Using quality function deployment to achieve a market orientation : an application with wood products companies Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/pk02cc63k

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  • This document presents a new method for improving the market orientation of companies. In that regard, I developed a new Quality Function Deployment application (QFD), which compares customer needs with company competitive advantages, in order to determine those advantages that best satisfy customer wants and needs. The methodology was applied to the wood products industry. Companies from this industry are facing a new competitive environment, with challenges from overseas companies, fierce competition from substitute products, concentrated channel power from big box retailers, and the lobby of environmental groups, to name a few. Wood product companies, traditionally production and cost-driven, would really benefit of an effective method for improving their customer orientation, while keeping an eye on substitute materials. The study is cross-cultural including the US and Chile. The first put of the study included 37 qualitative interviews and almost 1300 mail questionnaires targeting architects of both countries, selected as key customers of the wood products industry. The second part of the study consisted of interviews with top wood products company executives. I performed 8 interviews in Chile and 35 in the US. The sample covered 37% of the US annual sales of wood products. The interviews provided the competitive advantages of the companies. Finally, an expert team assisted in developing a new QFD application, which used the results of both the architect and the company study. I determined that architects of both countries are rather similar: they are concerned about the diminishing quality of wood materials and they appreciate "honest" materials (the material is what it seems to be). The two groups differ with respect to environmental issues, which are far less important for Chilean than for U.S. architects. The results suggest a focus on product and business innovation by US wood products companies, as these topics present great potential for improvement. US companies should also become more global, as this characteristic allows a better customer focus and an improved competitive position. Chilean companies should focus their efforts in all types of innovation, and not rely only on their current low-cost producer advantage.
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