“Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” This is a classic quote from Henry Ford referring to the car Ford Model T in the beginning of the 20th century. Since then we have seen cars in different colors and now you can configure your own car with different parameters and packages of equipment. Now we have configured mass customization. Next step is individualized customization.
Individualized customization will be enabled through technology that give customers possibility to create products, communicate with the supplier and flexible manufacturing systems. How do you purchase clothes in the future? First create your own garment. Use a Kinect camera (coming from Xbox) and a Windows 8 tablet to scan your body for your exact measures. Go to the store’s web shop, up load your measures, select model, color, fabrics etc. Or maybe browse what other customers have designed. Second, communicate with the store, or directly with the supplier, to get the price. The store can give you a price on line depending on the actual demand situation or propose alternatives (other color, fabric, delivery time etc) to reduce the price (dynamic pricing). Third, the manufacturing system is capable of producing individual items through connection to front end ecommerce application which drives the production equipment like robots and 3-D printers, which also can be used for clothing.
How does it sounds to get a tailor made suit at the same price (feeling like Armani) as a mass produced suite from H&M?
It’s time to dress up for the future.