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New book on 'Information and Management Systems for Product Customization' published

2005-01-20 - Hamburg, Germany: A new book has been published which addresses the issue of information systems and management systems in mass customization environments.

'Information And Management Systems For Product Customization' (by Blecker, Friedrich, Kaluza, Abdelkafi, and Kreutler), concentrates on systems for both product customization and cost efficiency, the two central tenets of mass customisation.

In today's competitive environment, manufacturing and service companies are intensifying their customization processes. Customization means companies must meet the challenge of providing individualized products and services, without introducing high costs. Therefore, companies must address both customization and cost factors to gain a competitive advantage. While product customization is the manufacturing of products according to individual customer needs, it does not involve any focus on the cost perspective. The book looks at mass customization, with its multi-dimensional approach of product customization and cost reduction.

Understanding the needs and desires of the customer are central to the strategy of mass customization. However, introducing customer needs into the realm of product development dramatically increases the level of complexity of creating and delivering the product both internally and externally. This book introduces an innovative model that assesses and distinguishes subjective and objective customer needs. This model along with other software tools and AI agents address the complexity issues that are both external and internal in a mass customization strategy. Fundamentally, the book - with its technical analysis, models, conceptual frameworks, and managerial tools - closes the gap between the complexity and the difficulty of mass customization with its potential payoffs and implementation.

The book is divided into three parts. Part I, 'Fundamentals of Product Customization', looks at the theoretical basics of product customisation, mass customization and complexity, and sets out a 'Customers' Needs Model' for mass customization. Part II is called 'An IT Infrastructure for Effective and Efficient Product Customization'. This covers customer oriented interaction systems, describes a 'Multi-Agent System for Coping with Variety Induced Complexity', and provides implementation scenarios of the information systems. Part III of the book sets out concepts for implementing an Efficient Product Customization. It also looks at the principle of product modularity in mass customization. There is also a key metrics system-based management tool for 'Variety Steering and Complexity Evaluation'.

Blecker, T., Friedrich, G., Kaluza, B., Abdelkafi, N., Kreutler, G. Information and Management Systems for Product Customization, Integrated Series in Information Systems No. 7
Published by Springer: New York et al., 2005, 269 p., 79 illus. ISBN: 0-387-23347-4

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