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Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 1 • Date Feb. 2007

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 28
  • Table of contents

    Page(s): C1
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  • IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management publication information

    Page(s): C2
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  • From the Editor

    Page(s): 1 - 3
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  • Guest Editorial: Mass Customization Manufacturing Systems

    Page(s): 4 - 11
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  • Selecting a Customization Strategy Under Competition: Mass Customization, Targeted Mass Customization, and Product Proliferation

    Page(s): 12 - 28
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    Customization requires not only an implementation of proper manufacturing systems but also a proper strategy regarding when firms should offer customized products and what the nature of customization should be. This paper questions 1)whether customization is better than no customization, and, if so, 2) what kind of customization strategy firms should adopt under competition. We find that customization is not optimal when the cost of soliciting customer preference information is sufficiently high. When competing firms choose to customize, we show that firms target only certain customer segments with customized products. We also find that the optimal customization strategy may require firms to offer only a few discrete product varieties. Despite the concern that customization may initiate price wars because customization reduces product differentiation, we find that customization does not escalate the price competition, because aggressive price competition exacerbates cannibalization. Although customers within the product line of a firm are charged higher prices, we show that on average customers are better off when firms adopt customization. However, unless the customization is quite cheap, when firms choose to customize, we find that firms cannot generate more profits than when firms offer only a single product View full abstract»

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  • Product Development Cost Estimation in Mass Customization

    Page(s): 29 - 40
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    The ultimate goal of mass customization is to achieve economies of both scope and scale. This goal implies a conflict between customization and economy of scale (or mass production) in the traditional manufacturing paradigm. However, recent developments in computer and Internet communication technologies, concurrent engineering, and modular design methodology provide concepts, methods and technology infrastructure for realizing mass customization. One of the findings from numerous research efforts on mass customization is the use of e-commerce technologies to manage a product development chain that links customers, suppliers and manufacturers together to approach concurrently customized products in a short time and at the low cost level of mass production, i.e., mass customization. To ensure the success of mass customization in a product development chain, a rapid, automatic yet accurate cost estimate and control system is needed. This paper presents a cost index structure, which is a novel data structure, together with two novel cost estimate methods, viz. the generative cost estimate method and the variant cost estimate method, for the development of a semi or fully automatic computer-aided cost estimate and control system in mass customization. Finally, an industrial case is reported in the paper to illustrate the principles and feasibility of the proposed data structure, methods and system framework View full abstract»

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  • Standardized Configuration Knowledge Representations as Technological Foundation for Mass Customization

    Page(s): 41 - 56
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    The effective integration of configuration system development with industrial software development is crucial for a successful implementation of a mass customization strategy. On the one hand, configuration knowledge bases must be easy to develop and maintain due to continuously changing product assortments. On the other hand, flexible integrations into existing enterprise applications, e-marketplaces and different facets of supply chain settings must be supported. This paper shows how the model-driven architecture (MDA) as an industrial framework for model development and interchange can serve as a foundation for standardized configuration knowledge representation, thus enabling knowledge sharing in heterogeneous environments. Using UML/Object Constraint Language as standard configuration knowledge representation languages, the representation of configuration domain-specific modeling concepts within MDA is shown and a formal semantics for these concepts is provided which allows a common understanding and interpretation of configuration task descriptions View full abstract»

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  • Management of Product Architecture Modularity for Mass Customization: Modeling and Theoretical Considerations

    Page(s): 57 - 69
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (677 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper examines the management of product architecture modularity for mass customization. Product architecture modularity is concerned with system decomposition, the selection of components and how they are linked with each other without compromising system integrity. The goal of mass customization is to produce customized goods at low cost. It has enabled many companies to penetrate new markets and capture customers whose personal needs were not met by standard products and services. Mass customization is enabled through modular product architectures, from which a wide variety of products can be configured and assembled. In order to understand the implications of product architecture modularity for mass customization, the "modularization function" is explored by applying and simulating it to a hypothetical system. Based on this exercise and sources from the literature, a new model is introduced. Furthermore, theoretical and engineering management implications are also discussed View full abstract»

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  • The Development of a Component Commonality Metric for Mass Customization

