Manufacturing and the demanding customer

Can mass customization meet the challenge—and yield profits?

Mass customization is a growing trend in manufacturing today. Fueled by customer demand and enabled by modern technology, customization is fulfilling two needs: It appeals to modern consumers, and it helps manufacturers find a much-needed competitive edge. These two benefits are the main drivers that are causing manufacturers, small and large, to explore new operational strategies for producing highly customized and configured products. In order for the trend to be sustainable, not just a short-lived fad, manufacturers must find ways to combine standard lean principles with Made-to-Order (MTO) tactics. In this Perspectives Brief we explore the issues, particularly the role technology plays in making mass customization more efficient and profitable.

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