Title: A tool for systematic assessment of customer needs in industrial markets

 

Author: H. Karkkainen, K. Elfvengren, M. Tuominen, P. Piippo

 

Address: Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Box 20, 53851 Lappeenranta, Finland. Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Box 20, 53851 Lappeenranta, Finland. Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Box 20, 53851 Lappeenranta, Finland. Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Box 20, 53851 Lappeenranta, Finland. R&D Center, Valtra Inc, Tourulantie 12, 40100 Jyvaskyla, Finland

 

Journal: Int. J. of Technology Management, 2003 Vol.25, No.6/7, pp.588-604

 

Abstract: Industrial companies have to be able to understand the real needs of their various customers thoroughly, to react quickly to customers' changing needs, and to assess emerging customer needs proactively to succeed in the toughening business environment. We have developed a systematic tool based on the utilisation of diagonal matrices, originating from systems analysis, to extend the analysis of customer needs to customers' and further up towards the end user, and to support the proactive assessment of customer needs in long and complex industrial customer and business chains. We will describe the developed tool and study its usefulness in the need assessment of industrial products based on realised real-world applications in different industries. Several benefits related to the extension of customer needs analysis were experienced in the different phases of utilising the tool, and new customer needs and business opportunities were recognised.

 

Keywords: customer needs; customer need assessment; future needs; industrial markets; stakeholders.

 

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1504/IJTM.2003.003124

 

Available online 12 Jul 2003

 

 

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