Identify Customer Needs
Step 1. Gather Raw Data From Customers
Interactions with Customers
Prepare a report on your customer interactions. Following the text by Ulrich and Eppinger, this report may include
- Transcripts of Interview(s) with customers
- Audio Recordings
- Video Recordings
- Still Photography
Provide a transcript, or at least a paraphrased version of the interviews that you conduct. Allow the students interested in this project to understand the types of questions you asked the sponsor, and to hear how the sponsor responded. Be sure to note the date, time, location, and participants in the interview. The format below may be helpful.
- First Faculty Guide Interview
- Interviewers: Allen Luccitti
- Faculty Guide: Dr. Day
- Date 25 September,2007 via e-mail
- Interviewer: Question 1 ....
- What is the Primary use of the final product and whol will be the primary users?
- Dr. Day: Response ...
- Primary use is as a test rig that will sit at RIT. This might be for teaching labs, an occasional graduate project, and things like that. The courses could be either basic thermo/fluids lab of a class specific to turbomachinery. Dresser Rands interest is in trainign students to have some familiarity with turbomachinery and diagnostic methods that might help them. DR's longer term interests may include having this test rig exist at RIT so that they could support future projects using the tes rig.
- Interviewer: Question 2 ....
- Is there a space set aside for the finished stand?
- Dr. Day: Response 2 ...
- No, this is always an issue, but we will figure something out. if it's used for a F/T lab, that might be a space. Space is a dynamic thing, so getting a commitment for a particular space might be hard, but we have a department commitment to provide some space.
- Interviewer: Question 3 ....
- Has a specific pump/compressor been set aside already?
- Dr. Day: Response 3 ...
- Not that I know of, In the proposal to DR, we said that we would allow them some input into this in case they have a particular geometry that they're interested in us using
- Interviewer: Question 4....
- What aspects of the final product do you feel will be most valuable for future students?
- Dr. Day: Response 4...
- Inter-changable/modularity of the pump components will allow students to see the effect of varying geometries or conduct parametric experiments based on these changes. If the components can be rapid prototyped, then these changes would be fast and relatively inexpensive. A transparent housing will be very helpful in allowing students to "see" the flow within the pump
- Interviewer: Question 5....
- Has a budget been determined?
- Dr. Day: Response 5...
- I believe that it's $5K, but have to check on that
- Interviewer: Question 6...
- this project appears to require a strong mechanical back ground, so the majority of the team will be ME's (4) and EE's (2) for the development of Labview GUI, data aquesition, and power requirements, do you thing any other field would be beneficial?
- Dr. Day: Response 6...
- this sounds reasonable
- Interviewer: Question 7...
- Aside from the proposed budget, what ofher recourses will be pre-allocated to this project if any?
- Dr. Day: Response 7...
- Machine shop time and assistance, but this is true for most MSD projects
- Interviewer: Question 8....
- Is there anything that you would like to add that was not covered in the previous questions?
- Dr. Day: Response 8....
- Nope, That should do it I'l try to be easier to get in contact with
This is a great place to include an affinity diagram constructed in collaboration with the customer, a fcous group, or peer students, as a graphical representation of raw data associated with customer needs.
Step 2. Interpret Raw Data in Terms of Customer Needs
- Express the need in terms of what the product has to do, not in terms of how the product might do it.
- Express the need as specifically as the raw data.
- Use positive phrasing
- Express the needs as attributes of the product
Step 3. Organize the Needs into a Hierarchy
1. Pump Housing
- 1.1 Optically Clear
- Need 1.2 Easily Removed/Replaced
- Need 1.3 Designed for LDV and PIV
2. Overall Test Stand
- Need 2.1 Movable
- Need 2.2 Small foot print, fully assembled stand should fit into any lab
- Need 3.1 Provide adequate flow
- Need 3.2 easily modified
- Need 3.2.a. different pump housings
- Need 3.2.b. different impellers
- Need 3.3 Meets power requirements
4 Flow Loop
- Need 4.1 Closed Flow Loop
- Need 4.2 Storage reservoir
- Need 5.1 Pressure
6 Control System
- 6.1 LabView Interface
- 6.2 Variable Pump Speed
- 6.3 Monitors Sensors
- 6.4 Powers Components
- 6.4.a. DAQ
- 6.4.b. Sensors
- 6.4.c. Pump
- 6.4.d. LDV, PIV immaging equiptment
After listing the needs in list order here, this is a great place to include an objective tree as a graphical representation of your interpretation of the customer needs.
Step 4. Establish the Relative Importance of the Needs
Needs Summary Need The Product Needs to Importance Need 1.1 Need 1.2 Need 2.1 Need 2.2 Need 2.3 Need 2.4
Step 5. Reflect on the Results and the Process