Mass Customization; Experiential Learning; Innovative Education; Operations Management; Supply Chain Management; Electronic Commerce
Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education
The purpose of this article is to describe an internet-based mass customization assignment in Operations Management/Supply Chain Management classes where students utilize the Web site of a company that offers a customized product. Students evaluate the user interface, judge the value proposition of the product they demonstrate, and discuss issues of product design, process design and scheduling, inventory management, Supply Chain Management, marketing, and competitors. The students learn about mass customization from both the producer's perspective and the consumer's perspective. Through their own research and the class presentations students are able to develop a better understanding of the implementation requirements and challenges of mass customization. The assignment is highly interactive and has been successfully used in Operations Management and Supply Chain Management courses at under-graduate and graduate levels and at multiple universities. In addition, practitioners interested in implementing a mass customization process can use the assignment as a brainstorming or benchmarking exercise.