Mass Customization is the process of delivering wide-market goods and services that are modified to satisfy a specific customer need. Below are mentioned the main advantages and disadvantages of the mass customization.
Mass Customization Utility
– Product utility is highest because the consumer benefits from a unique product. The product is tailored to the consumer’s needs.
– Process complexity is such that a consumer who knows what he/she wants can design their specific product.
Parameter V.s Needs based interface:
– This firm offers a very detailed parameter-based interface. Also already mentioned before, a consumer can pick out a large variety of specific attributes to design their product.
– For a more needs-based interface a consumer has to go to a store to see what is already available.
Support Incremental refinements:
– Comparison of products is available on the site (however not very specific). For a more detailed comparison one would have to visit a store or make an appointment.
– Due to the fact that the products offered here are very unique, some consumers may be concerned about facing unpleasant surprises. The interface offers very detailed information about options with images. Also at the end of the process the interface shows a detailed list and image of the options chosen such that the consumer can have a more visual idea of what to expect. This can also all be avoided by going to one of their stores.
Teach the consumer:
– The interface has several videos on how to commence the process. The videos vary on how to take measurements without having to go to the store, and how to begin the process of designing a tailored suit.
Mass customization utility
– The complexity of the process is quite elevated. Consumers who are willing to invest enough time and energy in going through all the steps will be rewarded the most. This process is mainly focused on consumers who are motivated to spend some time in designing their own product.
– Consumers who can’t or don’t want to go through the process need to go to one of the stores. However this may be more costly in the sense of time, energy and money.
– The expertise of the consumers also is an important factor. This process is more meant for consumers who have a clear idea of what they want their final product to be like. Consumers who require more assistance need to go to a store.
– The mass customization interface has some flaws: large variety of options and no defaults. Again this leads us to conclude that this process is primarily for consumers who have a specific need and are willing to start from scratch. If a consumer needs assistance or required more help, they would have to go to a store.
– The interface is only parameter-based. This means that if a consumer is looking for a product based on certain needs it would have to meet, the interface would not be as successful. The alternative is to enter one of their stores which would increase costs of the consumer.
– There are no defaults in the interface (only available at a store).
– The comparison of products is very limited (support incremental refinements)
Comparison of my.suit and Mission Bicycle
Both companies allow consumers make choice and define parameters specifically such as pattern, fabric, wheel, steering, color.
Complexity of the process
Both websites are well structured and easy used from novice and expertise consumers.
My.suit provides tips and videos to the consumers in order to help their choices and Mission Bicycles explains each attribute briefly.
Mission Bicycle gives the opportunity to the customers to communicate with the company in several ways such as e-mail, live chat, and social media. On the other hand my.suit has the disadvantage of limited communication while the facebook page is not directly referred on the website and only a “refer to friend” form is provided.
The gallery of previous made bikes is available on the Mission Bicycle website while my.suit does not provide this information.
During the design process the consumer can compare suits at the same time but cannot compare bicycles.
- Randall, Taylor, Christian Terwiesch, and Karl T. Ulrich (2005), “Principles for User Design of Customized Products,” California Management Review, 47 (4), 68-85
- Franke, Nikolaus, Peter Keinz, and Martin Schreier (2008), “ Complementing Mass Customization Toolkits with User Communities: How Peer Input Improves Customer Self-Design,“ Journal of Product Innnovation Management, 25(6), 546-559