Customer definition and representation in market-driven product development

Jukka Majava, Jouko Nuottila, Harri Haapasalo, Kris Law

Tutkimustuotokset: Kirjoitus kirjassa/raportissa/konferenssijulkaisussaKonferenssiartikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu

Abstrakti

Purpose
Customers are typically considered the most important external stakeholders for companies. This study explores how customers are defined by product management and development managers in market-driven development. In addition, customer representation during development is studied.

Design/methodology/approach
The literature review of the study focuses on customer definition and involvement in product development context, while the empirical part explores industry practices at managerial level through case projects in selected organisations.

Findings
Company management and strategy outline customer definition. Product management collaborates with various stakeholders including marketing, sales, management, direct customers, and end-users in customer definition. Product management was found to be the most important customer representative for product development. However, other information sources are also utilised.

Research limitations/implications
The case projects may not be able to offer a generalised picture of the topic. Future work should extend the study to cover more industry sectors and companies at various tiers and regions.

Practical implications
Company management and strategy must provide proper guidance for customer definition, and management must ensure that product management teams are appropriately resourced and competent. Systematic way of working and good collaboration among product management, product development, and other internal stakeholders is needed. While focus on selected customers is important, other customers in the value chain must also be considered. Product management and development professionals should also have some direct contact with external customers to ensure proper customer understanding and to tackle problems related to conflicting internal stakeholder views.

Originality/value
Past literature emphasises customer orientation, however, it has not adequately addressed how customers are defined and who represents the customers in market-driven context. The study findings offer a good reference for companies to improve product development focus.

Keywords
Product development, new product development (NPD), product management, customer, market-driven
Alkuperäiskielienglanti
OtsikkoProceedings of 2013 International Conference on Technology Innovation and Industrial Management
ToimittajatKongkiti Phusavat
KustantajaToKnowPress
SivutS4 206-S4 221
Sivumäärä17
TilaJulkaistu - 29 toukokuuta 2013
Julkaistu ulkoisestiKyllä
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA4 Vertaisarvioitu artikkelil konferenssijulkaisussa
TapahtumaInternational Conference on Technology Innovation and Industrial Management (2013): Diversity, Technology, and Innovation for Operational Competitiveness - Phuket, Thaimaa
Kesto: 29 toukokuuta 201331 toukokuuta 2013
https://econpapers.repec.org/bookchap/tkptiim13/

Konferenssi

KonferenssiInternational Conference on Technology Innovation and Industrial Management (2013)
LyhennettäTIIM 2013
Maa/AlueThaimaa
KaupunkiPhuket
Ajanjakso29.05.201331.05.2013
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