This case is based on an application of QFD at Tennessee specializes in copying, collating, and stapling or binding. Technological University to their Research Resources All three are proficient in most of the RRC functions. Centre (RRC), an internal service system. Originally Jobs can be classified as student, teacher, or rush. created as a support facility for faculty and student Most jobsaresingle-taskoriented and can be completed research, the RRChas grown to offer many more services, by one RRC professional. The professional may be including test preparation, manuscript preparation, dependent on student workers to process job orders resumes, flyers, brochures, faxing, copying, typing, and accurately and place them in the appropriate incoming computer applications. The RRC is staffed weekdays jobs bin. Some jobs, however, are dependent on the from 7:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. with highly experienced other employees’ functions. For instance, Candy types support personnel. Jody, the head coordinator of the the tests, and Marie makes the copies and packages the RRC, is proficient in specialty computer applications. final product. In these instances, Marie functions as an She has a workstation at her disposal loaded with word- internal customer. She becomes dependent on another processing, graphics, and desktop publishing software. professional employee to accomplish her job.
Peripherals such as a laser printer, color printer, and a Students involved in scholarship and work study full-page scanner allow her to generate high-quality programs are also employed part time to support RRC output. Candy specializes in word processing, and Marie personnel. The RRC, functioning as a unit of the College
of Business, is bound by the same regulations as other student workers have questions, they ask one of the university offices: It has little control over the student professionals. The student workers are primarily used as employment selection process. an interface between RRC professionals and customers.
The responsibilities of the students include A security issue is associated with some of the taking work orders and assisting customers in low- documents that the RRC processes. Some faculty tech functions, such as making copies and finding members choose to have the RRC type and print their research materials. No formal training is provided. tests. In these instances, student workers cannot be The student workers are briefly informed of the RRC’s involved in any process related to the test. The order is functions and told to be courteous to customers. When taken by one of the professionals, the job is executed,
and the final product is locked in a file cabinet in a room where student workers are not allowed. Additionally. some student documents may not be handled by student workers. Project papers submitted for typing should not be viewed by a student worker who, by chance, may be in the same class and have the same assignment.
Because of limited space in the RRC. little distinction can be made between back office and front office. A counter is set up to the right of the door as customers walk in. All workers are stationed behind this counter. As customers need assistance, they are met at the counter by student workers who assist them. If a customer requires a job, then the appropriate work-order forms are filled out. During this time, the customer is in full view of the operations. Some frequent customers prefer to relay their job orders directly to the professionals. As a result of the customized nature of many of the jobs, this direct contact is sometimes appropriate. Some customers, however, prefer to do business with certain RRC representatives, which means that RRC professionals occasionally have to leave the work they are doing to serve the customer.
The area to the left of the counter is available for customer use (see Figure 7.31). Four large tables are centrally located for faculty members and students to use for study purposes. The waiting area is merely the area between the counter and these tables. Service lines are not structured, and service personnel attempt to serve customers on a first-come, first-served basis. When customers have work orders that can
be completed quickly, they may choose to wait at for? counter. Occasionally, a queue develops in front of the service counter.
QFD was used to analyse where a concerted effort might increase the RRC’s quality level as perceived by the customer. Customer requirements were grouped along the five dimensions of service quality (in rank order of importance): reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy, and tangibles. These categories were further broken down into secondary requirements as shown in the House of Quality (Figure 7.32).
Questions for Discussion
1 Do you agree with the relative importance of measures of the voice of the customer in Figure 7.32? Explain why these rankings are reasonable, or provide counterarguments for a different ranking.
2 Using the relative importance ratings of the customer attributes and setting a scale of weak, medium, and 5 = strong for the relationship matrix, compute a weighted score for each of the technical requirements in Figure 7.32. Do your scores support the conclusions of the study in terms of the key service components to deploy in the QFD process?
3 What conclusions can you reach in terms of the key service components to deploy in the QFD process? What other recommendations might you suggest based on the information provided in this case? Propose an improved layout of the RRC and justify your proposal.