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A Numerical Method for Customer Needs Analysis

# A Numerical Method for Customer Needs Analysis

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Customer needs is crucial for product development. There are many models for customer needs analysis. One of the well-known models is Kano Model. Kano model can be formulated customer needs for product development. Functional (FE) and dysfunctional (DE) forms answer of Kano Model , i.e. Like, Must-be, Neutral, Live-with and Dislike of a product attribute have been applied to choose the Kano evaluation (KE), i.e. Attractive (A), One-dimensional (O), Must-be (M), Indifferent (I), Reverse (R), and Questionable (Q). Questionnaires have filled and returned by individuals are essential for Kano model. Many questionnaires have not been returned in that case. Moreover, many possible consumers could not get opportunity for filled-up questionnaire. These uncertain or unknown consumers’ opinions are also essential for product development. Under these circumstances the discrete variables have been generated by the formula RAND () in Microsoft Office Excel and also applied Monte Carlo simulation methods. This paper is outline a numerical method for customer need evaluation regarding Kano model based
Customer needs is crucial for product development. There are many models for customer needs analysis. One of the well-known models is Kano Model. Kano model can be formulated customer needs for product development. Functional (FE) and dysfunctional (DE) forms answer of Kano Model , i.e. Like, Must-be, Neutral, Live-with and Dislike of a product attribute have been applied to choose the Kano evaluation (KE), i.e. Attractive (A), One-dimensional (O), Must-be (M), Indifferent (I), Reverse (R), and Questionable (Q). Questionnaires have filled and returned by individuals are essential for Kano model. Many questionnaires have not been returned in that case. Moreover, many possible consumers could not get opportunity for filled-up questionnaire. These uncertain or unknown consumers’ opinions are also essential for product development. Under these circumstances the discrete variables have been generated by the formula RAND () in Microsoft Office Excel and also applied Monte Carlo simulation methods. This paper is outline a numerical method for customer need evaluation regarding Kano model based

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Proceedings of the 13
th
Annual Paper Meet25 September 2010, Dhaka

Mechanical Engineering Division The Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh

1
A Numerical Method for Customer Needs Analysis
Md Mamunur RashidFaculty, Bangladesh Institute of Management, Dhaka-1207Doctoral Student, Kitami Institute of Technology, Kitami, Hokkaido-090-8507, JAPANMember, Executive Committee (2009-2010), Mechanical Engineering Division, IEB
Jun’ichi Tamaki, A.M.M. Sharif
Ullah and Akihiko Kubo

Kitami Institute of Technology, Kitami, Hokkaido-090-8507, JAPANE-mail:dse10831@std.kitami-it.ac.jp
ABSTRACT:
Customer needs is crucial for product development. There are many models forcustomer needs analysis. One of the well-known models is Kano Model. Kano model can beformulated customer needs for product development. Functional (
FE
) and dysfunctional (
DE
) formsanswer of Kano Model , i.e. Like, Must-be, Neutral, Live-with and Dislike of a product attribute havebeen applied to choose the Kano evaluation (
KE
), i.e. Attractive (A), One-dimensional (O), Must-be(M), Indifferent (I), Reverse (R), and Questionable (Q). Questionnaires have filled and returned byindividuals are essential for Kano model. Many questionnaires have not been returned in that case.Moreover, many possible consumers could not get opportunity for filled-up questionnaire. These
uncertain or unknown consumers’ opinions are also essential for pro
duct development. Under thesecircumstances the discrete variables have been generated by the formula RAND () in Microsoft OfficeExcel and also applied Monte Carlo simulation methods. This paper is outline a numerical method forcustomer need evaluation regarding Kano model based
Keywords:

Numerical Kano Model, Customer Needs Analysis, Probability, Events, ProductDevelopment.
1. INTRODUCTION
The long-term viability of a company's business plan depends on sustaining its competitive advantage[1]
.
Competitive advantage is usually achieved through developing new products and services thatsatisfy and delight customers [2]. Product developers are looking for numerical investigations to seek optimum product design for improve quality and reduce costs and adding Value [3-4]. We deal withthe issue of customer need assessment by Kano model [5] through computer system forconceptualization and product realization for customer satisfaction [6-7]. Thus, a system is needed todevelop existing or new product more safely, efficiently and compliance with voice of customer(VOC). For this purpose, a computer system is presented in this context, which can lead to know theunderstanding of customer for product development. The proposed numerical method can beconformed the requirements customers with product attribute on the basis of Kano model. Theremainder of this paper is as follows. Section 2 shows the proposed simulation process to simulate thecustomer answer. Section 3 shows result and discussions, which is followed by the concluding remarksof this study.
2. PROPOSED SIMULATION PROCESS
This section describes a method to simulate the functional/dysfunctional answers and subsequently theKano evaluation. The method is based on Monte Carlo simulation process. Consider that, functionalanswer,
FE (
x
i
)
= (Like, Must-be, Neutral, Live-with, Dislike) [5] is a vector that contains all possiblestates of functional answers. For convenience,
x
i
will be used to denote
i
-th element of
FE (
x
i
)
,
i

