1. What does MC mean to you? How would you describe MC?
"Customized products", a dream coming true for consumers and a fierce challenge for producers. As competition between companies delivering goods and services is becoming fiercer, offerings of customized products are becoming more common and more popular between the different customers bases. Thus companies are being forced to react to the growing individualization of demand. At the same time, cost management remains of extreme importance due to the competitive pressure in global markets. Thus, making companies more customers centric efficiently is a top management priority in most industries. Consequently, companies today have to adopt strategies that embrace both a closer reaction to the customers' needs and efficiency.
Mass customization meets this challenge by offering individually customized goods and services with mass production efficiency. For decades companies were trying either to benefit from the economies of scale or the economies of scope.
Customized orders were always very expensive and complicated to process. However, nowadays meeting individual customer needs is a very important competitive edge to play with.
Mass customization meets the requirements of increasingly heterogeneous markets by producing goods and services to match individual customer's needs with near mass production efficiency. This preposition means that individualized or personalized goods can be provided without the high cost surpluses (and, thus price premiums) usually connected with customization. Thus, the cost option of mass customization describes principles to counterbalance the additional costs that are traditionally connected with high variety of customized production, like set-up costs, costs of higher qualified labor and specialized equipment, as well as complexity costs on all levels of planning and execution. These principles are rooted in three areas: (1) process and product design for mass customization follow special design rules in relation to communality and modularity. The idea...