The Development of Quality Management toward Customer Value Creation
Abstract: The evolving roadmaps of TQM (i.e. Six Sigma and Lean Production) have reached a consensus that creating value to customers is the aim of quality management. However, it is not uncommon that suppliers do not have a thorough understanding of customer value, do not know the methods and tools to enable value creation, or not knowing how to demonstrate suppliers’ competence in creating customer value. Although quality management has provided the fundamentals for creating value, further development is required in order to reduce or close the gap between the strategic and the tactical implications of customer value.This dissertation describes the development of quality management toward customer value creation in order to reduce the “gap” between value creation as the aim of quality management and the value as perceived by customers. The development of quality management requires a Profound Knowledge of Customer Value (PKCV), guiding principles that enable organisations to gain customer-related knowledge and to take necessary actions in order to create, deliver, and optimise customer value through quality management. The principles of PKCV are: appreciation for a value-creating system, knowledge about customer value modes, theory of improvements, and perceptions.A central point in the PKCV is Value Modes Effect & Analysis (ValMEA), a concept which connects the higher and the lower level of customer value abstraction by describing that customer value appears in different “modes” in different contexts. This interconnection indicates that customer value is not just a concept that is goals/needs-related (fulfilment of goals or needs) or product-related (linked with a product), but also is competence-related (implying suppliers’ value creation potential). Hence, customer value is both the input and the output of a value-creating system, which “reveals” the bi-directional relationship between quality improvements and customer value. This means that customer value measurements may lead to the identification of improvement opportunities, and suppliers’ efforts in improving quality may influence customers’ perceptions regarding the value of the product.Through a re-interpretation of the principles of Six Sigma and Lean Production and the adaption of tools to capture customer value, quality management can be further developed toward customer value creation.
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