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Mass Customisation


This article was first published on the Online EU Training blog


Before the 21st century, you had to make your pick: you buy or make cheap mass products or high-priced customised products (or services). If you are a fashion company, you could either be H&M or Gucci, but not both at the same time. Mass or customised, but not both.

Today, in the age of Internet and online tools, a new concept has appeared: mass customisation. Companies are discovering that customers can create personalised version of their mass products without requiring the personal efforts (time and attention) that had previously been indispensable for such option.

Take a mobile phone: a mass product where you, the owner, can create a personal ringtone, applications, style and look: all via self-service. Buying a car? Create your own specifications and have those produced by an algorythm and shipped, just for you. Tired of the mainstream media for the masses? Create your RSS feeds, MyYahoo, iGoogle or personal news mash-up.

Mass customisation is a win-win solution: you get your individual needs catered for at highly competitive prices while the producer can benefit from the economy of scale.

This works smoothly for many products and services if a sufficiently robust and creative system is in place. I wonder: are legislators aware of the consequences this entails…?


Posted in E-business

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