Pros & Cons of Mass Customization

It’s becoming increasingly popular for consumers to seek out goods that can be customized from A to Z. Shoes, computers and even cars can be purchased with a range of customization options, such as colors, parts and features. Providing all of these options for customization falls to manufacturing facilities, where the pros and cons of the process are most heavily felt. Here are some of the main pros and cons of mass customization as they pertain to manufacturing.

Pros of Mass Customization Manufacturing

  • Higher customer retention since products have options and are tailored to personal tastes
  • Fewer unfinished goods need to be stored, reducing overhead costs
  • Quick, efficient production process from start to finish
  • A higher price point for customized products, which means higher profits
  • More flexible software and systems to handle highly customized orders

Cons of Mass Customization Manufacturing

  • Impossible to build up stock ahead of time
  • Forecasting trends/spikes in sales more difficult due to wide range of options
  • Difficult to plan for surge in product demands
  • Affects the flow of supply chains with 3rd party business partners
  • Wait time from order placement to shipment to in-hand increases
  • Increased costs to maintain a variety of machinery that can produce different product colors, shapes, etc.

Mass customization can be an especially attractive business model for lifestyle products, but companies should consider options such as modular customization (limited choice) to help streamline their production facilities, reduce downtime in the logistics chain and maintain a satisfied customer base.

What are some ways your company has implemented mass customization into its workflow? Do you like or dislike mass customization? Let us know in the comments section below.

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