Module 2 – Measure

Chapter 1: Customer Requirements

The Voice of the Customer 

Watch Amos Winter’s video below on the Leveraged Freedom Chair. The engineering design team’s research revealed that:

  • 40 million people in the developing world in dire need of functional inexpensive wheelchairs. Tanzania is one example of a target market
  • By listening to the Voice of The Customer (VOC), design team identified customer wants/needs. These “raw” needs/wants were translated into Customer Requirements (CRs)

The cheap all-terrain wheelchair_Ted Talks a_Video Script [DOC]

Customer requirements:

  • Technical or non-technical descriptions of what a customer wants, needs, and/or desires.
  • Not meeting customer requirements leads to market failure.

Customer Needs vs Customer Requirements

Customers have needs and requirements. A customer need establishes the relationship between the organization and the customer (Example: “I need/want an iPad.”)

Requirements are those characteristics that determine whether or not the customer is happy. (Examples: iPad is user-friendly, has to be fast in data storage and retrieval, light-weight, long battery life, etc.)

You can measure user-friendliness with a Likert scale (1-5), measure download/upload in megabits per second or load times in fractions of seconds, light-weight can be a % or amount measured as a reduction from current weight.

Voice of the Customer (VOC) and translation to specifications:

If you asked your customers what they wanted from your design, how would they answer? They often use descriptive, rather than quantifiable, words for voicing specifications:

  • People considering a new car may want a “roomy” vehicle to store groceries, luggage, etc.
  • People typically don’t provide specific quantification for “roomy”, such as interior volume or interior geometry in mind.
  • Do not shy away from including qualitative requirements.

Understand Your Customers

Design teams must understand the target market customers well in order to meet their expectations. Examples of not meeting the target customers’ expectations are seen as glaring market failures. These can cost a company $$! It takes significant amounts of time, money, and effort to overcome the negative image of market failures.

Domino’s Pizza Greatest Turnaround_Video Script [DOC]


Customer Needs – Part 2_Video Script [DOC]

IN ME 2700, ONLY THE RANKING NUMBERS: 1,3,9 are used to rank customer requirements!
Practice Exercise

Let’s Look at MIRE TECH

To build a House of Quality, your team must determine customer requirements and then perform a market analysis. Below, match a customer need with a customer requirement:


Practice Exercise


Practice Exercise

Customer Requirements

Customers provided importance rankings for their requirements and the top 2 were:

  • Good Texture
  • Generous Portions.

Appetizing Appearance was least important.

Finally, Good Taste and Low Prices were moderately important.

Given this information, rank your CRs (items of the same rank will be in the same order as was just listed):


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Introduction to Mechanical Engineering Design Copyright © 2023 by Jacqulyn A. Baughman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.