Mass customization is the ability to provide highly customized products and services to customers in an efficient manner. This allows customers to customize a certain basic product to their needs or specific tastes. In order to do this cost effectively everything from product design to a reliable supply chain network must be deigned so that one or a few basic product or "frame" products can be mass produced and then these can be customized.This can be achieved by also making the supply chain flexible enough to satisfy customer requirements with short notice.
In order to provide mass customized products efficiently and cost effectively a business would have to do the following:
-Design and create a basic line of products, preferably in a modular form which can be interchanged, combined and customized easily to build a wide array of products.
These base products must be able to be handled by different warehouses and supply chain processes.
-The logistics distribution network must be well equipped to handle the customization of the basic or modular frame products to customer needs, and be able to handle the different customer requirements efficiently, preferably through a pull system. This includes stocking the basic frame product and the parts required to customize these products.
Mass Customization example
An example of this type of product is the laptop computer market, where the base or frame product is the casing, screen, and non critical electronic circuitry. The customer can order a laptop customized with the processor, hard drive, memory, software, etc as required.
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