I was an early fan of Mass Customization back in the nineties – maybe because I read a few of books…Future Shock by Alvin Toffler, Future Perfect by Stan Davis and of course Mass Customization by Joe Pine. That, of course, qualifies me as an expert…Hey, they weren’t short books…I think I even helped to organize a conference on that topic in 1994.
I thought for sure that we would be a lot further along the mass customization road by now. However, we don’t even flying cars yet…so what the heck do I know.
The only real example of mass customization that we have now are our lovely digital products . Computers, phones and tablets are all individualized, but they are customization around a common platform. The customization around just everything else is a few options around a common platform.
The challenge of customization is once again, my favorite complicated topic. Information…There is an information mess on all sides of the customization battle.
Having customers savvy enough to choose their options. Having systems that can help consumers customize their choices and then having systems on the backend that tailor each item and make sure to track every configuration that is manufactured.
That is why there is so much desire to standardize and to simplify. While Standards make everything easier. they do seem to make things seem bland and barely differentiated.