Bespoke manufacturing: Each item individually made
Bespoke manufacturing is where each product is unique. Hand-made items fall in this category – even if each product is intended to be similar, there will inevitably be differences between products. Bespoke manufacturing allows substantial customizations. Products may be made to order, with substantial opportunities for individual customizations to the products.
Mass manufacturing: Large volumes of the same product
Mass manufacturing involves manufacturing in large production quantities – substantially bringing the cost of the product down relative to bespoke production. Mass manufacturing looks to produce each product (and component) identically. The fact that parts are identical allows them to be interchangeable – rather than each component made to the specific product, the components are each themselves identical.
Mass manufacturing also takes advantage of economies of scale – efficient production lines can be established that bring down the cost per unit.
Mass customization: Large volumes of custom products
Mass customization is in many ways an evolution of mass manufacturing. Rather than allowing large volumes of identical products to be produced, mass customization seeks to allow each product produced to be different from the next. Mass customization requires substantial investments in automation and communication – allowing each product to customized without the costs traditionally associated with bespoke manufacturing.
The intent of mass customization is to allow the scale benefits of mass manufacturing to be maintained while allowing individual personalizations to the product.
Mass customization and bespoke made-to-order production share some similarities – but also distinctions – this article explores some of the differences.
Mass customization allows each product to be unique – to meet the specific needs of the customer. This article explores the concepts with possible dimensions to customize.
This article explores the benefits of customizing products to meet specific customer demands – as well as the limitations in doing so
Some of the most difficult issues associated with mass customization – important problems you need to be aware of
From clear communication channels to automated order systems and manufacturing, this article explores the underlying capabilities required to successfully implement mass customization.
Is mass customization the future of manufacturing? Probably not – why most production won’t be custom
Why mass customization brings new opportunities for customized products – but is unlikely to replace mass production.
This article explores two possible approaches that can be taken in order to achieve this mass customization: made to order and customized to order.
This article explores some of the key benefits that come from internal consistency – the alignment between different activity choices of the firm.
This article explores the importance of design for manufacture – DfM – in reducing manufacturing costs, with key examples.