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Mass Customization - Essay Example

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Name: Course: Instructor: Date Due: MASS CUSTOMIZATION Introduction Defined as the process by which customers can specify the kind of products that they want, mass customization provides an effective means of marketing and countering competition for both manufacturing and service industries…
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Mass Customization

The market is rapidly evolving as well as products; therefore mass customization will provide an effective means of capturing opportunities in e-commerce. Cameron (1998) stated that customers presently require high quality customized products at low prices as well as quicker delivery. It must be noted that mass customization requires an advance form of technology as well must be properly implemented. According to Pine (1993), mass customization markets are fragmented as well as heterogeneous while in mass production, markets are largely homogeneous. This is a key distinction between the two marketing strategies. Some advantages of mass customization include lowering the cost by giving the consumers exceptional value for their money. The producer is also able to make higher profits by giving them a wider market for their products which are tailor made to fit specific customers. Before taking a short in customization, firms must first find out how the desires of various customers differ and the important features in a product to customize. Secondly there is need to ensure that mass customization does not hinder supply chain operations. This calls for a vigorous process design to ensure efficient delivery of customized solutions. Finally there is need to minimize choices so that customers find it easy to select products of their preferred tastes. 1. Product Selection. For the purpose of this study I have selected shoes as a product to be customized. Shoe industry in the United States offers a perfect case for customization. 2. Product variables. The various product variables from with different consumers can choose from include; saddle shoes, sandals, skates, sneakers and loafers. 3. Modular components. The modular components which I will have in hand include feather lite cleats, customized sports shoes and multi style modular shoes. 4. Individual customization. This will involve online research on the various types of shoes available in the market. 5. Steps in mass customization in the shoe industry (a) The customer reports to the trained sales agent who directs them on the steps to follow after considering his/her request. (b) The sales agent directs the customer to the shopping flour they chose their favorable style, color as well as texture. (c) The customer then proceeds to the next stage where his/her feet are measured using a computer scanner which is located at the store. (d) The actual measurements are sent to the manufacturer via modem. This takes a short time so that manufacturers in other countries can also be reached. This is done by the trained sales agent. (e) The manufacturer goes through the actual specification so as to emerge with the actual design that was ordered by the customer. (f) Delivery to the customer is the final stage to this process and it should as fast as possible. At this final stage, the consumer is also expected to make final payment for the product on top of the deposit he/ she had made earlier. Conclusion Mass customization has helped many industries in reducing their operational costs as well as production costs. Inventory losses have also been minimized greatly. This can be achieved by limiting the number of styles and sizes upon which the customer choses from. However numerous challenges have also been witnessed such as failure to ... Read More
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