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Article
Publication date: 9 December 2020

Juan Manuel Maqueira, Luciano Romualdo Novais and Sebastian Bruque

This paper aims to analyze the mediating role of Supply Chain Flexibility on the interrelationships binding Lean Production implementation, Mass Personalization and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyze the mediating role of Supply Chain Flexibility on the interrelationships binding Lean Production implementation, Mass Personalization and business performance.

Design/methodology/approach

A random sample of 260 companies obtained from a population of 1,717 Spanish companies that occupy an intermediate position in the supply chain has been used to test the proposed hypothetical framework. Telephone surveys using a computerized system have been used to collect data, obtaining a response rate of 15.6 and a structural equation model has been designed to test the six proposed hypotheses.

Findings

Companies initially implement Lean Production to optimize Mass Personalization processes and improve business performance. However, in the presence of Supply Chain Flexibility, Lean Production implementation no longer has a direct impact on Mass Personalization and business performance, but it does have an indirect impact through the flexibility it achieves (shown as a total mediating path). Therefore, companies should implement Lean Production to achieve flexibility and thus optimize the Mass Personalization processes and obtain better performance.

Originality/value

Academics and business managers may have supporting evidence on the role played by the total mediating effect of Supply Chain Flexibility on the relationship between Lean Production, Mass Personalization and business performance. A better knowledge of these management resources and their relationship could affect the way researchers and practitioners approach them, becoming more aware of the important role of the supply chain in competitiveness.

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2006

Xiang Zhang and Rongqiu Chen

A successful implementation of mass customization and customer‐order‐driven production can bring numerous benefits to automakers. However, the transition from mass

Abstract

Purpose

A successful implementation of mass customization and customer‐order‐driven production can bring numerous benefits to automakers. However, the transition from mass production to mass customization is difficult. Most of the previous studies focus on mature markets, leaving emerging markets untouched. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the necessity of making the strategic transition to mass customization in an emerging market.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is based on an extensive field study. A multi‐method approach (including semi‐structured interviews, document examination and plant tours) was used to collect the data at different levels in five commercial vehicle manufacturers.

Findings

The respective advantages and disadvantages of these two manufacturing strategies are analyzed based on the findings and a framework is established. The drivers of the transition to mass customization have been recognized and the obstacles of transition are identified. The specific benefits of a successful mass customization implementation are listed. According to the empirical evidence, this paper concludes that customer‐order‐driven production is a promising direction in a rapidly changing market such as China.

Originality/value

This study makes a contribution in two aspects. First, the evidence of mass customization fills a gap in the empirical literature and the findings of mass production help cross validate the drawbacks reported in other studies. Second, this study presents a transition model to facilitate automakers to analyze the complex phenomena in a systematic way when they embark upon the strategic transition to mass customization.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 26 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 23 October 2009

Fariborz Rahimnia, Mahdi Moghadasian and Pavel Castka

The purpose of this paper is to investigate and highlight that the application of leagility can be possible in mass services as one type of services.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate and highlight that the application of leagility can be possible in mass services as one type of services.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper describes a case study and considers the concept of the leagility in a mass service organization. By highlighting some of the characteristics of mass services, it examines whether or not this concept can be applicable in the context of mass services.

Findings

Despite the low customization in mass services, fast food restaurants have faced changing needs of the customers. To respond to these demands, the case study organization can adopt new strategies so that it could be able to serve the customer with short lead times, low costs and high variety.

Research limitations/implications

This paper considers leagility in a single mass service. Hence, in order to provide robust results in this type of services, more cases should be studied. It is also necessary to study leagility in other types of services that is, professional services and service shops.

Originality/value

Despite the importance of mass services in today's life, research have focused on the application of operations management's concepts in manufacturing sector. This paper has proposed the possibility of applying the leagility concept in a case study organization to show that mass services can benefit from the advantages of both lean and agile paradigms.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2011

Jack Buffington

Mass customization has yet to fulfill its original purpose as established by marketing researchers to become an alternative to mass production, largely due to its…

Abstract

Purpose

Mass customization has yet to fulfill its original purpose as established by marketing researchers to become an alternative to mass production, largely due to its inability to achieve mass market levels of efficiency. The purpose of this study is to survey consumer's perceptions, willingness and capabilities of participating in a mass customization system, and understand the implications of its findings related to an alternative production system, generative customization.

