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Mass customization

assemblyline19192148.jpgManufacturers want to be able to produce as many products as they can while saving time and money and meeting the needs of their customers. This can be a very hard thing to do since the individual needs and wants of customers tends to vary widely. For some manufacturers they have found that mass customization gets them closer to their goal of producing a lot of products, saving time and money, and giving the customers what they want. This article discusses more about mass customization.

What is mass customization?

Normally products are either mass produced, which means that many of the same exact products are made in a short amount of time, or products are custom made. When a product is custom made it may be different in small or large ways than similar products and can be made to meet certain specifications made by the customer. With mass customization the manufacturer can do a little bit of both. The manufacturer can produce many products in a short amount of time while also customizing them.

How does mass customization work?

Mass customization can actually work in a couple different ways. One way that mass customization works is for the manufacturer to product a core product. After the core product has been mass produced, the manufacturer can make small changes to create a customized finished product.

Who uses mass customization?

Not every manufacturer can use mass customization. But manufacturers who make software seem to be who are able to use mass customization pretty well. Electronic product manufacturers are able to make a core product and then customize the core product to the needs of the individual customer.

And manufacturing is not the only part of a company that is able to utilize mass customization. Other parts of companies such as call centers, management, and even marketing are also able to use mass customization to better meet the needs of the customers.

The four types of mass customization

According to Joseph PineII (who wrote the book Mass Customization: The New Frontier in Business Competition) there are four different kinds of mass customization. One type of mass customization is adaptive customization. Adaptive customization is when a manufacturer produces a lot a specific product. But this product is then able to be changed by the customer.

Another type of mass customization is transparent customization. With transparent customization, a manufacturer creates and distributes a product which is unique. But instead of telling their customers that the product is customized they just hint to the fact that it is tailored to their specific wants and needs.

Collaborative customization is another type of mass customization. With collaborative customization the manufacturer talks to their customers to find out what they want and what they need. Then, with this information, the customer is able to manufacture specific products to fit what wants and needs of their customers.

The other type of mass customization is cosmetic customization. With cosmetic customization, a manufacturer mass produces the exact same core products but the marketing team markets the product in different and/or unique ways to the customers.

Some manufacturers may be able to take advantage of one or more of these four types of mass customization. This could help them to meet the needs of their customers while still mass producing their products so that they are able to save time and money.

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