Mass production usually results in low cost due to the economy of scale. However with turbulent needs of today’s consumers and growing number of customer segments mass production is not always suitable.
Hence the adoption of the new technique “Mass customization” where the products are highly customized to the needs of specific segments of the market. It leverages the flexible processes and organization structures to provide a variety of goods and services that are customized to individuals taste and choice.
It employs modern technology to produce custom output.
Pine II has described 4 types of mass customization:
Collaborative Customization: The firms collaborates with the end customers to produce unique products
Adaptive customization: The products can be modified by the end customers themselves
Transparent customization: Customers are given unique products, however are not explicitly told that the products are unique
Cosmetic customization: Makes heavy use of advertising and marketing whereas no real customization is involved.
e.g. Dell allows the users to shop online and purchase a laptop with features they desire. A customer can choose not only the external features like colour, shape etc but also the processor and the RAM required.