Design/methodology/approach

After an extensive literature review of mass customization, consumer behavior, complex adaptive systems and generative design, a survey was conducted across US and Swedish consumers relative to their willingness and perceptions regarding mass customization, with hypotheses based upon extant research standards.

Findings

The survey results found that consumers are ambivalent toward mass customization in mass markets, and a conceptual alternative (generative customization) appears to achieve, at least conceptually, the necessary objectives relative to product design conceptualization and fulfillment that mass customization cannot achieve.

Research limitations/implications

A lack of significant findings from extant research regarding consumer perceptions and tolerances regarding mass customization in mass markets is a limitation to this study. The discussion of a new concept (generative customization) as a viable alternative to mass customization as a result of the survey findings needs to be validated empirically in future research.

Originality/value

The paper empirically validates a definition of mass customization as a complementary rather than an alternative to mass production. It also introduces and develops the concept of generative customization as viable alternative to mass production, albeit one that must be empirically validated in future research.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 111 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2016

Meri Jalonen, Päivi Ristimäki, Hanna Toiviainen, Anneli Pulkkis and Mika Lohtander

This paper aims to analyze learning in organizational transformations by focusing on concept-level tensions faced in two young companies, which were searching for a…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyze learning in organizational transformations by focusing on concept-level tensions faced in two young companies, which were searching for a reorientation of activity with a production network between innovative product development and efficient mass production.

Design/methodology/approach

An intervention-based research project was carried out with two manufacturing companies. The data originate from workshops, whose aim was to identify learning needs based on the discussion of practices of networked production. Concept-level learning is analyzed by examining the dynamic relationships between production concepts and product concepts.

Findings

The most influential concept-level tension stemmed from the co-existence of two production concepts, product development and mass production, which manifested as ambiguity about proper actions in the production network. Other focal tensions were identified between the production and product concepts and within the companies’ network relationships. The dominance of the mass production concept restricted the envisioning of new modes of collaboration and mutual learning in the production network.

Research limitations/implications

The workshop participants did not include representatives from the case companies’ production network. Nevertheless, researchers brought the network partners’ conceptions into the workshop discussion through the presented mirror data.

Practical implications

Companies striving to develop novel production concepts that call for continuous collaboration with customers and suppliers need forums for mutual learning to create solutions to concept-level tensions.

Originality/value

Companies may develop two production concepts over lengthy periods. The tensions that manifest due to incoherent guiding logics may be overcome by engaging in incremental and expansive concept-level learning, directed at the identification of relationships between production and product concepts.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1997

Claude R. Duguay, Sylvain Landry and Federico Pasin

In industrial management, the 1980s marked the end of the twentieth century, an epoch dominated by US manufacturers, the alleged masters of mass production. This system…

Abstract

In industrial management, the 1980s marked the end of the twentieth century, an epoch dominated by US manufacturers, the alleged masters of mass production. This system has now been outstripped in several dynamic sectors by flexible/agile production. Increases in the pace of technological progress, training and aspirations have made the modern context so dynamic that firms which manage to harness the creativity and initiative of a good part of their workforce have an advantage over those that can only count on the input of their experts and managers. In sectors undergoing relatively broad and rapid change, twenty‐first century firms must adopt a more flexible and innovative type of organization to achieve manufacturing excellence.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 17 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2006

Thorsten Blecker and Nizar Abdelkafi

To identify and examine the origins of complexity in a mass customization system and to propose an effective application sequence of variety management strategies in order…

Abstract

Purpose

To identify and examine the origins of complexity in a mass customization system and to propose an effective application sequence of variety management strategies in order to cope with this complexity.

