The customer comes first - that's the philosophy behind the PARD Craftsmanship project. People buying luxury cars are more aware than ever of the quality of the detail.
Craftsmanship is defined as the "perception of quality experienced by a customer based on sensory interaction and emotional impact." Even the click of a switch or the hum of the seat motor can influence the way a driver feels about their vehicle. The aim of the project is to work with suppliers for premium automotive manufacturers to build in a gold-class standard at every stage of new product introduction.
Three sensory areas - optical, sound and haptic (touch) - are being addressed.
Key areas tackled include:
- Customer perception research: Information is gathered from manufacturers and first-tier suppliers and matched against customer perception taking demographic requirements into account. Practical processes are being produced enabling suppliers to deliver the correct tactile properties for the customer;
- Setting and communicating targets: Already the project has achieved significant progress within the supply base. A key feature has been developing the ability to 'cascade' information to lower-tier suppliers who may in the past have neglected the importance of craftsmanship targets;
- Design for Craftsmanship: A tool is being created that will enable designers to find solutions based on customer preferences;
- Evaluation: The project is providing manufacturers with staff training and backup systems to record, manage and communicate results. Measurement data from production lines is downloaded to a web-based server which processes the data and produces reports. These can be accessed by anyone in the supply chain.
This video is an excerpt from the PARD DVD. It is 1:13 minutes in duration, and set to loop.