Accelerating the Industrial Internet of Things
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Use Cases Mass Customization

Mass Customization

Mass customization is the new frontier in business for both manufacturing and service industries. At its core is a tremendous increase in variety and customization without a corresponding increase in costs. At its limit, it is the mass production of individually customized goods and services. At its best, it provides strategic advantage and economic value.

Many implementations of mass customization are operational today, such as software-based product configurators that make it possible to add and/or change functionalities of a core product or to build fully custom enclosures from scratch. 

Companies that have succeeded with mass-customization business models tend to supply purely electronic products. However, these are not true "mass customizers" in the original sense, since they do not offer an alternative to mass production of material goods.

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PubNub Aids in McDonald's Malaysian Campaign
PubNub Aids in McDonald's Malaysian Campaign
McDonald’s Save the Sundae Cone campaign had a McDonald’s Sundae Cone on the digital billboard, which was slowly melting in the heat of the city. To “save” the sundae cone, the audience needed to spin a giant fan that would ‘cool’ the sundae cone and ‘un-melt’ it. They did this by spinning a mini-fan, which was accessed through their mobile device’s web browser. At the end, participants were given a voucher on their smartphone to be redeemed at a McDonald’s across the street for a free sundae cone. The realtime network needed to be able to handle hundreds of users simultaneously, and with such a large audience, 100% uptime was vital for the campaign.
Smart Dink Mixers with Live Secure Technology Data Marketplace
Smart Dink Mixers with Live Secure Technology Data Marketplace
The great promise of new connected concepts of industry like 'Industry 4.0' is their ability to deliver a historically unparalleled level of responsiveness and flexibility. While modern supply chains are already heavily integrated and designed to be fluid and fast moving, a large swathe of manufacturing still remains beholden to economies of scale, large production runs, and careful preplanning.The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is set to change this by allowing small-batch or even custom manufacturing on a truly industrial scale. With machines whose functions are not set in stone, but flexible and determined by their operating software and with a new form of connectivity bringing industrial engineers, product manufacturers, and end users closer together than ever before. Ad-hoc adjustments to automotive parts, for example, during active product runs or the bespoke manufacturing of custom sneakers become very viable options indeed.Much of this remains a theoretical vision, but IUNO, the German national reference project for IT security in Industry 4.0 demonstrates the new capabilities in action with a secure technology data marketplace running a smart drinks mixer.
What is the business value of this IoT use case and how is it measured?
Your Answer

What is the business value of mass customization for organizations?

1. Unique Product

As the product is manufactured according to the requirements described by the consumer, the product formed is unique as it is controlled by the consumer. In addition, the entire planning and designing expertise provides customers a way of accomplishment in finishing a product.

2. Elevated Customer Satisfaction

Mass customization promotes the formation of the product according to the customer’s desires and needs which increases the likeness of the finished products.

3. Low Inventory Levels

It is also beneficial to manufacturers because the product is produced in the amount that is required only so it prevents the wastage of excessive product.

4. High Profitability

Higher customer satisfaction results in higher profitability and strengthens business relation with the clients which encourages the consumer to come back time and again.

Which technologies are used in a system and what are the critical technology?
Your Answer

How can technology drive the next wave of mass customization?

The following technologies enable mass customization and are divided into two groups, those that make it easier to create customization value for the consumer and those that control costs for the producer.

1. Social technologies: social media and crowdsourcing pave the way for better customization options by allowing companies to analyze the value that consumers attach to existing or proposed components of current or hypothetical "virtual" products.

2. Online interactive product configurators: they provide a user-friendly and speedy way to gather a consumer's customization preferences.

3. 3D scanning and modeling: collect data that can then be used to construct 3-D digital models. Several companies have created scanning software that gathers exact body measurements in seconds or minutes.

4. Recommendation engines: e-commerce software has for years been able to recommend product choices based on previous selections. Recomendation engines are now moving into customization space by helping customers configure products.

5. Smart algorithms for dynamic pricing: some companies are managing on-demand capacity by using smart algorithms and better data-processing capacity to enable dynamic pricing, thereby reducing the time customers have to wait

6. Enterprise and product software: now there are companies that have developed packaged software that enables tracking of individualized design features in customer orders and their translation into sourcing and production instructions. These tools connect the configurations at the front end with the production and SCM systems.

7. Flexible production systems: these are essential to making small-batch production for mass customization profitable. The advent of 3-D printing is truly changing the way we think of manufacturing. These flexible devices can print objects with materials such as ceramics or metals.

 

On the horizon, manufacturing, supply chain, and logistics functions will benefit from the broad penetration of digital sensors and smart tags that will offer greater potential for visibility, flexibility, and control of product flows, as well as for automation of tasks that enhance product value. This is the broad trend toward the Internet of Things, which blends sensors, standards-based networks, and smart analytics to enable new information architectures for optimizing production.

What business, integration, or regulatory challenges could impact deployment?
Your Answer

What are the limits of Mass Customization for companies?

1. It requires a highly flexible production technology: developing such technologies can be expensive and time-consuming. Some processes, moreover, are more flexible and easier to digitize than others.

2. Challenges with supply chains: many companies do not even integrate latest supply-chain management applications like just-in-time inventory and automated planning, which results in lesser flexibility, specificity, and visibility with mass customization.

2. It requires an elaborate system for eliciting customers’ wants and needs: to make something unique for someone requires unique information. Eliciting such information entails, for instance, asking the right questions and taking the right physical measurements. It can be more difficult than it appears.

3. It requires a strong direct-to-customer logistics system: fulfillment is the weak link in much of e-commerce, and the same is true of mass customization.

4. People are not willing to pay to have everything customized: in every case, companies must determine whether there is a potential mass market for custom features. Customers demand variety when they differ sharply in their preferences for certain attributes of a product.

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