Customization 4.0: How Industrie 4.0 and Smart Products Enable a New Generation of Mass Customization

by Frank Piller

The growing individualization of demand and the advent of long-tail markets are forcing companies to re-invent themselves and reach new levels of flexibility. Mass customization is a key strategy to meet this challenge. Over the past decade, we have studied mass customization in more than 200 different organizations. Our Customization500 study provided the first international benchmarking of more 500 companies in BtoC mass customization.
In our research, we found that mass customization is a strategic mechanism that is applicable to most businesses, provided that it is appropriately understood and deployed. Successful mass customization builds on developing a set of strategic capabilities that will, over time, supplement and enrich an existing business.
The talk will introduce these capabilities and then reach out to discuss new opportunities for mass customization provided by smart, connected products and flexible manufacturing technology provided by digitalization and connectivity (“Industie 4.0”). Its objective is to provide an overall strategic framework how to profit from mass customization and set up a corresponding business model.

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