Keywords: customer needs, customer need assessment, future needs, industrial markets, stakeholders
A tool for systematic assessment of customer needs in industrial markets
Industrial companies have to be able to understand the real needs of their various customers thoroughly, to react quickly to customers' changing needs, and to assess emerging customer needs proactively to succeed in the toughening business environment. We have developed a systematic tool based on the utilisation of diagonal matrices, originating from systems analysis, to extend the analysis of customer needs to customers' and further up towards the end user, and to support the proactive assessment of customer needs in long and complex industrial customer and business chains. We will describe the developed tool and study its usefulness in the need assessment of industrial products based on realised real-world applications in different industries. Several benefits related to the extension of customer needs analysis were experienced in the different phases of utilising the tool, and new customer needs and business opportunities were recognised.