Customer Requirements And Product Characteristics

One of the main assignments of any manufacturing facility is to produce product that suits the demands of the market, and the best way to understand the marketplace needs is to tell apart what is important to the customer/consumer. This understanding of the customer gives the company a competitive advantage, as he has learned pretty much the actual needs of the client is, when he sells his product in the market. This competitive advantage can be distinguished into various factors, for e. g. Quality, Velocity, Dependability, Cost, and so forth. A particular way of distinguishing which factor gives us more competitive border is to distinguish between what Prof Terry Hill message or calls as order winners and order qualifiers. (Pycraft et al 1997) [Online]

However before we dive into categorising the many competitive factors into order winners and order qualifiers, it will be helpful if we knew where the products lay in the Puttick Grid. The Puttick Grid, devised by the Warwick Manufacturing Group, identifies product market position with regards to the complexity of the product and the amount of uncertainty on the market. A point to notice about the Puttick Grid is that over a period, product tends to maneuver around in the grid and hence may change over time of time.

The Specialist DBPs have a very erratic demand account, they are basically manufactured either one by one, or if they is more demand they probably in batches of 10. There is a peak popular during the planting season and summer periods as a great deal of people make contact with traveling their bikes after the winter, and therefore become desirable during these seasons amongst the individuals who own classic bikes. Also since these are vintage bikes, they don't mind spending a lttle bit for getting replacing parts.

The Aftermarket DBPs have a fairly subdued demand as compared to the Specialist DBPs. Since these are DBP that are no longer in standard productions, there are a lot of organisations that contain come out with their own version of the DBP and hence the customer has more choice. So, in such a case, the client will go by brand image, price and the grade of the merchandise.

The Original Equipment DBPs on the other palm, will have a very stable demand that'll be recognized to Friction Materials well in advance. Quality and price become very important for such a product and therefore they become more of a item.

Hence in line with the above discussion, the merchandise have been located in the Puttick Grid as shown below in Number 1. 1. 1

Super Value Product

Responsive/Jobbing/Fashion

Specialist DBP

Consumer Durables

Commodities

Original Equipment DBP

Now that people have an understanding of where in fact the product lies with regards to the Puttick Grid, we can distinguish which competitive factor can be an order champion and which can be an order qualifier.

Characteristic

Aftermarket DBP

Specialist DBP

Design

-

-

Brand Name

60

60

Price

40

40

Speed (Lead Time)

Q

-

Dependability (Supply)

QQ

Q

Quality (Fit to purpose)

Q

QQ

Table 1. 1. 1: Order Winners and Qualifiers. (Adopted for Hill 2000)

[Take note of: Order Winners are designated out of 100.

Q: - Order Qualifier; QQ: - Order Looser. ]

Characteristics

Original Equipment DBP

Design

40

Brand Name

10

Price

40

Speed (Lead Time)

10

Dependability (Availableness)

QQ

Quality (Fit to purpose)