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2015 Vol.2,3
Growth Strategy of the Business-to-Business Manufacturing Industry

Generating Customers through Design Capabilities

2015/05/11

As the entire manufacturing industry has gone through structural reform, firms whose core business is business-to-business (B-to-B) transactions have particularly increased their activities aimed at business expansion through new business development, new customer generation, and other measures that allow the firms to break away from their existing business framework. A necessary factor in such efforts is recognition of the importance of customer needs (or businessrelated issues facing them). There are various ways to understand customer needs, especially the extent of their needs. In many cases of failure, unsuccessful or unrealized projects have resulted from premature business decisions that were made without being able to see beyond the existence of superficial customer needs and understand customers’ fundamental needs. Also, in the manufacturing industry, engineers.who are supposed to create valuable mechanisms based on customer needs.are isolated as core members of an engineering department. Consequently, they do nothing but develop products based on customers’ instructions without understanding the characteristics of their firm’s production process or the concept of cost. One reason why establishing new business projects is difficult today is that firms are making less effort to create products by understanding their technologies (developed and improved by the founders’ generation) and the characteristics of the firms’ production processes and by identifying issues through communication with customers. Focusing on how firms should approach customers’ fundamental needs and issues and how they should establish advantages over their competitors, this paper proposes the future paths that manufacturing firms should take, going back to the principles of manufacturing.

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