Detailed job of needs identification is crucial for every project management because it determines the main tasks and purposes of the future project. Actual and potential needs are the basic component of markets and the hub of marketing action. That the consumer is king or that the consumer guides businesses is a tenet of a market system. Marketing endeavors to fuse consumer wants and needs with the operations of a business organization, which to survive and grow in a keenly competitive, everchanging environment, concerns itself with the mechanisms of corporate adjustment. In a free-enterprise economy, consumers are relatively free to purchase what they please, limited, of course, by income, socio-economic status, legal business forces, and geographic setting (Burkun, 2005). Manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers thus find that ultimately they are governed by consumer reactions in the marketplace. In a sense, consumers “dictate” to the marketing system the goods and services they want, the prices they are willing to pay and how, where, and when they desire to purchase (Hartley, 2008).
Customer Needs Identification
Detailed analysis of needs allows the company or the organizations to save time and costs spent on alternative solutions and risks associated with the project. Over time, profits are tied inextricably to the satisfaction of consumer wants. Consumers provide the economic rationale for business and marketing activity. The products and services offered for sale, the manner in which they are offered, the distribution channels employed, the methods of advertising and personal selling, and every other factor of marketing are all molded by consumer preferences, opinions, habits, beliefs, wants, needs, and desires. In this way, the total business system attempts to meet the desires of consumers. It is essential, therefore, that we analyze the antecedents of consumer behavior, the behavior itself, and the consequences of consumer reactions. Hence, although consumers shape business activity, marketing programs are designed to influence consumer behavior (Frame, 2002).
Customer requirements mean specific needs and expectations of the potential consumers and purchasers of goods. Changes in life styles and market environment have had a direct impact on goods and services produced, expenditures, and the consumption process. For example, the effect of increased leisure time, suburban living, shopping centers, automatic vending machines, automobiles, television, and widespread geographic shifts on consumer wants and needs is pronounced. The shift from rural to urban populations, the growing number of women employed in industry, the decrease in the length of the work week, increasing productivity, and higher incomes all shape consumer behavior and, hence, market opportunity. urchasing decisions are affected by the customer’s life space. The life space may be segmented into an action and an orientation space. The action space refers to the arena and methods by which transactions take place, including organizational constraints imposed by business. The orientation space includes numerous economic, psychological, and source factors influencing buyer behavior (Laudon and Laudon, 2005).
The Importance of Requirements
Requirements must be precisely met because they determine profitability of the project and sales volume. If requirements and needs of customers are not met, the company will have some difficulty in sales. Customers are a heterogeneous group subjected to a multiplicity of forces that affect their attitudes, opinions, motives, desires, wants, needs, and, ultimately, buying behavior (Owens and Wilson 1996). They are individuals and groups, grownups and children, producers and users, families and businesses. Although each customer is a unique individual, marketing managers must think in terms of groups of “average consumers” or prototypes that comprise a more or less homogeneous market segment. Common wants and needs that pertain to the social, regional, educational, economic, psycho-logical, national, or other group interest of a market segment must be recognized and translated into profitable opportunity (Laudon and Laudon, 2005).
Working as a sales manager, I had to identify unique customers’ needs of a bakery department. I had to compile the assortment and ensure all products are sold during the day. I was a really difficult task because all customers had different needs and quality expectations. It is relatively easy to state that the function of business is to satisfy customer wants and needs. But customers do not specify the products they will desire and, in fact, do not know their future wants. Yet executives are forced to forecast well in advance what consumers will decide to purchase. Thus marketing executives operate under conditions of great uncertainty. In order to identify customers’ needs I analyzed sales and selected the top ten products. They were used as the main product range while other types of bakery (20 items) were ordered in less quantity. This situation shows that customer wants and desires have never been, and will never be, totally gratified. They seem to know no bounds. “As one desire is satisfied, another pops up to take its place. When this is satisfied, still another comes into the foreground, etc.
In satisfying customers’ wants and needs, buyers do not make decisions in a social vacuum. Their conclusions are shaped and influenced by relationships and experiences. Consumers occupying similar positions in a societal structure tend to respond to situations in much the same manner. Their responses are culturally patterned, and the particular society’s norms of behavior demand conformity
- Burkun, S. 2005, The Art of Project Management. O’Reilly Media; 1 ed.
- Hartley, S 2008, Project Management: Principles & Strategy; a competency-based approach, Pearson, Prentice Hall, Sydne.
- Frame, J.D. 2002, The New Project Management: Tools for an Age of Rapid Change, Complexity, and Other Business Realities. Jossey-Bass.
- Laudon, K. C. & Laudon, J. P. 2005, Management Information Systems: Managing the Digital Firm, 9th Edition.
- Owens, I. Wilson, T. 1996, Information and Business Performance: A Study of Information Systems and Services in High Performing Companies. Bowker- Saur.