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Enabling mass customization through customer elicitation and concurrent engineering: reflections from a brest practice case in Swedish industry
Linköping University, Department of Mechanical Engineering. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden.
2003 (English)In: Proceedings of the 19th ISPE Internationa Conference on Concurrent Engineering: Reasearch and Application / [ed] J. Cha, R. Jardim-Goncalves, A. Steiger-Garcão, 2003, 1109-1118 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Requirements and so-called enablers for the realization of mass customization have been increasingly discussed and categorized in the literature, in tact with the concept's phenomenal rise in popularity since the early 1990s. The requirement for effective customer elicitation, and corresponding technological enablers like product configuration applications, are two such high-profile examples. Another, albeit much less obvious requirement, is the use of concurrent engineering in support of mass customization. In this paper, a case from Swedish industry is described which illustrates one company's industry-leading approach to both customer elicitation and concurrent engineering, and also how the company combines the two to achieve competitive advantage as a mass customizer. The analysis also compares this best practice case, describing "how it is done", to theoretical foundations describing ''how it could be done" - with surprising results.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. 1109-1118 p.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-87848OAI: diva2:600404
The 10th ISPE International Conference on Concurrent Engineering: Research and Applications, 26-30 July 2003, Madeira, Portugal
Available from: 2013-01-24 Created: 2013-01-24 Last updated: 2013-01-24
In thesis
1. Production systems for mass customization: bridging theory and practice
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Production systems for mass customization: bridging theory and practice
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Today's siruation of rapid technological change and globalization is forcing businesses throughout the world to dramatically rethink their approaches for commercial success. At the same time, customer demands for quickly delivered product variety at a reasonable price - even down to a lot size of one - is fast becoming the rule rather than exception in a number of markets and industries.

In the literature, a number of popular manufacturing systems and their associated enablers are positioned as solutions for meeting the demands of this opportunistic yet challenging scenario of customized production. The literature has also showcased a number of ''best business practice" cases in the area of efficient yet flexible customercentric production - a combination often referred to as "mass customization" - but these empirical descriptions are relacively few and often lacking in detail. Despite the positioning of mass customization as the next great manufacturing paradigm to succeed mass production, and the abundance of theory concerning its characteriscics and virtues, the challenge of widespread mass customization realizacion remains. In practice, mass customization initiatives are often misguided, ad-hoc and/ or reaccive in nature, with many ending in failure.

While possible explanacions for these failures are many, a lack of capability may not be the culprit. In fact, there have been numerous technological and methodological advances in recent years that could facilitate the realization of mass customizacion. Rather, the difficulty may lie in effectively utilizing and combining these many enablers in successful systems for customized produccion. Not surprisingly, there appears to be a void of relevant frameworks that might aid manufacturers in capitalizing on the application of these numerous, already available enablers for mass customizacion, a view supported by this research's review of mass customization-related frameworks in the literature. Given this siruacion, it is little wonder that the gap between the theory of mass customization and its successful praccice in industry remains a wide one.

With the objective of bridging this gap, this research reflects on mass customization theory and best business practice descriptions while adding empirical data to the field through a number of case studies in Swedish industry. In the investigation of these cases, various theoretical tools from the literature are utilized for the purposes of data collection, analysis and presentation, and to illustrate any links between theory and practice. Observations from the case studies, along with various perspectives and reflections from the literature, are considered in the presentation of guiding principles behind, and requirements for, a new framework for the analysis and/ or design of a production system for mass customizacion. Previous work in this research can be seen as culminating not only in the discovery of the need for such a framework, but also as a primary source of empirical and theoretical informacion from which to draw in its initial development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet, 2004. 175 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 894
Mass Customization
National Category
Engineering and Technology
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-22563 (URN)1829 (Local ID)91-85295-32-9 (ISBN)1829 (Archive number)1829 (OAI)
Public defence
2004-09-24, Sal C3, Hus C, Linköpings Universitet, Linköping, 14:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-10-07 Created: 2009-10-07 Last updated: 2013-01-24

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