Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black

Henry Ford

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Crest of the Wave: Riding the Mass Customization Trend

Those days are long gone.

Companies now are figuring out how to maximise profit by reducing inventory, ending the cycle of making trend predictions and tying up capital in stock. There is increasing consumer pressure to create a production schedule that can respond to their demands and unique requests. Impatience with delivery time is increasingly a driving factor when making a purchasing decision. These points show the importance of not only having access to agile manufacturing, but also the need to be equipped with software that can help you generate and make sense of the data your users provide.

If accurate forecasts allow for leaner inventory, why not get your customers to tell you exactly what they want? The added bonus according to Sara Gifford, chief solutions officer at Quintiq, a leading provider of supply chain planning and optimisation software, is that you can turn the tables and influence what customers are choosing to buy and how much they’re willing to pay. The airline industry paved the way for this with their pricing models that scale according to demand.  

Gifford says, “Customers feel that they have personalisation during [this] process, but subconsciously they’re choosing something because they can get it faster and perhaps cheaper. For instance, I might only really want the silver version of an iPad if I can get it in a few days. If it’ll take three weeks, then I’ll be happy with another colour instead…

Companies that are able to predict quickly and accurately where the market is going can react equally quickly and accurately to make changes to their supply chain. And that will determine the real winners in this exciting, but challenging, new world of mass customisation married with leaner inventories.”

MyCustomizer software allows companies to take advantage of this ability to influence while maximizing their production and delivery time. Companies can reduce overhead and stock limits by ‘nudging’ their customers to make specific choices through pricing structure and availability, while the customers experience maximum satisfaction and a sense of brand ownership. Outsourcing software development to a service provider who already has the infrastructure built saves additional time and ultimately, cost, allowing you to focus on what matters most, the customer. Everyone wins.

For for further reading, click here to see this topic discussed at Raconteur