Good quality planning methodologies were developed in the last decades of the twentieth century that are still widely used. But competition is getting harsher and harsher and the search for more effective approaches to planning for competitive customer value can never stop. The purpose of this paper is to offer an alternative method for planning for customer value that is the result of his long experience with large organizations, both in manufacturing and service.
The paper summarizes the approaches followed and the results reached. It also rationalizes such experience with the support of figures. Such process may require mental efforts to overcome conventional thinking in managing for quality, which should be accepted. A preliminary condition is understanding the author's quality vision, which quite often is at odds with traditional visions. For that reason the first part of the paper is dedicated to the illustration of the quality‐related concepts that are at the basis of the following discussions. Such concepts are based on the systems view of the organization, on a definition of quality as both doing the right things and doing things right, on accepting that the word quality is neutral and acquires a positive or negative meaning only when associated with the concept of value. The above concepts are not accepted by all quality experts today.
The following are the most significant conclusions: the “customer‐perceived value vs, performance” curves look rather different from those that are mostly used today; consequently, the “quality life‐cycle” presents some significant differences if compared with the Kano Model; extensive use should be made of time‐related curves, which happen to be the most significant in relation to planning; proximity to users (not just own customers) is more important than questionnaires in relation to critical planning decision; both satisfiers and dissatisfiers are important to understand customer/stakeholder perception; the proposed combination algorithm for the two may look conceptually difficult to those who look for simple solutions; but sometimes difficulties look unavoidable.
The paper is original inasmuch as it challenges conventional wisdom in this area. But, if the experience of the author finds confirmation in a wider context, it can be of significant value for those companies that operate in high competitive sectors. It can also stimulate organizational innovation in the fundamental area of value creation.
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