Reviews literature from manufacturing strategy, flexibility, agile manufacturing, and aspects of industrial marketing and highlights fragmented and inadequate treatment of fundamental issues relating to product customisation. Through synthesis of the literature and the analysis of four case studies – in the manufacture of fork‐lift trucks, electro‐mechanical devices, small telecommunications systems and stationery products respectively – presents a novel model of the customisation process. Identifies typologies of customisation problem‐solving situations and custom‐build option types. Demonstrates the importance of the relationship between the degree of design activity and volume of manufacture, and of the distinction between products that are custom‐built from options, and those that involve some custom‐designed elements. Proposes a range of potential roles for customised products to support management decision making in the selection of appropriate business activities.
International Journal of Operations & Production Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 1, 2000
Keywords: Manufacturing strategy; Customization; Design
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