1. What is Mass Customization?
In 1980, Toffler1 made the first reference to de-massified production.
At that time, few of the technologies required for mass customization
had developed to the extent required. By 1992, Davidow and Malone2
described the structure of an enterprise capable of supporting the
new business model. In 1993, Pine3 coined the name Mass Customization.
Mass customization is the ability to satisfy the particular needs
and wants of individual customers at prices below those of mass produced
products and services that only approximate the wishes of many customers
in large market niches. Mass customization requires six core competencies:
1. Eliminating Customer Sacrifice
2. Modular Design and Integration
3. Supply Chain Management
4. Lean Production
5. Process Organization
6. Multi-project Management
Multi-project management has the job of tying the other competencies
together in response to the needs and wants of individual customers.
In the new world of mass customization, every sale is a project. Smooth
and efficient satisfaction of customer demand requires smooth and
efficient project management. Delivery of customer value becomes the
responsibility of process teams who must continuously and quickly
re-align their own activities to meet unique requirements. Decision-making,
responsibility, and accountability are entrusted to teams, not to
individuals. Management focus is on process improvement while personnel
management is placed in the hands of process teams acting collectively.