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23 Jun. 2014

Mess in Mass Customization... But the show goes on!

We are still full of impressions from the World Conference on Mass Customization, Personalization and Co-Creation, held in Denmark earlier this year. This Conference was a very special event: We celebrated 20 years of Mass Customization with four different keynote speakers and attitudes towards the history. What’s still in our mind, a view months later?

Frank Piller gives a shocking, stunning and amusing speech and states that: “The party is over”! He invites us to rethink the mass customization concept: It may not be firms, but customers that determine the development of mass customization. They will become manufacturers themselves, companies just provide the infrastructure.

Frank Piller

Richard P. Hughes from Opel tells very fascinating insights about the ADAM launch in 2013, a car with an unprecedented level of personalization. The claim says “one car - a million possibilities”, which is true: The choice is calculated with over 4.5 million build combinations! And of course, the key part of the consumer purchase journey is the configurator, online and mobile. Since the launch over 10 million configurations were built, with a very high completion rate. Users are initiating several configurators with an average duration about 8 minutes. The factor of this success is the previous learning: Simplify Complexity - Build Engagement! What a perfect case study!

Paul Blazek and Richard Hughes

LEGO Project Manager, Ronen Hadar, presents another interesting case study. He introduces two upcoming concepts that may enable firms to be competitive in the changing environment of mass customization: Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems (RMS) and Rapid Manufacturing (RM - commonly referred to as 3D printing).

Finally Joe Pine reads his Mass Customization Manifesto and provides every attendee with a personal copy to internalize his words. Let’s hope, that his dreams come true: “The era of Mass Production is over. Customers don’t want choice, they just want exactly what they want. All customers are unique, and each and every one is the lifeblood of any business.”

As you see, the spectrum was broad and we are proud, that we always played an important role in the mass customization community. Besides providing the online configurator database, cyLEDGE researches in the field of user interface/experience design and configurator innovations. In this mission Clarissa Streichsbier, Monika Kolb and Paul Blazek presented three papers: “The Impact of the Arrangement of User Interface Elements on Customer”, “Food Customization - An Analysis of Product Configurators in the Food Industry”, “InnoTracing: A Framework to Investigate the Moment-to-Moment Unfolding of Leadership, Creativity, and Innovation”

Clarissa Streichsbier and Monika Kolb

We are looking forward to the next international conference, held in Novi Sad: www.mcp-ce.org

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