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Title: Aligning product and processes to customer needs in prefabricated house building
Author: Schoenwitz, Manuel
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 5493
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2014
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Given the impact of increasing customer choice on operations, this thesis clarifies the role of customer preferences and its impact on the operations of a company in the house building industry. In doing so, an empirical investigation into customer choice requirements is offered and a framework that helps to align customer preferences with the product and processes is presented. A prioritisation of components is provided which ultimately helps to design houses that meet buyer requirements. Furthermore a method is presented that helps in prioritising problem areas. This study is built on two empirical pillars and the evidence drawn from these sources. First, on the basis of a case study a view of the house as a system of components and sub-components has been developed. This resulted in the set-up of a product architecture in which the Customer Order Decoupling Point (CODP) could be positioned. Second, a preference measurement task applying a pairwise comparison questionnaire was conducted so as to define the level of choice expected by customers for the components. An important outcome of the survey was to identify how customers actually prioritise categories and components in a prefabricated housing design. Combining the results of these two research exercises helps in making the correct decisions about the level of variety to offer. The generalisability of the findings is limited. However, the process of conducting the case study as well as the preference measurement is generalisable in research that concentrates on products with a complex product architecture. The framework can thus be adopted by practitioners manufacturing multi-attribute products seeking to pursue a mass customisation strategy. This research contributes by highlighting the importance of integrating process and product development in order to design a value chain that meets customer needs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: H Social Sciences (General) ; HD Industries. Land use. Labor