    Page(s): 70 - 85
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    In this paper, we review the commonality indices that have been developed thus far and demonstrate their possible limitations in evaluating component commonality for mass customization. Therefore, we develop a commonality index that considers generic bills-of-materials for mass customization instead of material-requirements-planning-like product structures. The construction of the index is carried out stepwise. At first, the intermediate commonality metrics with respect to common components, must-generic items, and options are defined. Then, we introduce the total commonality index, which enables the evaluation of the overall commonality of a product family. The index suggests a significant increase of commonality as the number of must-generic items and common components increases. However, product options have a minor contribution to the improvement of commonality. On the basis of a sensitivity analysis, the managerial implications that would result from using the index in practice are derived. We also explore the interdependencies between component commonality and variety-induced complexity on the shop floor. Finally, we discuss the application requirements that should be satisfied in order to effectively use the index View full abstract»

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  • How Small and Medium Enterprises Effectively Participate in the Mass Customization Game

    Page(s): 86 - 97
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    It is increasingly more evident that mass customization (MC) has become a key strategy for those companies operating in markets where offering customers more choice is the only remaining differentiator. However, the impact on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is not always clear as the resources required to implement such a strategy in an SME often falls beyond what is considered to be acceptable risk. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the issue of whether SMEs truly know how to effectively operate in an environment driven by customization. This paper introduces and demonstrates, through two case studies, how the principles of MC have been adopted by SMEs within the context of manufacturing agility and product flexibility. The paper explores the issues of product configuration, component similarity and the set of tools and measures of performance developed to steer the MC implementation process. The paper examines how the reuse of common components in product families can reduce internal variety. Coefficients that measure the similarity of products within a family are presented. These consider the factors of product structure, cost, volume and contribution. The "product-component matrix" is introduced to represent product families and calculate the similarity coefficients View full abstract»

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  • Changeover Improvement: Reinterpreting Shingo's “SMED” Methodology

    Page(s): 98 - 111
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    A rapid changeover capability is widely acknowledged as an essential prerequisite to flexible, responsive small batch manufacturing. Its importance in mass customization is recognized, where minimal losses need to be incurred as manufacture switches between differing products. Retrospective improvement of existing changeover practice is often undertaken, arising from pressure to respond better to customer demands, wherein improvement personnel frequently engage Shigeo Shingo's Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) methodology to achieve better performance. Irrespective of the improvement methodology that is employed this paper assesses two fundamental mechanisms by which better changeovers might be achieved. First, improvement can occur by altering when tasks are conducted. Better allocation of tasks to the resources necessary to conduct them is sought, where the tasks themselves remain essentially unchanged. The second mechanism is to seek structural change to existing tasks, thereby intrinsically enabling them to be completed more quickly. These two mechanisms are described in relation to use of the SMED methodology, where it is argued that, by reinterpreting Shingo's work, greater clarity of potential improvement options can be gained View full abstract»

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  • Process Platform Planning for Variety Coordination From Design to Production in Mass Customization Manufacturing

    Page(s): 112 - 129
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    The key challenge of implementing mass customization manufacturing lies in the variety dilemma exhibited by frequent design changes and recurrent process variations. A holistic view of variety handling gives rise to the importance of variety coordination from design to production. This paper proposes a concept of process platform for coordinating product and process variety. Fundamental issues of process platforms are studied regarding generic product and process structures, generic planning, and generic variety representation. Variety handlers and associated states are introduced to model the meta-structure inherent in variety coordination. A set of modeling formalisms are developed to provide a powerful syntactic model to support rigorous analysis and manipulation of process platforms, while facilitating the application of semantics to support process platform enactment and detailed observations from a number of perspectives involving customers, design and production. Also reported is a case study of mass customization manufacturing of vibration motors for mobile phone products. The managerial implications of process platform planning are further discussed View full abstract»

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  • A Product and Process Modeling Based Approach to Study Cost Implications of Product Variety in Mass Customization

    Page(s): 130 - 144
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    With the growing competition in businesses, satisfying customers' individual requirements has turned into a competitive edge. Highly diversified customer needs lead to not only high product variety but also the associated cost implications. In order to handle the complexity and intertwining relationships of variety and cost, a systematic approach is proposed based on product and process modeling. This approach includes two phases: phase I models product and process variety and studies their relationships; and phase II investigates the relationships between product variety and costs and identifies major additional cost contributors, namely variety cost drivers in the product family design. A case study is presented to demonstrate the feasibility and potential of the proposed approach View full abstract»

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  • Exploiting the Order Book for Mass Customized Manufacturing Control Systems With Capacity Limitations

