Friday, March 10, 2017

From Mass Production to Mass Customization : Data to the Rescue


Today since we are at the cusp of digital transformation across every possible interaction with a product and service offering, it is becoming more clear that digital transformation has started disrupting the affection of standardization across industries. Consumer today wants “tailor made” interaction with any product or service and industry want to achieve the cost benefit of with a standardization. These two are opposite forces, their fore  “customization” today is expensive and “standardization or mass production” causes customer dissatisfaction. 
Winners in this era would be those players who would be able to integrate these two i.e. “Mass Production” + “Customization” = “Mass Customization”. 


Digital transformation of businesses, wide spread adoption of sensors and analytics are today transforming every industry. There was an era starting mid 1920s when the term Mass Production was popularized on correspondence with Ford Motor Company (Source). The idea was to mass produce using assembly lines to get cost benefits. Same was applied to services where standardized services such as insurance products, banking products, telecom plans, bus fares, road tolls were offered on a standard rates.

The emerging digital transformation and ever increasing use of sensors today is indicating that future would be flooded with data and insights. These insights derived from data gather by various sources of data such as sensors, data gathering software would help organizations gain insights into consumer behavior and thus offer “Mass Customization”.