What is mass customization?

In brief: Mass Customization and Personalization (MCP) aims to provide goods and services that best serve individual customers' personal needs with near mass production efficiency.

Mass customization refers to a customer co-design process of products and services which meet the needs of each individual customer with regard to certain product features . All operations are performed within a fixed solution space, characterized by stable but still flexible and responsive processes. As a result, the costs associated with customization allow for a price level that does not imply a switch in an upper market segment.

The term was coined in 1987 by Stan Davis. Joseph B. Pine made the concept popular and provided the first dedicated book on it (1993). This work was based on his research conducted at the Sloan School of Management at MIT.

More information:

Definition: http://tinyurl.com/yloajp

Who is doing mass customization? What are good case studies?

Today, mass customization can be found in many industries. Its origin is in business to business goods, like machinery or trucks, which always were customized to the specific needs of individual users. Starting in the mid 1990s, more and more consumer good manufacturers started to experiment with mass customization offerings.

For a list of recent case studies, these collections provide a good source:

Where can I learn more about Mass Customization?

The following web links provide some good staring points:

Mass Customization & Open Innovation web blog http://mass-customization.blogs.com/
Donal Reddington's Mass Customization Web Log http://www.madeforone.com/
MIT User Innovation Web Site http://userinnovation.mit.edu/
The Intern. Journal of Mass Customization
International Institute of Mass Customization & Personalization (IIMCP) http://www.iimcp.org/
Dr. Anderson's mass customization page: http://www.build-to-order-consulting.com/mc.htm
Joseph Pine's MC Page http://www.strategichorizons.com/mass.html
Frank Piller's MC Knowledge Base: http://www.mass-customization.de/literatur.htm

What are recent research projects on mass customization?

[ Note: If you have a research program on mass customization, provide us the link so that we can list it here. ]

House_n research group page: http://architecture.mit.edu/house_n/index.html
MIT City Car Concept with General Motors (Smart Cities Group) http://cities.media.mit.edu/projects/citycar.html

Who are the key organizing entities of the MCPC 2007?

MIT Design Lab http://design.mit.edu
MIT Media Lab http://www.media.mit.edu
Smart Cities Research Group http//cities.media.mit.edu
HEC Montreal Business School http://www.hec.ca/
International Institute of Mass Customization & Personalization (IIMCP) http://www.iimcp.org/

Cooperation partners & program co-organizers:

RWTH Aachen University, Technology & Innovation Management Group
HKUST Advanced Manufacturing Institute
TUM Business School, Technische Universität München
My Virtual Model, Inc.