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How Your Manufacturing Business Can Benefit from Mass Customization

With the invention of machines and factories came the age of mass production. To meet with the ever-growing demands of the market, automated systems were developed to churn out more products in less time. But mass production requires certain trade-offs. It is much more profitable to produce only limited types of product versus providing consumers with several different choices. After all, why bother providing a thousand different options when you can just stick to manufacturing and selling one that’s been proven to be efficient? Thus, customized products came to be thought of as exclusively handmade items. But more than that, they’ve become associated with massive expenses, given the amount of machinery required to pull off even a small batch of them.

While you may think that traditional manufacturing methods are still the way to go, times have changed, as have the wants and needs of consumers. Thankfully, technology has been able to keep up with the demand. Now, manufacturers can provide exactly what clients and consumers want through mass customization. By utilizing systems equipped with precision motion systems and custom linear stages, it has become easier to provide customized end products and keep them profitable, even in small batches. If you still have doubts about mass customization’s benefits, read on for some more compelling reasons about why you should give it a shot.

Earn More by Making Less

It’s a given that customized options will still cost more than generic mass-produced templates, whether made by hand or by machine. However, consider the costs and profits of mass producing a single design. You’ll have to produce thousands of this single product—say, a bottle—in order to turn a profit.

Now consider the expenses and profits associated with mass customizing a few different types of bottles. You’ll only need to produce a hundred of each bottle in order to earn potentially the same amount of money. As long your systems can be adjusted according to specific order requirements, you’ll earn more while producing smaller quantities of product.

More Options for Your Consumers

Due to the nature of mass production, manufacturers could only provide consumers with limited options based on whatever machines they already have. Thus, consumers could only choose from what was already available without any chance to provide personal input about the final design. Otherwise, consumers would be faced with enormous expenses due to additional machinery, upgrades, or manual labor required to pull off any custom changes. This could mean a lot of missed opportunities for your business, since most consumers want their own product to stand out from the rest.

If you can provide them with more flexibility, you’ll be able to provide a product that your consumer will feel extremely satisfied with. This is because they’ll feel that they had a direct contribution to the production process, so to speak. Thus, by providing products that only few companies can make, you’ll have clients coming back for more. Thus, you can cement brand loyalty and guaranteed profits for your business for a long time to come.

Better Collaboration with Consumers

More often than not, manufacturing companies have to ask consumers for a physical sample of the product they want created. Unfortunately, consumers don’t always have expert knowledge in the manufacturing industry and thus may have difficulty articulating exactly what it is they’re looking for. Thankfully, there are now web platforms that allow consumers to easily change specific aspects of the product. This gives consumers the opportunity to show you exactly what they hope to achieve in the final prototype.

With this information in hand, you can more clearly communicate with your consumer on what is and is not feasible. You can thus work together to create a final product without having to compromise due to machine limitations. Consumers can get as close to their desired output as possible without having to spend a fortune. This means higher client retention rates for your business. You’ll also be able to accept more personalized orders, especially as more consumers look for greater control over the end product.

Maximize Available Materials

With mass production, you’d have to purchase certain materials in bulk in order to make the most out of whatever equipment you have. Otherwise, buying materials in small amounts could result in unaffordable costs for the consumer, making you miss out on a potential order. Since mass customization lets you produce items on a made-to-order basis, you’ll only use the bare minimum that you need to get the job done. Thus, you won’t produce as much scrap material. You also won’t need to spend as much on storage costs just to stockpile material that you had to buy in bulk.

Get Insight into Consumer Preferences

Because you’ll be receiving customized orders more often, you’ll be able to gather information on current trends in the manufacturing industry. What are the types of materials that consumers often ask for? What are the specific kinds of customization that consumers seem to value the most? By taking this data into account, you can improve your operations appropriately, thus boosting your efficiency and giving yourself an advantage over the competition.

Truly, mass customization can open up a lot of opportunities for your manufacturing business to grow more than you could have ever thought possible. The sooner that you adapt to serve this growing market, the sooner you’ll see a rise in brand recognition and profits.

However, don’t just jump into this without doing your research. There are many factors to take into account before you can implement mass customization into your own workflows. Take your time while learning all about the pros and cons of this business model. Look to companies that have already made a mark in this field, and learn from their successes as well as their mistakes. Most importantly, always keep yourself up-to-date with the latest advancements in mass customization technology and trends.

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