Manufacturers shy away from customised products

Manufacturers are failing to move to mass customisation despite growing customer demand for individual products, says a report this week from the Foundation for Manufacturing and Industry. The report was produced as part of a joint Tomorrow’s Best Practice initiative run by the FM&I and IBM with Government support. Some 84% of firms in the […]

Manufacturers are failing to move to mass customisation despite growing customer demand for individual products, says a report this week from the Foundation for Manufacturing and Industry.

The report was produced as part of a joint Tomorrow’s Best Practice initiative run by the FM&I and IBM with Government support. Some 84% of firms in the survey said customers were increasingly demanding individual products or services.

`Increasing turbulence in the market,’ manifested as greater competition and by products becoming more price sensitive, is the main driver to mass customisation, says the report.

But `companies in manufacturing have been slow to adopt mass customisation since implementation requires sophistication in logistics and supply chain management which goes well beyond what is required in a mass production environment,’ it says.

Companies which have adopted mass customisation include IBM at its PC plant in Greenock, where it removed its finished goods inventory, and Rover, which has introduced a build-to-order strategy.