Developing new services using fuzzy QFD: a LIFENET case study

  • Zillur Rahman, M.N. Qureshi
  • International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, October 2008, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/09526860810910122

What is it about?

The purpose of this paper is to suggest the fuzzy quality function deployment (QFD) method to assess LIFENET customers' spoken and unspoken needs in order to achieve the various objectives like: how to decide optimum portfolio for health services strategically; how to assess competitors' market position in order to reckon the market position of LIFENET; and how to set the revised target in order to satisfy the customers' demand and to fetch profit in order to satisfy managers' mission and vision in a competitive market. A fuzzy QFD method has been devised to take care of the various LIFENET objectives. Fuzzy logic's use has been recommended to remove the uncertainty, vagueness, and impreciseness from data obtained to assess customers' spoken and unspoken needs. Symmetric triangular fuzzy numbers (STFNs) may be used to assess various needs to enhance data accuracy. House of quality (HOQ), an in‐built QFD matrix, may be constructed to take care of LIFENET's various requirements in order to satisfy internal and external customers. Fuzzy QFD plays a vital role in assessing customers' need in terms of WHATs. Various WHATs thus obtained can be accomplished by incorporating technical parameter HOWs'. The QFD HOQ offers various vital comparisons for instance, WHATs vs HOWs, HOWs vs HOWs, NOWs vs WHATs, etc. to obtain important inferences, which help to revise target to remain competitive in the market. Fuzzy QFD helps devise a management strategy to follow customers' needs in health industry successfully. Accessing Indian customers' needs poses many challenges as the decision to opt for a given healthcare service is most uncertain because it varies from person to person. The set of parameters that influence individual decisions to opt for healthcare services are costs, treatment response time, disease/risk, and health service satisfaction. Fuzzy QFD may help LIFENET promoters to consider customers' favored health services thereby helping strategically in their attempt for major expansion, in order to get the most benefits of becoming first‐movers in the sector. Fuzzy QFD may also help LIFENET to avert major investment decisions that looked attractive in short‐term, but in fact were unfruitful, in long‐term.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Zillur Rahman and Dr Mohamed rafik N Qureshi M N Qureshi Qureshi