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How to Offer Mass Customized Services Effectively?

Nov 13, 2018 2:35:16 PM

In this article we are focusing the mass customization, from a theoretical point of view and also how it is done with Good Sign service solutions. In the nutshell we are defining the process about: "What do I need to be effective in mass customized business?".

Effective mass customization is based on understanding customer needs for mass customization, and implementing mass customized services properly. [Nikolaus Franke & Frank T. Piller: 2002]

Shall we take a look at the mass customizing theory and how mass customization is applied in physical products and in services?

Nowadays companies need to focus more and more on customers' growing demands and at the same time decreasing production costs. [Paul Zipkin: 2001]

mass-customized-services

 

MITSloan Management Review has pointed out three key elements of mass customization

  • Elicitation “which provides a mechanism for interacting with customer and obtaining specific information” [Paul Zipkin: 2001]
  • Process flexibility “production technology that fabricates the product according to the information” [Paul Zipkin: 2001]
  • Logistics “subsequent processing stages and distribution that are able to maintain the identity of each item and to deliver the right one to the right customer” [Paul Zipkin: 2001]

These are all obvious and important elements when focusing on mass customization. 

As a service provider: 

  • you must have a specific relationship to the customers' data for maintaining and developing insight
  • your tools need to be flexible, because when requiring changes, those must be doable fast and easy
  • you also need to have proper distribution for delivering the right items to the right customers efficiently
Harward Business Review has pointed out four approaches to mass customization

Customization can be approached from four different directions according to an article published in Harvard Business Review. These are:

  • Collaborative customization
  • Adaptive customization
  • Cosmetic customization, and
  • Transparent customization

Collaborative customizers create a dialogue with each customer to identify customizable offering that fulfills customers’ needs. Adaptive customizers offer one standard, but customizable, product, which is designed so that users can use it for their specific needs. Cosmetic customizers present a standard product differently to different customers, so that product is different from customer´s point of view. Transparent customizers offer each customer unique services without letting them know explicitly, that those services have been customized for their specific needs. [Martin: 2015],[James H. Gilmore ja B.Joseph Pine II: 1997]  

Why mass customization?

To draw a conclusion, the key elements and strategies in mass customization aim at customer satisfaction while at the same time keeping to efficiency.

Mass customization concepts were first created related to physical products and their manufacturing and delivery. However, the same concepts can and should now, in the era of services growth, be applied to service products and service fulfilment.

Why Good Sign’s customers target mass customization?

A key reason for service companies choosing Good Sign Software is the customer-centricity in the company. Most of our customers are very heavily focused on providing for example variable combinations and options as well as different packages and tuned pricing to customers. Service variations may also be digitally data-driven. Also, most of Good Sign's customers are emphasizing the needs for flexibility and automation in both the service offering and fulfilment. To offer the services their customers want, and to be able to do it efficiently!

Any examples?

Take a look at the 1-minute video below, where you can hear what some of our customers say:

Case Fortum: Good Sign Software automates pricing, delivery, and charging of recycling services

Case Technopolis: Good Sign Software automates pricing, onboarding, and charging of workspace services

Case Com4: Good Sign Software automates pricing, activation, and billing of IoT subscriptions

Watch a video about what our customers say after implementing our solution for intelligently automated services pricing and billing, gaining flexible and scalable monetization processes. 

 

Watch a video

 

Sources:

Nikolaus Franke, Frank T. Piller, Technischen Universität München (2002): http://www.downloads.mass-customization.de/TUM-AIBWP033.pdf

Paul Zipkin, MITSloan Management Review, The Limits of Mass Customization Mass Customization (2001): https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/the-limits-of-mass-customization/

Martin, What, Why, How and examples (2015): https://www.cleverism.com/mass-customization-what-why-how/

James H. Gilmore ja B.Joseph Pine II, The Four Faces of Mass Customization 1997: https://hbr.org/1997/01/the-four-faces-of-mass-customization

Markus Pulliainen
Written by Markus Pulliainen

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