Evaluation of product customization strategies through modularization and postponement
This paper aims at investigating the relationships existing between postponement and modularization practices actually implemented by Italian companies and contextual factors mainly linked to product features. A multi-case study research strategy was adopted and statistical techniques applied for data analysis. Two main factors were identified (product/process customization and product/process complexity) and four customization strategies differing in terms of supply chain structure were analyzed (rigid, flexible, postponed and modularized). Three main categories of constraints were identified, which may lead to some exceptions compared to the prevailing approaches: delivery lead-time issues, contractual obligations and technical- and process-related factors.
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