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ARTICLE TITLE

Feitzinger, Edward, Lee, Hau L., "Mass customization at Hewlett-Packard: The power of postponement", Harvard Business Review, Vol. 75, No. 1, Jan/Feb 1997, pp. 116-121.

 

ABSTRACT

Using the Hewlett-Packard Co. as an example, the key to mass-customizing effectively is postponing the task of differentiating a product for a specific customer until the latest possible point in the supply network. Instead of taking a piecemeal approach, companies must rethink and integrate the designs of their products, the process used to make and deliver those products, and the configuration of their entire supply network. Three organizational design principles together form the basic building blocks of an effective mass-customization program: 1. A product should be designed so that it consists of independent modules. 2. Manufacturing processes should be designed so that they consist of independent modules. 3. The supply network should be designed to supply the basic product to the facilities performing the customization in a cost-effective manner.