Mass Customization in Videotape Duplication and Conversion: Challenges of Flexible Duplication Systems, Fast Delivery, and Electronic Service
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With the emergence of electronic commerce technology, marketers gained new methods for personalizing electronic advertisements, automating marketing research, and customizing product designs. These developments suggest that production operations also must be redesigned to support contemporary marketing objectives via mass customization. Yet, operations management research historically has focused on mass production systems buffering the customer from production operations. As such, the literature provides relatively few insights about managing mass customization operations. Thus, in this paper, we consider a previously unexamined type of mass customization production operations. The paper presents a case study of a manufacturer's videotape duplication and conversion system, consisting of a flexible network of heterogeneous, parallel machines used to duplicate and convert videotapes and other multimedia. We describe the characteristics of this flexible duplication system, discuss parallels between these systems and mass customization, and identify issues regarding flexibility, speed of delivery, and electronic service. 2005 Springer Science + Business Media, Inc.
International Journal of Flexible Manufacturing Systems
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