Linking supply chain management with mass customization capability


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of supply chain management in enabling manufacturers' mass customization capabilities. Design/methodology/approach: This paper is based upon survey data from 262 manufacturing plants, spanning nine countries and three industries. Responses from multiple employees were aggregated for each item. Hypothesized relationships between variables were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Findings: The results generally indicate that plant mass customization capabilities are driven by customer-focused product design and reduced supplier lead times. In turn, these factors are driven by management's emphasis on supply chain planning. Post hoc tests show that the effects of supply chain planning on mass customization capabilities are fully mediated by customer-focused product design and reduced supplier lead time. Originality/value: While the literature suggests that mass customization depends upon a dynamic extended enterprise, extant empirical work has focused on internal firm characteristics. The paper is among the first to examine the significance of supply chain management upon the development of mass customization capabilities. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Publication Title

International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management