what is mass customization

What is Mass Customization?

Lean about Mass Customization with Akshay Kumar
Phir Hera Pheri

Movie Case Study

The scene shows Raju (played by Akshay Kumar) arguing with Kachra Seth. Raju is angry as the suit that he had given to Kachra Seth for Rs. 1,000 and now he is selling him the same suit at Rs. 4,000. Kachra Seth mentions that he has altered/customized the suit by changing its buttons, stitching it and getting it dry cleaned. In this blog, Learning Perspectives will explore the meaning of mass customization.

What is Mass customization?

Customization refers to altering a product or service to meet the need of the customer. Customization that takes place at a larger level is known as mass customization. Mass customization ensures focus on the client and recognizing their needs. Once the needs are recognized, products & services are tailored to meet these needs. For example: A shop providing different mix and match suit options or a watch company providing different customized straps for a wrist watch.

Mass Customization Process

This process is generally a part of the manufacturing cycle. However, mass customization is also considered a marketing strategy as it provides competitive advantage. Customized options are provided at lower costs to suit the needs of the customers. A customized option also gives rise to more innovation in the product and service. For example for a large company that is facing a cyber attack can get a customized software to protect its various operations.

A software company can customize this software to protect the data, finances and various secrets from being leaked. Mass customization can be seen by outlets such as Subway too that falls under the umbrella of Yum foods. Subway offers customize products to suits the need of the client. They offer their foot-longs and offer variety in breads, sauces, toppings and veggies to the customer. The customer eats what they want to eat rather than a standardized product. These offerings create brand loyalty for the customer. It also helps the outlet manage inventory efficiently.

Types of Mass Customization

There are four types of customization. These are referred to as collaborative, adaptive, transparent and cosmetic.

Collaborative Customization

A collaborative customization means helping customers articulate their needs and providing a solution for the same. For example, when you go to buy an eye-wear, many times you might not be able to articulate what kind of glasses you need. Lenskart (An eye-wear company) enables a 3D try on for their customers from home. This enables the customer to decipher what style suits them.

Adaptive Customization

This includes offering one standard product and is used by individuals differently. Client can alter the standard product according to their needs. A good example would be Subway. A standard foot-long is offered. While all ingredients can be chosen by the customer.

Transparent Customization

This customization means that the company easily understands the needs of the customer. Companies study the behavior of the customers to decipher their needs without much interaction. Customization takes place within the standard product or service.

Cosmetic Customization

This customization is difference in how the product or services is presented to customers. Even-though the standard product might be similar. This means packaging a similar product in a different way. Different packaging appeals to different customers. One finds these products in shopping malls and large departmental stores.

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