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Path: Home > Events > ISQFD 2002 > Programme> QFD and reengineering of New Product Development process: the Tetra Pak experience

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Chiara Pergola, Simona Borsari, Giuseppe Stabilini

QFD and reengineering of New Product Development process: the Tetra Pak experience

Track: I2

In 2000, Bocconi University School of Management and Tetra Pak carried a joint research program on QFD best practices and tools, in order to methodologically support the on-going implementation of QFD within the company.
This paper aims to describe the QFD project run by Tetra Pak within a wider program of reengineering of their NPD process and to summarise the main evidences from this experience.
Tetra Pak is one of the world's largest suppliers of packaging systems for liquid food, in particular filling equipments for long shelf life-non-refrigerated liquid food.
As Tetra Pak covers all the packaging process, their products have to take in consideration the needs of a double type of users: the direct customer producing the packages through the filling equipments and the final consumer who buys the package.
In order to face an increasingly competitive market over the last few years, Tetra Pak is shifting to a process oriented organization, to grant the alignment to common objectives and increase flexibility, and achieve a market driven strategy in concurrent with the product driven strategy historically pursued.
In this context, the company adopted the QFD as an innovative marketing/design approach to analyse the "voice of the customer" as well as a new way to structure the communication flow from product management to development.
The implementation of QFD started with one pilot study on family packages and two market researches on 0.5 liter sport drink packages and 1 liter milk packages. The researches were conducted on the final consumers as teenagers for the 0.5 liter package, households and purchase responsible for the 1 liter family packages.
All the survey were focused on three main topics: the understanding of the target's needs and expectations (mainly through qualitative market researches); the target perception of quality through the definition of a representative benchmark (with interviews on a larger sample basis); the set-up of an in-house measurement system to clarify the relationship between consumer's perception and product features and to objectively quantify the performance of these features.
The QFD methodology proved to be very powerful for all that concerns "functionality", providing an effective evaluation of technical feasibility related to the market requirements. It contributed to the definition of a standardized approach to market researches, which enables to follow up projects on a concrete basis and to compare results from market researches carried out at different times. Otherwise, as frequently affirmed by the literature, the Tetra Pak experimentation of the QFD confirmed the weakness of the tool in the evaluation of the emotional needs (such as "image" or "appeal") and its inadequacy in the capture of the customer unexpressed requirement.
The paper ends with the presentation of the progress of the Tetra Pak project, aiming to the building up of an appropriate "gemba" for any future market research.

Chiara Pergola is Package Functionality Engineer at Product Management - Package Performance department at Tetra Pak Carton Ambient S.p.A., Modena, Italy. In this project she is responsible for the technical side of the QFD implementation.

Simona Borsari is Market Research Expert at Product Management - Commercial Performance department at Tetra Pak Carton Ambient S.p.A., Modena, Italy. In this project she is responsible for the consumers side of the QFD implementation.

Giuseppe Stabilini. Faculty Member and Assistant at the Technology Management Department of Bocconi School of Management, Milan, Italy. His area of research deals with NPD process and Supply Chain Management.
Most recent publications are:
(2001) Chapter 3. Lo sviluppo nuovi prodotti (with M. Giuffrida) and Chapter 5. Gli approvvigionamenti, in A. Grando (editor), Innovazione, produzione e logistica nell'era dell'economia digitale, pp. 47 - 80 and pp. 105 - 135, ETAS
(2001) L'evoluzione dei rapporti di fornitura nell'impresa a rete (with M. Giuffrida), in S. Vicari (editor), Il management nell'era della connessione. Dalla catena fisica alla rete virtuale del valore, pp. 217 - 250, EGEA

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