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RDA Group presents at the ASQ Automotive Division Symposium

On Monday, April 26, 2010 Dennis Pietrowski (Managing Director) and Bharath Vijayendra (Senior Vice President, Statistical Modeling and Consulting) presented "The Softer Side of Quality" at the 2010 ASQ Automotive Division Symposium held at Macomb Community College in Clinton Township, MI.

Pietrowski and Vijayendra's presentation focused on how the evolving quality definition can provide the automotive industry players an edge in understanding the changing customer mindset. Key points discussed were:

  • Basic levels of quality (defined as "absence of manufacturing defects") have increased quite significantly in the competitive marketplace.
  • Customer-based definition of quality goes beyond Things Gone Wrong/Problems Per Hundred incidence. The comprehensive quality definition (per the customer) involves multiple dimensions of product attributes including: styling, handling/performance, comfort and technology features. In addition, dealership sales and service experience and any OEM-customer interaction plays a role in influencing quality perception.
  • Customers are with increasing frequency reporting "soft failures" i.e. dealership handling in terms of customer sales/service, difficult to understand/use of features, uncompetitive levels of features and technology even "look and feel" of interior and exterior materials, sounds i.e. door open/closure. These soft TGW issues provide insights into elements of design that are strikingly "wrong" or "deficient" from the customer's perspective.
  • Vehicles with excitement/technology related features (also referred to as Surprise and Delights) generate increased satisfaction and strong vehicle quality perception. However, research also points out customers' unfamiliarity and difficulty in understanding/operation of these features.

To view this presentation and other papers from RDA Group, please click here.

If you have any questions about the presentation, or would like to discuss how RDA Group can assist you please contact Vijay (vijay@rdagroup.com) or Dennis Pietrowski (denpietrowski@rdagroup.com) via email or by calling (248)332-5000.