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Title: The impact of mass customisation practices on performances: an exploratory study of Chinese manufacturers

Authors: Min Zhang; Yinan Qi; Xiande Zhao

Addresses: Nottingham University Business School, The University of Nottingham, Jubilee Campus, Wollaton Road, Nottingham, UK. ' School of Business, University of International Business and Economics, No. 10, Huixin Dongjie, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China. ' Department of Decision Sciences and Managerial Economics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, No. 12, Chak Cheung Street, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong

Abstract: Using a large-scale survey in China, this study identifies a set of manufacturing practices based on the framework proposed by Zipkin (2001), and builds and tests a model describing the relationship between mass customisation practices and firm performances. The results demonstrate that the mass customisation practices can bring benefits to manufacturers in terms of both cost reduction and product/service quality improvement, which in turn boost financial performance. Moreover, we find that the practices of elicitation, flexibility in design, advanced manufacturing technology (AMT), just-in-time (JIT) supply chain and integrated logistics information system (ILIS) play different roles in business performance improvement. To be specific, the elicitation and ILIS are very important to operational performance in terms of cost and product/service quality. The flexibility in design and AMT are beneficial to cost reduction only. However, the JIT supply chain has no impact on neither cost nor product/service quality in China.

Keywords: China; mass customisation; operational performance; financial performance; firm performance; manufacturing industry; business performance improvement; elicitation; design flexibility; advanced manufacturing technology; AMT; just-in-time; JIT; logistics information systems.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMASSC.2011.042959

International Journal of Mass Customisation, 2011 Vol.4 No.1/2, pp.44 - 66

Received: 08 Nov 2010
Accepted: 13 May 2011

Published online: 10 Oct 2011 *

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