Suppliers have a new and important role to play through quality function deployment (QFD), an increasingly used method of product development. QFD is based on teamwork and customer involvement from the conception stage of new product development through final delivery. The approach integrates marketing, design, engineering development, manufacturing, production, and purchasing efforts in a manner that helps manufacturers meet the new and pressing demands of the 1990s. These demands include developing and introducing successful new products in less time, at lower cost, and at higher quality than the competition.
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