Firms in the apparel industry seek operational information on ways to implement mass customization. The purpose of this research is to investigate the potential for concurrent engineering (CE) to realign the traditional, linear apparel product development process to a more concurrent and consumer‐focused process in order to facilitate the implementation of the new supply chain process (i.e. mass customization) with sensitivity to time‐to‐market demands.
The case study method was used with three non‐competing apparel firms. Survey instruments and focus group feedback were utilized, which allowed the researchers to collect in‐depth information about the apparel product development process, often considered proprietary in many industries.
Product development activities in the lengthy apparel product development process were realigned with many activities being ranked as early or middle activities. This realignment into a compressed and nearly simultaneous process supports activities that must be done early and often simultaneously rather than late to support a mass customization strategy.
The case study approach and apparel‐oriented sample reduces generalizability of findings; however, realignment of activities and provided operational information encourage future research to document the findings for apparel and other industries.
Suggested movement of activities can be used as a guide for designers and manufacturers when trying to improve their product development process.
The paper provides needed detailed or operational information about implementation of mass customization in the apparel industry.
Kincade, D.H., Regan, C. and Gibson, F.Y. (2007), "Concurrent engineering for product development in mass customization for the apparel industry", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 27 No. 6, pp. 627-649. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443570710750295Download as .RIS
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