Mass production as a paradigm of management has dominated the world industrial production since World War II. With shifting demographics and changing consumer tastes and preferences, mass production far homogeneous markets is not enough to keep businesses going. This paper discusses the paradigm shift from mass production to mass customization, its conceptualization and applications in the hospitality industry.
It’s finally here. Mass customization, or the practice of offering consumers the ability to customize products to their liking before purchasing them, is poised to turn manufacturing on its head and revolutionize business. Hallelujah!
But haven’t we heard this before? Indeed, mass customization’s revolutionary impact was touted as the next big thing in 2000. And in 1993. And also in 1970. That’s right, as early as forty years ago, business thinkers were predicting the dawn of mass customization and extolling its paradigm-shifting impact on industry.
But according to a new report by Forrester, in 2011 we truly are on the verge of seeing mass customization arise and provide a viable alternative to the process of homogenized mass production that has been so prevalent since the days of Henry Ford. And we largely have the Web and related technologies to thank.
Previously, mass customization faced several obstacles to really becoming a viable option for businesses. Incomplete implementations, cost overruns and primitive digital interfaces all made it difficult for mass customization to work.