HOW TO BUILD-TO-ORDER PRODUCT FAMILIES
Copyright 2017 by Dr. David M. Anderson, Fellow, ASME
Product families must be based on all four of the following criteria:
1) customer/marketing feasibility, with the focus on profitability over completeness
2) operational flexibility, so any variation can be built without delays, onerous setup costs, or inventory carrying costs, ideally built on-demand
3) supply chain responsiveness, so family variations will not have to wait for parts and materials to be delivered, and distributed, and
4) design versatility to enable the above
a. HOW TO BUILD PRODUCT FAMILIES FLEXIBLY
FLEXIBLE MANUAL ASSEMBLY
B. SPONTANEOUS SUPPLY CHAINS
Note that when asked to deliver parts “on demand,” suppliers
C. DESIGNING PRODUCT FAMILIES
So if the existing production operations and supply chains can
For more on BTO&MC principles see the book, Build-to-Order & Mass Customization
Right-sized machine can form complete mini-lines, in which no changeovers
are needed. The economics are different with versatility and setup elimination
stressed over utilization.
Postponement is a mass customization technique that is applicable for certain products that can have their variety postponed until just before shipping. The factory builds basic “vanilla” platforms and quickly adds “flavors” upon receipt of order.
Postponement is most suitable for product architecture that has a major platform part can be built without variation and then customized by various adjustments, configurations, or bolt-on or plug-in modules.
Extending Product Families with Mass Customization
is the ability to quickly and efficiently build-to-order customized products.
Synergies of Mass Customization and Product Families
There is a natural synergy between product families built to-order and mass customization. They share the same flexible operations and spontaneous supply chain.
Product families and mass customization operations are equally efficient and very complementary,
Adding mass customization to a product family strategy can push the combined volume over the threshold that may be necessary to justify these implementations.
Thus, mass-customized product families would be more like to be approved and succeed.