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MASS CUSTOMIZATION
“What engineering technology can benefit the human life advancement?” Authors: MOHANRAJ A/L SUPPARAMANIAM : MOHAMED AZUARI B MOHAMED RAZALI : MUHAMAD ASRIN B ANUAR : KHAIRUL HELMY B MOHD RANI : MS. NORSHAHRIZAN BT NORDIN : MR. MOHAMMAD HARITH AMLUS Authors: MOHANRAJ A/L SUPPARAMANIAM : MOHAMED AZUARI B MOHAMED RAZALI : MUHAMAD ASRIN B ANUAR : KHAIRUL HELMY B MOHD RANI : Ms. NORSHAHRIZAN BT NORDIN : MR. MOHAMMAD HARITH AMLUS

Abstract The concept of Mass Customization (MC) producing customised goods for a mass market - has received considerable attention in the research literature in recent years. However the literature is limited in providing an understanding of the content of MC strategies (the organizational structures, process technologies, etc., that are best in a particular environment) and the process of MC strategies (the sub-strategy that an enterprise should select and how they should go about implementing an MC strategy). In this paper six published classification schemes of relevance to Mass Customization are reviewed. The classification schemes are applied to five case studies of enterprises operating in an MC environment. The limitations of the schemes are analysed and their failure to distinguish key characteristics is highlighted. Analysis of the findings leads to the development of a taxonomy of operational modes for MC. Five fundamental modes of operation for Mass Customization are identified. These modes are described and justified and their application is illustrated by contrasting the information requirements of two modes. The potential of these modes to provide the foundations for detailed configurations models is discussed.

1. Introduction 1.1 Concept of Mass Customization The concept of Mass Customization (MC) - producing customised goods for a mass market - has received considerable attention in the research literature since it’s identification by Davis (1987) and the influential book by Pine (1993). Mass Customization research is now at the stage of investigating and understanding how the concept can be operationalised across sectors. However, the scope of MC and hence the range of operations that qualify as MC is unclear. There is agreement in the literature that an important goal of MC is to obtain economies of scope that enable customised goods to be as affordable as mass produced goods (Pine 1993,

Hart 1994, Alford et al. 2000, Tu et al. 2001), but beyond this agreement two viewpoints of MC are emerging. One view is that MC is a label to be given to manufacturing enterprises exhibiting particular structural characteristics, for example as observed in companies that are offering consumers personal discretion over the attributes of products that have otherwise been mass marketed to them in standard off-the-shelf configurations. The other view is that MC is a performance ideal – giving customers the opportunity to have a product ‘any time they want it, anywhere they want it, any way they want it’ - in a similar way that ‘zero defects’ is an ideal in respect of quality (Hart 1994). This latter view turns MC into a standard that is independent of context and so is relevant to customizing enterprises in general. A pragmatic interpretation of MC that blends the two viewpoints is that Mass Customization is different from pure customization in that some compromise, limitations and constraints are

inevitable if mass characteristics - responsive, efficient, high throughput with high quality - are to be achieved and if premium prices are to be avoided (MacCarthy et al. 2002). A unifying framework of MC is a goal of the research reported here and an open and pragmatic view of MC is a starting point. A further goal is the development of a suite of configuration models that satisfy the requirements identified by Bozarth and McDermott (1998) of providing understanding of the content of MC strategies (the organizational structures, process technologies, etc., that are best in a...
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