A linear programming-based QFD methodology under fuzzy environment to develop sustainable policies in apparel retailing industry

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As the retailing industry becomes more customer oriented, it struggles with integrating the voice-of-customers into quality development policies, determining accurate customer expectations, and understanding how to incorporate the required store attributes in retailing activities. The aim of this study is to provide managers with a more decisive and sustainable framework to fulfill customer satisfaction by determining the most essential customer needs and gain a competitive advantage by applying a benchmarking process for the whole retailing activities. To essentially support managers in determining and implementing required store attributes, this study develops a sustainable linear programming (LP) based Quality Function Deployment (QFD) methodology under IVIF-environment. The proposed method determines more accurate customer expectations (CEs) and related service requirements (SRs). Accordingly, while Clothing Quality, Price Policy, and Staff Behavior are determined as the most important CEs, Design of Customer Persona, Production Cost, and Marketing Ap-plications are obtained as the most affecting SRs. Since no specific study in the literature addresses uncertainty in CEs and SRs in the apparel retailing industry, we developed an LP-based QFD under the IVIF-environment framework, which reflects the ambiguity and vagueness of the evaluations better. Thus, this study contributes to the literature by proposing a sustainable framework for managers to make decisions that are more effective and take sustainable actions. The companies who want to get the advantage in the apparel retailing industry should follow the methodology provided within this study by adding their business specific dimensions. Lastly, to represent the validity and feasibility of the proposed approach sensitivity and comparison analysis are con-ducted. The results of comparison show that the LP based QFD method is as consistent as other method but more effective in terms of handling ambiguity and fuzziness of expert evaluations, comprehensively.


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Apparel Retailing, Competitive Analysis, Customer Services, Fuzzy Linear Programming, QFD, IVIF Sets


Journal of Cleaner Production

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Aydin, N., Seker, S., Deveci, M., Ding, W., & Delen, D. (2023). A linear programming-based QFD methodology under fuzzy environment to develop sustainable policies in apparel retailing industry. Journal of Cleaner Production, 135887.