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Sweetwater Case Analysis

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  • Pages: 5
  • Word count: 1087
  • Category: Water

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1. From your point-of-view, what are the most important user needs in the water purification market? To save space, the entire list of important user needs is shown in the Table below along with Kano structure categories. The most important needs are designated “Must Haves” in Question 2: The two Water Quality criteria, the ability to pump through the unit directly into drinking water containers, the two ergonomic operations criteria, safety and environmental soundness of operations and any disposal required. 2. Using the Kano structure, assign these users needs to the categories (1) Must Have, (2) Linear Satisfier, (3) Delighter, and (4) Indifferent.

Water Quality – Aesthetic — no visible dirt or particulates, no unpleasant tastes or odors| (1) Must Have| Water Quality – Healthy — close to 100% removal of pathogens, pesticides and other toxic chemicals| (1) Must Have| Product Design – Lightweight – a normal adult can carry it in backpack along with other outdoor gear.| (2) Linear Satisfier| Product Design – Sized to fit in backpack or packaged on its own with attachment (snaps onto, zips onto?) to other backpacks / gear the user will be carrying. Alternately packaging could be designed to be complementary with a backpack.| (2) Linear Satisfier| Product Design – Easy connection of outlet to canteen or water bottle. Bottles for each user provided with device.| (1) Must Have| Product Design – Robust – Parts won’t break easily, considering the expected use case of an outdoor expedition.| (2) Linear Satisfier| Product Design – Stylish look, designer colors| (4) Indifferent| Product Design – Safe for user to operate, no toxic chemicals, sharp edges, shatterproof. Environmentally sound| (1) Must Have| Operation – One person can assemble the device and work the pump (don’t need to have 3 hands)| (1) Must Have| Operation – Needs to be Ergonomic: Allows for natural movement of hands in operating.

Allow for natural position standing or sitting while operating. User doesn’t have to bend over or get in awkward position to operate the unit for any length of time. | (1) Must Have| Assembly – Easy Assembly – If entire unit needs to be in more than one piece for easy transport and storage, it should not take long to assemble and break down. No special tools should be required.| (2) Linear Satisfier| Assembly – Assembly and operating instructions should be minimal and stamped labeled on the device. (e.g. Snap part A into part B). If a written user manual is absolutely required, it should be provided in a water proof form. | (2) Linear Satisfier| Capacity – produces sufficient quantity of drinking water for the average duration trip. | (2) Linear Satisfier| Capacity — Different models available, for example “individual size” and “family size” to accommodate different use cases. | (3) Delighter| Filter Cartridge Design – Can run for the duration of average outdoor trip on one filter cartridge| (2) Linear Satisfier| Filter Cartridge Design– Easily cleaned; could be reused after cleaning rather than needing a replacement | (2) Linear Satisfier| Filter Cartridge Design – If replacement cannot be avoided, spent cartridge needs to safe to handle and environmentally sound, e.g. can be disposed in regular trash | (1) Must Have| Filter Cartridge Design – Convenience – if replacement or spare filter cartridges are needed, they are lightweight and durable. | (2) Linear Satisfier| Filter Cartridge Design – Low Cost – if replacement or spare filter cartridges are needed, the cost is reasonable and significantly less than that of the original unit | (2) Linear Satisfier|

3. How would the user needs and priorities differ in an under-developed region of the world? Considering the implications of sociological and macroeconomic differences between the affluent U.S. users for outdoor recreational purposes and those users in under-developed areas will help to identify differences in user needs and priorities. The most important difference is the public health aspects of existing water supply resulting in high infant mortality, among other social woes. Under-developed regions may have no clean water supply; their water supply may also be where washing and waste disposal take place. Assuming that the system we design would become the main source of potable water for a community, this would result in some changes in user needs. The healthy quality of treated water is still one of the most important needs; however, the aesthetic quality is not as important. This allows the use of chemical disinfectants to assure the water is free of pathogens, but a residual odor or taste would become acceptable. The user needs regarding size, capacity and operation of the unit change. The unit would be fixed and not portable (assuming we are serving communities and not nomadic people), and its size and capacity would change to encompass the entire community’s needs. Ease of assembly / disassembly and ability to carry the unit to the next camping location would not be user needs, in this case.

Ease of operations and maintenance would, however, become increasingly important. Also, since the labor would be spread over several members of a community, the requirement to be operated by one person would be eliminated. The user need would change to designing for operations using some division of labor, such as a pair or team of pump operators plus a person to connect and disconnect clean water containers. Design for safe operations continues to be important. Redundancy or some other means to assure that clean water flow is not interrupted will become a new user need. Under-developed regions may have little to no infrastructure, no Home Depot on every corner, no UPS ready to deliver goods to your door. So the unit would have a new user requirement to be self-contained with all ancillary goods, spares, maintenance tools, etc. The provider of this water treatment system would need to arrange routine delivery of consumables, such as disinfectant chemicals, and would need to provide for securing the supply chain. The requirement to have a cleanable filter would become more important and the user needs written around replacement filter cartridges would be less important. Finally, these under developed communities will likely not have the money to make an investment in a potable water system such as the one. A user requirement to find or work with a funding source, such as World Health Organization or some private foundation will emerge. This is somewhat analogous to Merck & Company developing and paying for the infrastructure to deliver the River Blindness medicine to undeveloped African communities.

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