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In Depth Case Study Exploring Innovative Web-based Methods

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In Depth Case Study Exploring Innovative Web-based Methods for ‘Design-With’ Customers in a Global Watch Manufacturing Firm



Wei LIU and James MOULTRIE


This paper describes an innovative mechanism used by a company that
designs and manufactures watches for a global market to engage customers
in the design and development of new products.
The importance of collaborating with customers in the development of
products and services has been recognised for many years. The advent of
information technology has presented a revolutionary change in the way that
customers can be involved. However, knowledge is still lacking on how
companies can ‘design-with’ customers by using the internet-enabled
methods. This paper describes results from an in-depth case study with a
watch manufacturer, which has successfully introduced customer-designed
watches to the market. By presenting a unique data set gathered from this
company, this research illustrates an original mechanism of designing-with
customers through web-based methods. The new process enables the
company to integrate more customers and to obtain a higher quality and
quantity of ideas. In addition, the customer can also be a decision maker on
whether a design should be produced. A theoretical model is introduced
which positions this innovative approach of involving customers. In addition,
this paper also characterises the capabilities required to use this approach.


PUBLISHED: Proceedings from the The 19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference, 2014


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