Mass Customization definition: a flexible production system to deliver a product to order that matches the needs of an individual customer or user (Randall, Terweisch and Ulrich, 2003)
Five different principles of user design:
1) Customize the customization process;
- Types of interface: 1) Parameter based 2) Needs based
- e.g: Dell website’s different user interfaces
2) Provide starting points;
- Consumers differ greatly in the extent to which they wish to affect the design of a product.
- Different starting points: 1) Free form design 2) Combinatoric configuration 3) Starting points
- e.g: Customatix, Adidas miCoach, NikeID
3) Support incremental refinement;
- Consumers want to see benefits of different designs that they make and compare them before they make their final choice.
- e.g: Consumers want to know the price and weight difference when they upgrade the size of a Dell Studio laptop.
4) Exploit prototypes to avoid surprises;
- Consumers may be difficult to communicate the attributes via a computer screen and consumers may also make mistake in understanding the product attributes.
- e.g: Different clothes size in Asia and Europe without enough explanation may result in ordering errors.
5) Teach the consumer;
- Consumers need to understand the design space, including the design parameters as well as the product attributes.
- e.g: A novice consumer may not understand what is a motherboard, or quality of any hardware.
Some example of companies with successful mass customization:
- IKEA Home Planner: Parameter based, product attributes are given well-defined descriptions, applications is easily downloadable through different operating systems.
- Burger Bar: Make-your-own burger restaurant, product attributes are given well-defined descriptions as well.
Some examples of companies with unsuccessful mass customization:
- Levi’s Original Spin; causes of bankruptcy: the domestic factory was closed, bad relationship with customers
- Customatix; too many parameters (result in billions of possible combinations), they did not have their own factories.
Group 7 (Afternoon Session): Bobby, Naoual, Sharelyn