Product Development That Meets Customer Needs
November 27, 2018
Brother develops products that satisfy customers' needs by listening to their opinions and taking their usage environments into account
American customers who use Brother's thermal mobile printers capable of printing labels and receipts up to four inches wide place such printers in their vehicles or wear them on their belts to print invoices and shipping labels in delivery destinations, distribution warehouses, and other work sites. These customers, therefore, expect mobile printers to be easily connected to information terminals from anywhere and to have enough robustness to withstand strong shocks and loads caused when they get in or out a track or carry packages.
To respond to these demands, product planners and mechanical and software developers at Brother exercised their ingenuity. In addition, to create further superior products, visits to such American customers were arranged to show them a prototype, which was almost equal to a finished product.
During the visits, planning, development, and quality management staff conducted, from their respective viewpoints, interviews and usage surveys with the customers and gained multifaceted information. In addition, the actual operation of the prototype by the customers enabled the staff to recognize these on-site, actual users' unique way of operation and the challenges they have, both of which the staff had not been able to find by themselves.
Their efforts to learn on the spot and hear the opinions of the customers until just before the end of the product development period led to generating products with new values created with attention to detail which is not shown on the catalog specifications. Such values include an operability improvement that allows users to load paper with one hand, and space creation on the products to enable users to put labels for managing multiple mobile printers.
The Brother Group continuously listens to customer opinions and strives to understand work sites where its products are used in order to provide customers with value.