= 1,…
,5.
P
FE
= (Pr(
x
i
) |
i
= 1
,…,5) is the probability vector of the states of functional answers defined by
FE
.The corresponding cumulative probability vector is denoted by
CP
FE
= (CPr(
x
i
) |
i

= 1,…,5). In
DE (
y
j
) = (Like, Must-be, Neutral, Live-with, Dislike) [5]is a vector that contains all possible states of dysfunctional answers. For convenience,
y
j
will be used todenote
j
-th element of
DE (
y
j
),
j

= 1,…
, 5.
P
DE
= (Pr (
y
j
) |
j

= 1,…,5) is the probability vector of the
states of dysfunctional answers defined by
DE
. The corresponding cumulative probability vector isdenoted by
CP
DE
= (CPr(
y
j
) |
j

= 1,…,5). Moreover, consider that
KE
(Z
)
= (Attractive (A), One-dimensional (O), Must-be (M), Indifferent (I), Reverse (R), Questionable (Q))[5]

is a vector thatcontains all possible states of Kano evaluations. For convenience,
z
will be used to denote
-th element

Proceedings of the 13
th
Annual Paper Meet25 September 2010, Dhaka

Mechanical Engineering Division The Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh

2
of
KE
,

= 1,…,6.
P
KE
= (Pr(
z
) |

= 1,…,6) is the probability vector of the states of Kano evaluation
defined by
KE
. A combination of functional and dysfunctional answers (
x
i
,
y
j
) corresponds to a definiteKano evaluation
z
, i.e., (
x
i
,
y
j
)
z
, in accordance with the Kano model. There are twenty five possibletransformation rules (
x
i
,
y
j
)
z
. These rules are listed in following Table 1.
Table 1. Kano evaluation KE (Z
) of product attribute [8]
i
) (
j
)Like Must-be Neutral Live-with DislikeLike Q A A A OMust-be R I I I MNeutral R I I I MLive-with R I I I MDislike R R R R Q
However, to simulate functional and dysfunctional answers and subsequently the Kano evaluation, asimulation process is proposed. The proposed process composed of five steps (
Step 0
,…,
Step 4
). Thesteps are explained as follows:
Step 0
: This step is to input number of iterations (N), event and probability vectors of functional anddysfunctional answer (
FE
= (
x
i
|
i
= 1,…,5
),
P
FE
= (Pr(
x
i
) |
i
= 1,…,5),
DE
= (
y
j
|
j
= 1,…,5
),and
P
DE
= (Pr(
y
j
) |
j
= 1,…,5)
).
Step 1
: This step is to simulate and display the functional and dysfunctional answers independentlyusing the process . The results are two vectors of simulated functional and dysfunctionalanswers
S
FE
= (SF
1
,…,SF
N
) and
S
DE
= (SD
1
,…,SD
N
), respectively. As such, SF
p
=
x
i
and SD
p
=
y
j
,
p

= 1,…,
N
,
i
,
j

{1,…,5}.

Step 2
: This step is to calculate and display the probability vectors of simulated functional anddysfunctional answers (
P
FE
= (Pr
(
x
i
) |
i
= 1,…,5) and
P
DE
= (Pr
(
y
j
) |
j
= 1,…,5)) and
corresponding
Error
.
Step 3
: This step is to use
S
FE
= (SF
1
,…,SF
N
) and
S
DE
= (SD
1
,…,SD
N
) and identify the Kanoevaluation for each pair of simulated functional and dysfunctional answer using thedefinition (
x
i
,
y
j
)
z
shown in Table 1. This step thus produces a vector of simulated Kanoevaluations
S
KE
= (SK
1
,
…,SK
N
) so that (SF
p
,SD
p
)
SK
p

= z
,
p

= 1,…,
N
;

{1,…,6}.

Step 4
: This step is to determine the probability vector of the simulated Kano evaluations
P
FE
=(Pr(
z
) |
= 1,…,6)
.
3. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
This system can to simulate functional and dysfunctional answers independently and then calculate theprobability of Kano evaluation. For this purpose, this process (appendix A) is followed the summationof probabilities for each FE, DE inputs is equal to 1. Thus, probability provides the real knowledge tonumerical modeling of Kano model. According to the simulation process shows three end output. Kanoevaluation (KE) is one end output of them. Others two are errors of functional (FE) and dysfunctional(DE) simulations. These two errors are varying upon on number of iterations. These errors arefollowed, number of iteration (N)
(%)1
errors
; it’s tend to zero.
Rashid et al. [6, 7] was shown thatone can be used the survey of 100 virtual respondents to prove clearly whether or not an attribute isMust-be or something else. Number of iteration is considered virtual respondents or customers. Forthis reason, in this study number of iterations (N) is considered at 100.
05101520251 10 100 1000
E   r   r   o   r   (   %   )
05101520251 10 100 1000
E   r   r   o   r   (   %   )

Fig.1 Selection of input number of iterations
Ullah and Tamaki [3]

have

developed a method of 25 individuals; only 14 of them submitted a Kanoquestionnaire with their answers on time. 11 individuals,
i.e
. 44% of the answers were unknown ortechnically uncertain. Their study was constrained in this specific area for know the unknown people

Proceedings of the 13
th
Annual Paper Meet25 September 2010, Dhaka

Mechanical Engineering Division The Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh

3
answer. In this regard, they recommended a proposition in their next work [4]. Their proposition isrespondents of unknown customer answer are selected randomly from FE and DE. In this case all states(Like, Must-be, Neutral, Live-with, and Dislike) are equally likely. Equally likely means equalprobability of FE and DE (circumstance-1). Moreover, when information is scarce, vague, orconflicting for product design, which is hard to identify a unique probability distribution. As a result,
the unknown customers’ FE and DE is generally uncertain,
i.e.,
scarce, vague etc. Thus, it facilitates toconsider uniform probability for FE and DE (circumstance-2). Besides, FE and DE probability of existing Kano model is also shown equal probability (circumstance-3). Under these circumstances, thesystem in appendix A shows in following results of scenario 1 that customer evaluation (KE)probability is the similar with existing Kano evaluation (KE) .
Input Number of Iterations ->100Like Must-be Neutral Live-with DislikeInput Probability ->0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2Like Must-be Neutral Live-with DislikeInput Probability ->0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2Functional Event VectorFunctional Event Probability VectorDysfunctional Event VectorDysfunctional Event Probability Vector
00.20.40.60.81Attractive One-dimensional Must-be Indifferent Reverse Questionable
P         r             (   .             )
Evaluations

Fig.2 Inputs and results for scenario 1
The probability of the Kano Evaluation called Indifferent is very high compared to those of others.Indifferent attribute, that result neither in satisfaction nor dissatisfaction, whether fulfilled or not. As aresult, generic unknown customer evaluation is not significance for product development.A product developer is investigated by this system for the following two attribute of bicycle. Theseattributes are attractive or not. Firstly triangular wheel bicycle, a product developer is consideredattractive attribute as an assumption. For this purpose, the product developer has collected data fromfield survey. Now, the product developer is used these data as a system input of appendix A and gotfollowing evaluation from the system.
Input Number of Iterations ->100Like Must-be Neutral Live-with DislikeInput Probability ->0.074074 0 0 0.111111 0.814814815Like Must-be Neutral Live-with DislikeInput Probability ->0.222222 0.296296 0.148148 0.074074 0.259259259Functional Event VectorFunctional Event Probability VectorDysfunctional Event VectorDysfunctional Event Probability Vector
00.20.40.60.81Attractive One-dimensional Must-be Indifferent Reverse Questionable
P        r           (   .           )
Evaluations

Fig.3 Inputs and results for scenario 2
This system result shows that triangular wheel bicycle is not attractive attribute, while it shows reverseattribute. It is avoidable attribute for product. For the reason that, Reverse attribute presence causesdissatisfaction and its absence causes satisfaction. Questionable (Q) attribute is occurred, when one
selects “Like” or “Dislike” from both FE and DE; as a result this answer does not make any sense. In
this perspective, the producer could not allow to produce triangular wheel bicycle.Secondly triangular shape bicycle frame, a product developer is considered attractive attribute as anassumption. For this reason, the product developer has also collected data from field study. Now, the