Quality in Product Development
This chapter discusses the principles of quality control as applied to product development and product testing. It highlights concepts important to establishing and implementing effective laboratory support programs aimed not only at developing new polymers, but in servicing customers with their technical needs. Competitor analysis should build on customer-oriented research and focus mainly on the key dimensions of quality, as defined by the target customers. Managers who obtain information from both internal and external customers tend to make better decisions and can offer quality based on customer perceptions. There are numerous situations in any organization when information from customers would improve quality decision making and productivity and eliminate wasted effort. Unfortunately, decisions are frequently made with little or no direct customer study. Customer research should be a driving force for new product development quality improvement teams, quality circles, productivity improvement efforts, and managerial decision making.