A model to Translate Customer Expectations into Specification Limits (Mechanical Project)

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Today, firms compete with services rather than goods. Large service organizations are beginning to use Six Sigma as continuous improvement tool. An important part of the Six Sigma methodology is the calculation of number of defects in the process, i.e. points outside the specification limits.

Unlike goods quality, which can be measured objectively by number of defects, in service goods the setting up of specification limits is a complicated issue because it is marked by the use and expectations among the different customers. As Six Sigma was originally created for manufacturing, this crucial fact is not contemplated in the Six-Sigma roadmap Define- Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control (DMAIC).

The aim of this thesis is to develop a new model to help the Service Division, Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery AB to set the specification limits according to the customer expectations.

A review of relevant literature is 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 for 18 external customers and internal stakeholders.

The model has demonstrated its robustness and credibility to set the specification limits. Additionally it is a very powerful tool to set the strategic directions and for service quality measurement. As far as we know, this thesis is the first attempt to create a roadmap to set the specification limits in services. Researchers should find a proposed model to fill the research gap. From a managerial standpoint, the practical benefits in Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery AB, suggest a new way of communicating to customers.
Source: Linköping University
Author: Gregorio, Ruben

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