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Developing World Class Customer Fit Objectives, Utilizing Competitive Benchmarking Techniques
ISSN: 0148-7191, e-ISSN: 2688-3627
Published October 16, 2001 by SAE International in United States
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Increased competition, both foreign and domestic, has forced automotive companies to take a closer look at the quality of current and future products. Historically, fit objectives were a by-product of design, process and part functionality. That is no longer a competitive approach. Now it is of the utmost importance to proactively define competitive quality targets in the beginning of new vehicle programs. When objectives are established early in the program, they influence design and process. The procedure used to develop dimensional objectives should include benchmarking of company vehicles and key competitive vehicles.
The purpose of this paper is to explain a process that can be used to formulate customer fit objectives based on competitive benchmark vehicle data. This paper will describe a step by step process designed to create world class fit objectives. The process is organized into five phases:
Phase 1 - Identify Competitive Targets,
Phase 2 - Executive Walk-around,
Phase 3 - Data Collection & Analysis,
Phase 4 - Follow-up Walk-Around, and
Phase 5 - Establish Fit Objectives.
Key elements of this process include: identifying competitive vehicles, creating a team environment within the company (including design, body engineering, assembly, and stamping), early implementation of milestone events in the vehicle program timeline, and gaining the support of management.