Quality Progress - July 2016 - 64

BACK TO BASICS BY THOMAS SPAGNOLATTI Remember Your Internal Voice Use the voice of the customer matrix within the organization EVER SINCE THE development of the focus on a single customer and supplier Kano theory and model in the 1980s, the relationship or, in the best case, a few focus on the voice of the customer (VOC) customers but only one supplier-typi- VOC matrix, however, it turned out that has significantly increased. External cally the area where the improvement what production truly needs is not the client needs are now a large force behind project is taking place. However, as complete BOM, but the list of the compo- process improvements and changes, but noted earlier, everyone in the organiza- nents needed to plan its activities. With internal client needs still don't receive tion is a customer or supplier. this revelation, engineering is able to pro- the attention they deserve. The voice A tool that can help your organization of the internal customer often remains ensure everyone's needs are being con- unheeded. sidered is the VOC matrix (see Figure 1). We are so absorbed by daily activities The VOC matrix contains all the be approved by the final customer. During the discussion to complete the vide a preliminary BOM before receiving approval from the final customer. Opportunities and issues that we forget everyone in inputs that every functional area needs The output of the VOC matrix also can the organization is either a customer or to carry out its tasks. These needs can be be used to perform further analysis. supplier to someone else in the organiza- information, data, documents, products Depending on the required level of detail, tion. As such, we have needs and our or services. Even if the client defines the needs listed in the matrix can have colleagues have expectations, which can the needs, a positive discussion within associated priorities, targets and metrics. sometimes lead to frustration. the organization about the details of the If required, the difference between requirements can bring an improved the request from the customer and the The right strategy awareness for all the involved parties- supplier's ability to meet the demand Many are familiar with the ancient Latin regarding supplier constraints and the can calculate the organization's process saying, divide et impera, or divide and actual VOC. capability. conquer. In this case, the right strategy For example, production must plan its The rows and the columns of the ma- is just the opposite. Organizations must activities to highlight potential bottle- trix also can be used to develop a process work together to define strengths and necks. To do so, production must have map, or a value stream map, to highlight opportunities. a complete bill of materials (BOM) from the process inputs and outputs related engineering as soon as possible. Before to the various suppliers and customers ternal VOC analysis. Typically, improve- engineering can provide a complete (See Online Figure 1 on this column's ment activities are limited because they BOM, however, all of its documents must webpage at www.qualityprogress.com). To find these areas, perform an in- Considering that everyone-em- Voice of the customer matrix VOC matrix / FIGURE 1 Sales Engineering Production a complex system, we can say that the customer is right only when he or she Customer Sales ployees and customers-are gears in provides the right requests. The role of Quality Shipping the supplier also is to help the client understand his or her actual needs. QP Supplier Engineering Production Quality Shipping VOC = voice of the customer 64 QP * www.qualityprogress.com THOMAS SPAGNOLATTI is an engineering supervisor at Cameron in Calico, Italy. Spagnolatti has his associate degree in industrial engineering from the Istituto Tecnico Indsutriale Statele "E. Mattei" Sondrio in Italy. An ASQ member, Spagnolatti is an ASQcertified Six Sigma Black Belt. http://www.qualityprogress.com http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - July 2016

Up Front
LogOn
Expert Answers
Keeping Current
Mr. Pareto Head
A Quick Study
Clear Pathway
Pulling It All Together
Dead or Alive
Innovation Imperative
Measure for Measure
Quality in the First Person
Career Corner
Standards Outlook
ASQ's Continuing Education and Profesional Development Directory
QP Toolbox
QP Reviews
One Good Idea
Back to Basics

Quality Progress - July 2016

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