Mass Customization: Bridging Customer Integration and Sustainability?
19 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2013
Date Written: February 15, 2013
Climate change and the resulting consequences require a change in production and consumption habits. As these global challenges require collective approaches, we study a business model where customers are involved in a large extent.
This paper provides a qualitative assessment of a mass customization production processes for women’s shoes in terms of its environmental impact: The assessment is based on qualitative data from expert interviews concerning the case of Selve, a German manufacturer of mass customized women’s shoes.
We find that mass customization in combination with the involvement of active and responsible customers bear the potential to lower CO2-emissions. However, certain specific effects of the customization process may lead to significant emissions and must not be neglected. We derive management recommendations for technology managers to identify critical steps within the product life cycle.
Keywords: Mass Customization, Sustainability
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