Mass Customization: Japan's New Frontier

Westbrook, Roy and Williamson, Peter (1993) Mass Customization: Japan's New Frontier. European Management Journal, 11 (1). pp. 38-45.


Mass customization — making products tailor-made for each individual buyer, in which even the base components are varied — sounds impossible. Yet it is a reality in Japan and represents a new Japanese competitive advantage.

Roy Westbrook and Peter Williamson, reflecting on many visits to Japan, identify a new generic strategy — mass customization — in the story of continuous growth fuelled by response to crisis, so revered in Japan.

The authors cite case studies of Melbo (mens' clothing) and National Panasonic Bicycle as successful Japanese examples, underlining the fact that such achievement depends on a high degree of manufacturing competence. This is a serious competitive threat.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Customization; Mens' Clothing; Japan
Subject(s): Operations management
Centre: Faculty of Operations Management
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2012 19:24
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2015 14:06

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