Impacts of supply chain planning and integration on mass customization

Gensheng (Jason) Liu (Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management, Fogelman College of Business and Economics, University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee, USA)
Weiyong Zhang (Department of Information Technology and Decision Sciences, Strome College of Business, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA)
Chundong Guo (Department of Industrial Engineering, School of Economics & Management, Hebei University of Science and Technology, Shijiazhuang, China)

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

ISSN: 1741-038X

Publication date: 16 April 2018



Effective mass customization (MC) depends on accurately identifying customer needs and procuring appropriate components from supply base to manufacture the required product configurations in a timely manner. In essence, effective MC for a focal firm is contingent on effective supply chain management. However, extant literature is not very clear on how supply chain (SC) planning and integration activities affect MC. The purpose of this paper is to fill the gap by examining the impacts of SC-planning and SC-integration on MC.


Organizational information processing theory is used to link SC-integration with MC ability, and a link is hypothesized between SC-planning and SC-integration. The structural equation model is then analyzed using data from 262 manufacturing plants.


It is found that SC-integration fully mediates the relationship between SC-planning and MC-ability.

Research limitations/implications

The SC-integration measure is from a focal manufacturer’s standpoint, rather than the standpoint of the entire SC.

Practical implications

The results indicate that using a SC perspective in planning activities helps a focal firm integrate with key stakeholders along the SC, which subsequently helps the firm mass customize. Practitioners should recognize the added importance of SC-planning and SC-integration if they want to mass customize.


This study provides a theoretical foundation for the relationship between SC-integration and MC. It also provides a more comprehensive conceptualization of SC-integration, which includes supplier integration, customer integration, as well as internal functional integration which was neglected in many previous studies.



(Jason) Liu, G., Zhang, W. and Guo, C. (2018), "Impacts of supply chain planning and integration on mass customization", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 608-628.

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