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The Impact of Mass Customisation on Manufacturing Trade‐offs

Author

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  • Brian Squire
  • Steve Brown
  • Jeff Readman
  • John Bessant

Abstract

Management literature has suggested that the advent of mass customisation marks the end for trade‐offs between customisation and other competitive priorities (Pine et al. 1993; Westbrook and Williamson 1993; Tu et al. 2001). However, evidence supporting this proposition is anecdotal. This paper examines the impact of product customisation on four competitive priorities, drawing upon the results of a recent survey of 102 U.K. manufacturing firms from eight industry sectors. The study indicates significant compatibility between customisation and quality, volume flexibility, delivery reliability and non‐manufacturing costs. On the other hand, trade‐offs remain between customisation and manufacturing costs and delivery lead times. The results contradict the initial proposition that customisation can be “free,” and have important implications for firms embarking upon a mass customisation strategy.

Suggested Citation

  • Brian Squire & Steve Brown & Jeff Readman & John Bessant, 2006. "The Impact of Mass Customisation on Manufacturing Trade‐offs," Production and Operations Management, Production and Operations Management Society, vol. 15(1), pages 10-21, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:popmgt:v:15:y:2006:i:1:p:10-21
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1937-5956.2006.tb00032.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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