Quality Function Deployment (QFD)
Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a process and set of tools used to effectively define customer requirements and convert them into detailed engineering specifications and plans to produce the products that fulfill those requirements. QFD is used to translate customer requirements (or VOC) into measureable design targets and drive them from the assembly level down through the sub-assembly, component and production process levels. QFD methodology provides a defined set of matrices utilized to facilitate this progression. QFD was first developed in Japan by Yoji Akao in the late 1960s while working for Mitsubishi’s shipyard. It was later adopted by other companies including Toyota and its supply chain. In the early 1980s, QFD was introduced in the United States mainly by the big three automotive companies and a few electronics manufacturers. Acceptance and growth of the use of QFD in the US was initially rather slow but has since gained popularity and is currently being used in manufacturing, healthcare and service organizations.