Customization (from the English customer – customer, consumer) in common sense is the manufacture of mass products for a specific customer order by completing it with additional elements or accessories. This can be said much more simply: customization is the adaptation of an existing product to a specific consumer. Mass customization — the production of products and services for a narrow audience, taking into account its interests and requirements.
The use of customization began in the 1950s when the conveyor production was put on stream. A huge number of companies produced the same goods in large quantities, then the products settled in warehouses — and sales volumes were difficult to control. At first, the market was unpretentious and bought only those goods that the manufacturer provided him. Then, accustomed to diversity and the ability to choose, the market began to demand from manufacturers products that better satisfy its needs. Custom products began to appear, but their production was expensive. It took people to carry out drawings, control production, calculate costs, etc. All this was done manually, which affected the price of the final product. Customers are used to the fact that custom products have their own value and special value. Only in the last few years mass customization systems have appeared that allow you to support the generation of drawings, the choice of materials, etc. and produce products in a standard way without increasing costs. A fork has formed: people are ready to pay big money for customized products, which their production is not really worth.
The main task of customization is to create a feeling in the consumer that the work is done personally for him and satisfies his personal needs. Customization is considered the ideal of interaction along the line of “supplier of goods/services — client”. It is not only attractive for ethical reasons but also cost-effective, as it provides a competitive advantage by creating a higher value (value) for the client.
This concept has also been scientifically developed by a number of researchers under the name “service factory”.The main tool used to improve the interaction between producer and consumer is CRM systems.
To effectively switch to mass customization, you need to make changes in the following areas:
- personnel management system — is defined as an administrative specialization that focuses on hiring and developing employees to become more valuable to the company. It is sometimes considered to be a sub-category of human resources that only focuses on administration;
- production system — is a term that comprises both the technological elements (machines and tools) and organizational behavior (a division of labor and information flow);
- the practice of relations with suppliers and customers;
- product promotion system — is a system that helps to disseminate the information about the product, product line, brand, and company to the prospective buyers with the intent to generate sales and develop a brand loyalty;
- organizational structure — is a system used to define a hierarchy within an organization.;
- business philosophy — is the set of principles and beliefs that a company is working toward to achieve success;
The method of deferred customization helps to reduce production costs, because, on the one hand, it remains massive (production of the basic structure), while it is personified — any product can be made unique with the least cost by combining the base parts).