Managing demand and supply uncertainties to achieve mass customization ability

Gensheng Liu, Rachna Shah, Roger G. Schroeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose - Managing demand and supply uncertainties is critical for all manufacturers, but it has added importance for companies that intend to achieve mass customization (MC) ability because these uncertainties are an intrinsic characteristic of MC. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how managing uncertainties in a firm's demand and supply affects its MC ability. Design/methodology/approach - Regression analysis and analysis of variance (ANOVA) are conducted on data collected from 189 manufacturing plants to empirically test two hypotheses. Findings - Both demand and supply uncertainty management have a positive impact on a company's MC ability. However, managing either demand or supply uncertainties independently of the other is not enough to achieve MC ability; instead, a company needs to concurrently manage both demand and supply uncertainties to achieve MC ability. Originality/value - The current literature lacks a sound theoretical basis to link demand and supply uncertainty management with MC ability. The paper provides such a theoretical foundation, and systematically identifies several demand and supply uncertainty management mechanisms that enable firms to achieve superior MC ability. In addition, it is one of the first large-scale empirical studies to address the impact of managing both demand and supply uncertainties on MC ability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)990-1012
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Manufacturing Technology Management
Volume21
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 11 2010

Keywords

  • Manufacturing industries
  • Mass customization
  • Supply and demand
  • Uncertainty management

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