The TQM Journal, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 164-178.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited