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  1. Applying Virtual Customer Methods: VOC Insights from M.I.T. Locked

    Research | Posted: 2005-11-11

    The Virtual Customer Initiative (VCI) at M.I.T. is aimed at developing and testing cutting-edge concepts and techniques to improve the speed, accuracy and usability of customer input in product development. The Initiative focuses on Web-based approaches, developing the basic science of techniques to elicit customer input that can be applied across industries and sectors. This report is a summary of an audio session with Dr. John Hauser, leader of the Virtual Customer Initiative and Head of the Marketing Group at the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management. Dr. Hauser addressed what is now available and what is on the horizon for virtual Voice of the Customer (VOC) methods. (7 pages)

  2. Using Ethnography to Understand Customer Needs: Insights from Microsoft Locked

    Research | Posted: 2005-08-26

    A Conversation with Senior Design Anthropologist Anne Kiel of MicrosoftWhile many product development professionals debate the correct use and weight of customer input in the design and development process, few doubt the importance of understanding customer perspectives, opinions and needs. The application of anthropological skills to R&D is a relatively new strategy, but this bridge between the fields is proving to be both strong and popular. MRT spoke with Anne Kiel, a Senior Design Anthropologist for Microsoft Corporation and a leader in this new area of product development. Before joining Microsoft, Anne practiced field ethnography in Norway and Tibet, and initiated an ethnographic research effort at Boeing. (7 pages)

  3. Evolutionary VOC Solutions to Optimize Package Design at Proctor & Gamble Locked

    Research | Posted: 2005-07-22

    Procter & Gamble (P&G) had found that store brand imitations of one of its flagship brand's name and package caused confusion and loss of adoption at the point of sale. Realizing that it had to change the packaging quickly to regain differentiation while retaining brand equity, the company worked with Affinnova and used its IDEATM solution, a technology that uses genetic algorithms to evolve concepts, products and brands in response to consumer preferences earlier in the process. This report is a summary of a presentation by Jay Fabermann, the former Associate Director of Consumer and Market Knowledge at Procter & Gamble and Ron Gamble a former Senior Vice President of Operations and Marketing at Affinova and accompanies their presentation slides (22 slides). (8 pages)

  4. Using Complementary VOC Methodologies at HP Locked

    Research | Posted: 2005-07-08

    This report is a summary of remarks by Tom Graefe, a Human Factors Principal, and Craig Neely, a Human Factors Engineer, in the Customer Centered Design Services group at Hewlett Packard (HP). This presentation compared and assessed complementary methods for gathering information on customer experience. It covered the variety of VOC methods used by HP in designing a support Web site for business customers, from VOC front-end tools to those used iteratively throughout the lifecycle process. Comments address the issues and challenges of this particular case example, and provide a comparison of VOC methods along with a framework for conducting user-centered design. Download the summary below (7 pages) and then click here to download the presentation slides. (27 slides)

  5. Voices to Solutions Locked

    Research | Posted: 2005-06-23

    Piyush Sanghani, Sr. Product Research Manager, Product Development & Management, TransUnion TransUnion is a leading global information solutions company that customers trust as a business intelligence partner and commerce facilitator. This presentation centered on a case study of a recent cross-functional Voice of the Customer initiative that has allowed TransUnion to gain a greater understanding of customer needs and unearth new product ideas. This presentation briefly outlines the objectives for the initiative, the process used, what worked and what did not. (14 pages)

  6. Using VOC to Link Technology to Market Opportunity Locked

    Research | Posted: 2005-06-10

    Kurt W. Swogger, Vice President, R&D Plastics, The Dow Chemical Company Dow Chemical has developed a Speed-based philosophy to dramatically decrease product cycle time and increase product success. One of its key premises is to link early customer input and advice to the market with the technology validity of a project. Over the years, Dow has used Performance Requirements, Voice of the Customer and QFD from Six Sigma, and the Summit Process™ by Isis to successfully gather information and commitment from its customers. Dow has reduced its cycle times by a ratio of three to five and doubled success rates by using the Speed philosophy which focuses on customer and market knowledge and input. (31 pages)

  7. The Virtual Customer: Taking Voice of the Customer to the Next Level Locked

    Research | Posted: 2005-05-20

    John Hauser, Kirin Professor of Marketing, MIT Sloan School of Management MIT's Virtual Customer Initiative (VCI) is a multidisciplinary research project developing and testing new theory and methods to improve the speed, accuracy, and usability of customer input to the product development process. In this presentation, Dr. Hauser discussed new techniques being developed by the MIT team. These include more accurate and more efficient adaptive questioning methods, techniques to infer when customers are using non-compensatory processes, automatic "information pumps" and "information scoring" that provide incentives to respondents to think hard and tell the truth, and new ideation games that enable customers to participate in the idea generation process. Doctor Hauser also provided examples from a variety of applications. (53 pages)

  8. The Role of Leadership in the Voice of the Customer Locked

    Research | Posted: 2005-04-06

    John Fowler, Marketing Process Director, Case New Holland (CNH) In 2002, CNH, a group of agricultural and construction equipment brands that includes Case, International Harvester and New Holland, began a process reengineering effort to ensure that two brands resulting from a merger would operate in parallel from a common platform. The goal was a structured process that would help avoid conflict and drive improvement, while clarifying the fuzzy front end. As leader of the change effort, John Fowler provides valuable insights on how he and his team created a process for translating customer needs into requirements. Within a space of weeks they carried out the strategy and preparation, including customer profiling, competitive selection, product application and utilization. However, even though the methods aligned everyone on the project, regardless of function, the senior management team wasn’t ready to take the leadership leap. John presents his strategy to obtain this support along with his successes and failures. (34 pages)

  9. GUIDE TO LEADING PRACTICES: Voice of the Customer Locked

    Research | Posted: 2005-04-01

    This report presents leading practices for Voice of the Customer research derived from practitioner experience and benchmarking research. Management Roundtable has culled these practices from our knowledge base and formulated them as simple, bullet-level statements. In addition, the GUIDE cites the source for each practice, presents a brief discussion of each, and provides links to further information. (15 Pages)

  10. Mass Customization Without Going Broke in the Process Locked

    Research | Posted: 2005-03-31

    Customers demand products tailored to their needs, but customization can create expensive and unmanageable product complexity for developers. Mass customization can result in higher costs that ripple through a company's production, purchasing, sales and service departments. Smart manufacturers manage the tough product-variety- versus-production-complexity trade-off issue at the front end of the development process. Their goal is to make sure the product platform's design can address multiple markets and accommodate future model changes through a more flexible, less complex product architecture. This report presents a tool called Variant Mode and Effects Analysis, a method for effective product complexity management. It also outlines principles for successful design in a mass customized world. (6 pages)

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