The biannual World Conference on Mass Customization & Personalization (MCPC) is the premier event for the Mass Customization community. Bridging academic research and management practice, the conference provides an interactive and interdisciplinary platform to share ideas about mass customization strategies and to discuss the latest technologies and enablers.

The conference strives to engage academics, business leaders and consultants in fundamental debates through a set of plenary presentations, discussion panels, and paper presentations. In addition to the research orientated conference streams of the MCPC conferences, we especially welcome submissions from managers and consultants reflecting upon the conference theme.

Extreme Customization is the theme of the 2007 conference. Our manifesto is to shift the mass customization debate from a physical product perspective to a total life cycle experience. Mass customization should be more than just configuring a piece of hardware, but should be seen as the co-design of an entire system, including services, experiences and human satisfaction at the individual as well as at the community level.

We invite contributions from a wide range of specialists in the engineering and management community including architecture, industrial design, or visual arts, to participate in the larger debate of customization. Mass customization studios, a co-creation challenge, and several focused workshops will elevate the quality of exchange during the conference.

More information:

Download MCPC 2007 Call for Papers & Speaking Proposals in one PDF file.

Review the list of subject areas for the MCPC 2007

Submit your paper or speaking proposal here.

To start the discussion, here are some initial themes and related questions.
We encourage participants and authors to engage in these questions and to bring forth their experiences from an interdisciplinary and cross-functional perspective. Information about the kind of topics which are discussed on this conference provide also the abstracts of the previous MCPC conferences

System thinking and architectures

How can we design system architectures, extending the discussion of product families?
How can we define ecosystems for mass customization which span the entire product life cycle?
How does system thinking in MCP enable firms to search for new and underutilized opportunities?
What new kinds of capabilities do we need to produce, sell, and maintain MCP systems?

Business models for mass customization

How do we have to adapt, modify or expand established models in marketing and operations management to cover the new debate on mass customization? When do we need new models?
What are the different business models for mass customization? What are the contingency factors describing the preference for such a strategy?
Have we fully utilized postponement strategies for MCP?

Product versus service customization

What is mass customization of service? How is this different from product customization?
What are successful examples of service mass customization which go beyond the conventional, e.g.,  self-service kiosks?
What are the features of configuration toolkits for service customization?
What are efficient production systems for service customization?

Adaptability: feature or substitute

Adaptability, i.e. built-in flexibility embedded in a product, can both substitute customization delivered by flexible manufacturing or supplement the inherent flexibility of a customized product. How can we develop adaptable systems along the entire life cycle of a product-service-system?
How can we make products more adaptable ("hackable") so that users can adapt them?
What are the economies of adaptability? How to balance the trade-off between performance (cost) and adaptable capabilities?
How to design usable interfaces to utilize a product's adaptable features?

Individual versus community

What is the role of communities for mass customization?
Is personalization exclusive or non-exclusive of shared experiences?
How do online and offline communities effect customization (e.g., by setting trends, helping each other with the configuration, etc.)?
How do communities develop new mass customization offerings?

Emotion, experiences and happiness

Can you mass customize for emotions? How can we capture emotions in product-service-systems?
How does research on emotions help to build better products and services?
What is the premium customers are willing to pay for different experiences along the segments of the MCP product life cycle (e.g., willingness to pay for configuration, co-design, status, custom utility, adaptability, etc.)?
Does mass customization provide "happiness" to consumers (and what is happiness anyway)?

Choice, complexity and simplicity

What is meaningful customization? What are the rules for simplicity in MCP?
Do people want choice? How much is too much?
How can we support users to navigate a solution space?
How do we foster and utilize the creativity of users and customers?

Configuration system and rule sets

How can we change configurators from focusing on constraints and rules to fostering creativity and co-creation?
How can we expand user interfaces with more tangible and intuitive features? 
How can we develop embedded configurators?
How can we substitute the pain of customization for the sales force by building integrated sales systems for customization, including the knowledge, tools, and attitudes for efficient customization?

Rapid manufacturing and personal fabricators

What is the state of innovative manufacturing concepts allowing flexibility with no cost penalty?
Where is mass customization manufacturing located (distributed versus centralized)?
Is rapid manufacturing here (to stay)? Is rapid prototyping becoming obsolete?
Are there alternative approaches for efficient flexible manufacturing?

Contradictions in mass customization

What is the relationship of simplicity to complexity in MCP?
What is the tipping point between standardization and customization?
What is the range between user innovation and custom configuration? When, and to which extent, do users customize and manufacture in their own domain and with their own means?
What is the relation of constraints in manufacturing (switching costs) to constraints coming from the entire environment (e.g., health and safety, branding, IP …)?
Are all customers suited for mass customization? Is mass customization suited for any business?

Profits, benefits, and value

What is the benefit and value of MCP? How does this benefit translate to value for individual stakeholders (customers, manufacturer, or retailers)? How can we capture this value from the perspective of an entire system?
How do we measure the value of personalization and customization?

Education & capabilities for MCP

How do we educate students in mass customization? How do we integrate mass customization thinking in established curricula (in a meaningful way)? (See also the call for teaching case studies below.)
How do we build the qualifications and capabilities demanded for mass customization in companies?
How can managers (and educators) unlearn conventional thinking when implementing mass customization?

Mass customization in practice

This track is open for submission of acting managers and entrepreneurs from mass customization and personalization businesses. We ask for presentations which do not focus on presenting just your company or business idea, but on sharing your experiences and success factors of executing mass customization.
Presentation proposals for this track should follow the general guidelines for submission (extended proposal introducing your mass customization offering, the focus of your talk, and some of the key results you plan to present). Proposals should be submitted with the online submission system.

Mass Customization Case Studies (Teaching)

The MCPC 2007 will be followed by a special session in Montreal focused on case studies for mass customization. The idea is to develop material to teach mass customization better. We invite submissions of case studies dealing with mass customization and personalization. Cases must be original work based on real events, people, and organizations. They must be accompanied by a teaching note and not have been previously published or accepted for publication. The presentation of the cases will be held in Montreal on October 12, 2007. Authors of the best cases will be invited to submit their work to a special issue of the International Journal of Mass Customization or a special issue of the International Journal of Case Studies in Management. Cases should be submitted with the online submission system and authors must follow the MCPC paper submission process and deadlines.

Special Sessions & Themes

Today, there are examples and applications of MCP in all industries and sectors. The MCPC 2007 does not focus on one particular industry, but wants to provide a platform to exchange ideas beyond disciplines and industry borders. We are however especially interested in applications and examples in the following fields where we recently see a lot of interesting momentum in MCP:

Further information

Download MCPC 2007 Call for Papers & Speaking Proposals in one PDF file. Follow the style guidelines when preparing your paper (format, reference style).

Review the list of subject areas for the MCPC 2007 . You have to select one area when submitting your paper.

Submit your paper or speaking proposal here.