Who is Bill Gaw?
And why should we listen to him?

Lean Enterprise Articles

 

Your 3-Step, World Class, Lean Manufacturing Training Program
WCM Lean Manufacturing

 Increase the effectiveness of your
Lean Manufacturing Initiative

Manufacturing Simulation Game 

Product Customization
Part 1 of 4


privacy policy

Contact Us

 To review our training 
 packages, click on 
  the links below: 

e-Training Packages:

Lean Manufacturing
Solutions

Balanced Scorecard
Training

ISO 9000:2000
Training

Supply Chain
Management
Training

Lean Six Sigma
Training

Strategic Planning
Training

     Other Options:   

Lean Leadership
and Management
Training

Thinking Outside 
the Box Principles 

Production Planning Principles and
Techniques

Performance
Management Training

Lean Kaizen Event

Lean Manufacturing Implementation

Lean Six Sigma
Basics

Supply Chain
Management
Solutions

Strategic Planning
Model

Total Quality
Management
Training

Lean Manufacturing Coach and Certification

Production Planning and Control
Solutions

Manufacturing Planning and
Control

The concept of "Mass Customization"—greater product variations at affordable prices—has been identified as a key competitive strategy of the 90's. (1) High volumes of custom-configured products increase the chances of costly configuration errors cascading throughout the life cycle of orders. Recent documented research reveals numerous opportunities to reduce substantial errors in order process­ing, manufacturing and shipping.(2) In such a business environment, effective Information Technology becomes a key factor.

To gain the benefits of Mass Customization, classic MRPII systems based on "Make-to-Stock" techniques need to incorporate the capabilities of Configurators—rules-based systems to create, manage and maintain high volumes of complex product information related to options and varia­tions of the product. The spread of Mass Customization concepts has stimulated numerous software offerings to support the demanding Information Technology needs of companies fighting for survival.

Overview of Presentation

In this presentation, the concepts of Mass Customization will be briefly introduced in order to provide a strategic perspective on Configurator systems. The role of Informa­tion Technology (and the component of Configurator sys­tems) can be better understood—and justified—within the concept of Mass Customization. The remainder of the presentation will describe Configuators: background, re­cent developments, sources of software and the implica­tions of integrating Configurators with other enterprise systems. Finally, some conclusions will be stated regard­ing the future of Configurator systems.

Overview of Mass Customization

The concept of Mass Customization has been comprehen­sively described in Pine's book.( 1) The definition is "Devel­opment/Production/Marketing/Delivery of customized prod­ucts and services on a mass basis." There are several reasons why the concept of Mass Customization is impor­tant to the APICS community:

1. The concept of Mass Production is no longer applicable; long production runs to lower unit costs has been destroyed as a paradigm. Manufacturing companies can now achieve both short runs and low cost—and with high quality with effective use of Information Technology, low volume manufacturing techniques and substantial organizational and cultural improve­ment.

2. The marketing environment of the 90's promises to be more turbulent and the customers more demanding. In fact, the market niches seem to be narrowing;
market researchers no longer identify markets, but customers, maybe even individual customers!

3. Survival!

The concept of Mass Customization encompasses a series
of strategic decisions regarding the product design as related to a company's vision of customer service. There are several choices:

1. Customize services around standardized products and services.
2. Create customizable products and services.
3. Provide point-of-delivery customization.
4. Provide quick response throughout the value chain.
5. Modularize components to customize end products andservices.

Pine also recognizes the significance of the many newer manufacturing techniques (e.g., setup reduction, etc.) to support Mass Customization. Though Configurators are not discussed in the light of the product design choices listed above, the relationship is clear—Configurators must be a key component of Mass Customization. For more detail, refer to his book.

To Be Continued

For balance of this article, click on the below link:

Lean Manufacturing Articles and go to Series 01


STAY CONNECTED

To stay current on manufacturing competitive knowledge, please subscribe to our weekly bulletin, "Manufacturing. Basics and Best Practices (MBBP)."  Simply fill in the below form and click on the " subscribe button." 

We'll also send you our Special Report, "8-Basics of Kaizen Based Lean Manufacturing."  

All at no cost of course. 

First Name:
Your E-Mail:

 Your personal information will never 
be disclosed to any third party.

privacy policy

Here's what one of our subscribers said about the MBBP Bulletin:

"Great articles. Thanks for the insights. I often share portions of your articles with my staff and they too enjoy them and fine aspects where they can integrate points into their individual areas of responsibilities. Thanks again."

               Kerry B. Stephenson. President. KALCO Lighting, LLC


"Back to Basics" Training for anyone ... anywhere ... anytime

Business Basics, LLC
6003 Dassia Way, Oceanside, CA 92056
West Coast: 760-945-5596
 

© 2001-2007 Business Basics, LLC