Design/methodology/approach

Through the application of Suh's complexity theory an understanding of the causes of complexity in the specific context of a mass customization environment is developed. This facilitates the identification of the strategies that are adequate to tackle the problems induced by complexity.

Findings

The mass customization system is a coupled system that cannot be mastered simply. It is definitely impossible to transform it to an uncoupled system with a low complexity level. However, the effective and targeted implementation of variety management strategies at the product and process levels enables the management of this complexity by making the system more decoupled.

Practical implications

Complexity can be decreased if managers ensure less dependency between the satisfaction of customer requirements and position of the decoupling point. It is also advantageous to reduce the coupling level between fast delivery requirement in mass customization and the decoupling point placement. Furthermore, an effective variety management calls for the implementation of the identified strategies in an ascending order of complexity reduction potential.

Originality/value

The article relates the complexity theory of Suh to mass customization system, provides a framework for the classification of variety management strategies and derives managerial recommendations so as to reduce the complexity in a mass customization environment.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 44 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2002

Rebecca Duray

Mass customization presents a paradox to traditional manufacturing practices. Historically, companies chose to produce either customized, crafted products or mass

Abstract

Mass customization presents a paradox to traditional manufacturing practices. Historically, companies chose to produce either customized, crafted products or mass‐produced, standardized products. Thus, mass customization presents a paradox by combining customization and mass production, offering unique products in a mass‐produced, low cost, high volume production environment. If mass customization is truly a combination of mass production and craft manufacturer, how does a manufacturer become a mass customizer? Are the key principles of mass customization rooted in customized product knowledge or mass production techniques? Does the path to mass customization impact financial performances? This paper begins to answer these questions by exploring the total product mix of mass customizing plants using data gathered from 126 mass customizers. This study shows plants that choose mass customization approaches that match the non‐mass customized product line characteristics have higher financial performance than those firms without a matched product line.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 28 June 2021

Marlene M. Hohn and Christian F. Durach

Focusing on the apparel industry, this study extends current knowledge on how additive manufacturing (AM) may impact global supply chains regarding structures of…

Abstract

Purpose

Focusing on the apparel industry, this study extends current knowledge on how additive manufacturing (AM) may impact global supply chains regarding structures of interorganizational governance and the industry's social-sustainability issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Following an exploratory research design, two consecutive Delphi studies, with three survey rounds each, were conducted to carve out future industry scenarios and assess AM's impact on supply chain governance and social sustainability.

Findings

The implementation of AM is posited to reinforce existing supply chain governance structures that are dominated by powerful apparel retailers. Retailers are expected to use the increased production speed and heightened market competition to enforce faster fashion cycles and lower purchasing prices, providing a grim outlook for future working conditions at the production stage.

Social implications

Against the common narrative that technological progress increases societal well-being, this study finds that new digital technologies may, in fact, amplify rather than improve existing social-sustainability issues in contemporary production systems.

Originality/value

This article contributes to the nascent research field of AM's supply chain impact as one of the first empirical studies to analyze how AM introduction may impact on interorganizational governance while specifically addressing potential social-sustainability implications. The developed propositions relate to and extend the resource dependence and stakeholder perspectives on governance and social sustainability in supply chains. For managers, our results enrich the discussion about the potential use of AM beyond operational viability to include considerations on the wider implications for supply chains and the prevailing working conditions within them.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 41 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1999

Laetitia Radder and Lynette Louw

Total quality management resulting from total customer satisfaction today can mean giving every customer a product tailored specifically to his or her needs. In the past…

Abstract

Total quality management resulting from total customer satisfaction today can mean giving every customer a product tailored specifically to his or her needs. In the past, manufacturing was usually characterized by keeping costs down with economies of scale. Mass customization can result in a challenging manufacturing environment typified by both high volume and an excellent product mix, where customers expect individualized products at the same price as they paid for mass‐produced items. Meeting this challenge requires profound changes in the manufacturing process and in organizational dynamics. Despite the potential offered by mass customization it is necessary that organizations ensure that such a strategy is the optimal route for their business before embarking on full scale mass customization.

Details

The TQM Magazine, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-478X

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