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Measurement of customer quality and service requirements in a paper converting company

Wallace, Douglas Melvin (1995) Measurement of customer quality and service requirements in a paper converting company. Coursework Master thesis, Victoria University of Technology.

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Abstract

Research into customer service in the manufacturing industry has lagged behind that in service industries, where superior service quality is the most important strategic priority and companies that focus on their customers will build a loyalty that will preclude competitors. In the service industry, customer service needs to be designed for the particular product and process, with measurable outcomes that deliver the results of consumer research. In the manufacture of consumer goods, the product needs to be augmented by customer service factors which fall into the areas of design activities to enhance physical quality, as well as non physical or service activities such as response times, delivery, installation and after-sales repairs. However it is dangerous for a company to try to compete by offering superior service on all dimensions simultaneously and trade offs must be made based on appropriate consumer research. The overall objective of this research was to provide strategic direction for improving quality and customer service in the paper converting industry. The research achieved that aim by determining the requirements of quality and service for different customers, different products and market segments, through a newly extended process which obtained feedback from corporate customers and two groups of end users, those purchasing premium products and those purchasing low cost products. In the business being considered, surveys had already been conducted by semantic network analysis and gap analysis by market research consultants. This research carried out additional surveys and compared them with those already available. The present research employed a cross-sectional causal field experiment using two questionnaires. Because responses were obtained from both national intermediary and representative napkin end users, each survey had a common core, applicable to all respondents and individual sections for corporate customer and end users. As a result of the surveys, it was concluded that considerable differences existed between intermediary users and end users in: - their ranking of elements of quality and customer service, - their ranking of the technical aspects of quality and, - their evaluation of the suitability of a napkin for their use. A series of specific differences were found, of which the most important are: - all the customers expect quality and there are no significant differences in their views, but low series napkin users have lower quality expectations. - premium product users require a wider range of napkins than corporate users, who have their own specific narrow range, and low cost users who expected a limited choice. - corporate customers want better stock availability and full quantity deliveries at the exact time and day specified. It was concluded that the detailed surveys, in the present research, had greater validity than previous ones because they covered a wider range of customer requirements, not limited to those already being offered. The research made a series of recommendations about, for example, softness and embossing standards in manufacturing, which it is hoped will be adopted. The aim, to obtain feedback across the whole range of customer requirements for future strategic direction, had been achieved.

Item Type: Thesis (Coursework Master thesis)
Additional Information:

Master of Business in Manufacturing Management

Uncontrolled Keywords: customer service survey, performance, manufacturing industry, paper industry, Australia, product quality survey, case studies, end users
Subjects: FOR Classification > 1503 Business and Management
FOR Classification > 1505 Marketing
Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Faculty of Business and Law
Depositing User: VU Library
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2011 01:43
Last Modified: 23 May 2013 16:55
URI: http://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/18222
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