November 01, 2008

Operations Management Lesson 4 Exercise

For a product or service of your own choice, complete a QFD matrix that relates customer requirements to design characteristics

We are going to treat the process of the booking and packing service of school books in one of the most famous department stores in Spain, it is the El Corte Ingles.

El Corte Ingles

Now we are in the phase of the service design and we need to define the characteristics of the service. Some of these characteristics will be compared in the QFD Matrix with others competitor as Careforur, a international hypermarket, and with “La Casa del Libro”  traditional bookstore in Madrid.

After get multiples ideas and see the accuracy of it in term of feasibility, acceptability, and vulnerability criteria, the preliminary design has be done. Now we are going to evaluate this design and try to identify the gap between the  assessment of the customer’s needs and the specification of components in order to improve the design. For do that we are going to use the Quality function deployment (QFD) tool, listing and prioritizing the main features.


The QFD tool lets us to think in  ideal features rather than simply focusing on narrow technical specifications. For this process we will attend the characteristics at the first level analyzing of the “whats” and “hows” aspects.

The Whats

  • Box Shape: to avoid breakages and to make easy the transportation for the end users is a factor very important. The goal is that each user could bring his pack with a handle.  

  • Reusability: will be desirable the reuse of the box for example to keep the books of others years

  • Price: in an competition market is a very important factor, although the end users know that is a service with value added.

  • Communication: a good communication with the customer when is available the pack of books is desirable factor. 

  • Completeness: some times the pack is not complete because some books are not in stock and to complete the pack is need wait some weeks to receive it of the provider.

  • Accuracy: critical factor is to delivery the books that really corresponding with the school.

  • Delivery Speed: this a desirable factor and will be a advantage competitive.

The Hows

The way to answer to customers’ requirements is cover with following aspects:

  • Identification end users needs: The value added is to know the list of books corresponding for each schools, in this way the only requirement is to ask about the name and course of the each student (i.e. each children). 

  • SMS Technology: in order to satisfy the communication and delivery speed requirement the use of SMS technology will be the solution.

  • Sector/Industry Knowledge:a big retailer has enough knowledge about how explain the process to its customers, thought customer care point and call centres.

  • Warehouse: to have a warehouse with a very good process of picking and packing is essential to completeness.

  • Cardboard box: the books will be safe with a packing in a removable cardboard box and after transport its the cardboard box can be saved or reused for keep others books.

The QFD Matrix

All of this has been summarized in the following figure



  • Walley, P. (2008)  Operations Management Study Notes, Warwick Business School
  • Slack, N. et al. (2006) Operations and process management, FT Prentice Hall, London
  • El Corte Ingles.

  • Carrefour

  • Case del Libro

- 3 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Desmond Yarham

    Hi Luis, your selected service operation was straightforward but needs to be customer focused as it is not difficult for competitors to copy. Starting with the 5 stage product/service design process was a good start and put the task in perspective. The selection and description of the seven ‘whats’ and five ‘hows’ was detailed and appropriate. The resulting QFD matrix was well illustrated and labelled but was missing a roof. Include any relevant references as appropriate.

    31 Oct 2008, 10:15

  2. Des

    Thank you for your feedback in all lessons. I am going to change some things accordirng with your sugesstions


    01 Nov 2008, 11:03

  3. Desmond Yarham

    Many thanks

    05 Nov 2008, 10:39

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