Siemens recently launched a new product, the MAGNETOM Avanto, onto the market. The initial customer reaction was tremendous. The product definition followed a structured process and state‐of‐the‐art tools like quality function deployment (QFD) and conjoint analysis were applied. This paper analyses the impact of all these efforts in product definition on market success. It retrospectively summarizes the benefits from various tools and methods. The medical equipment market, its mechanisms and special features are introduced in a case study of magnetic resonance imaging equipment developed at Siemens Medical Solutions. The decision‐making or purchasing process in this market is very complex. Therefore dedicated market research approaches using a variety of different methods were required. Focus groups, conjoint analysis, broadband surveys and face‐to‐face interviews were all useful. In addition, an astute segmentation of the individual groups that influence a purchasing decision had to be made. From all these market research activities a company normally ends up with an immense amount of contradicting requirements. The article shows how these requirements were converted into a clear system specification and new technological solutions. The Siemens MAGNETOM Avanto has been very successful in the market. Customer reaction and feedback indicates that the product has many unique selling points, best performance in many aspects, and no major weaknesses. Siemens believes that this is due to the very systematic and comprehensive approach of the product definition.
International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 1, 2004
Keywords: Quality function deployment; Customer orientation; Product differentiation
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