    Page(s): 145 - 155
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    Customer specific requirements is one of the key drivers in a supply chain strategy based on mass customization. At the same time there are intense pressure on price and short delivery lead times providing a complex environment for managing the supply chain. The complexity can be reduced by introducing the concept of a customer order decoupling point (CODP). The CODP separates the supply chain into two key processes that can be categorized as make-to-order (MTO) and make-to-stock (MTS) and constitutes the two key building blocks of a system based on the mass customization concept. The dynamic properties of the MTS environment have been extensively researched using the automatic pipeline-, inventory-, and order-based production control system (APIOBPCS) archetype. In contrast to MTS systems, the customer facing MTO process, which is usually exposed to a more volatile demand stream suitable for an agile strategy, is less well investigated. Agility does, however, frequently not mean that infinite capacity is available but that there is some surplus capacity available and that the capacity can be adapted to the customer requirements in certain time frames. When the adaptation is not instant but requires some time to take effect the delay creates a dynamic backlog represented by the order book which affects the delivery lead time. Since controlling lead times is a key factor in providing reliable delivery promises an order book control logic is introduced. It is also shown that the new MTO model of the customer facing part of a mass customization system is an extension to the well established APIOBPCS framework View full abstract»

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  • Integrated Configuration of Platform Products and Supply Chains for Mass Customization: A Game-Theoretic Approach

    Page(s): 156 - 171
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    This paper is concerned with optimizing the configuration of a set of platform products and the associated supply chain consisting of one manufacturer and multiple suppliers using a three-move dynamic game-theoretic approach. The variants in the product family share a common platform for developing/configuring variant modules which are substitutable in the sense that high-end module options can functionally replace low-end ones at higher prices. As the customer in the supply chain, the manufacturer takes its leading role by making the first move to give decisions on platform products development (PPD) and supplier selection. The concerned suppliers make the second move to optimize their decisions including price discounts and their ordering policies. The manufacturer finishes the game by taking the last move to make his ordering decisions. The ranges of the rational reactions for the players are derived from the analyses of their payoff models, and an enumerative algorithm is developed to find the subgame perfect equilibrium of the game through the technique of backward induction. The game model and the proposed solution procedure are illustrated through a series of simulation experiments and sensitivity analyses using a numerical example. The results have allowed us to draw some meaningful interpretations and useful managerial insights. The use of platform commonality and modularity has been found generally beneficial not only to the supply chain as a whole but also to individual players that are eventually configured into the game. Flexibility of the suppliers' capability is also found to affect the PPD decisions View full abstract»

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  • Modularity as a Strategy for Supply Chain Coordination: The Case of U.S. Auto

    Page(s): 172 - 189
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    Companies across industries have admired the success of Dell Computersin using modularity as part of a mass customization strategy to achieve build-to-order and a streamlined supply chain. Many companies are attempting to emulate this successful model, including the American automotive industry. This paper focuses on how the auto industry has been attempting to move to modularity, in part, motivated by a desire to build cars to order. This movement has led to major changes in supply chain practices based partly on imitation of successful keiretsu models in Japan and a move toward modules. This study finds significant impact of modularity on outsourcing, product development, and supply chain coordination based on interviews conducted with automakers and suppliers from 2000-2003. Based on our interviews, we observe that modularity has accompanied a major reorganization of the automotive supplier industry. We identify two major issues that appear to block U.S. automakers from gaining most of the advantages possible through modularity. First, most modularity activities appear to be primarily strategically cost reduction driven, leaving the potential of modularity for mass customization largely untapped. Second, the shift in industry reorganization has not been accompanied by changes in the supply chain infrastructure to encourage long-term partnerships. We contrast this to the more gradual approach used by Toyota as it incorporates modularity on a selective basis and moves to a build-to-order model View full abstract»

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  • A Service-Oriented Architecture for Mass Customization—A Shoe Industry Case Study

    Page(s): 190 - 204
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    The ability of enterprises to react quickly to changes in the business environment is becoming imperative. mass customization (MC) is introduced as a competitive strategy for diversified markets by combining principles of mass production and individualization. Here, information systems (IS) are needed for supporting the entire value chain, especially for managing product and process complexity. Based on a dynamic view of enterprises working together, context-specific IT-services must be provided for successful MC. In software engineering, a similar concept called service-oriented architecture (SOA) is receiving lot of attention. By integrating all the elements of business networks (including organizations and IS) in a loosely coupled manner, technical representation of value processes can be established. In this paper, we present a SOA-based approach for MC and illustrate it with a case study from the shoe industry, based on a publicly-funded research project called "EwoMacs." View full abstract»

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  • Forthcoming Engineering Management Conferences

    Page(s): 205
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  • IEEE International Engineering Management Conference 2007

    Page(s): 206
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  • Special interest groups for the IEEE Engineering Management Society

    Page(s): 207
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  • Papers to be Published in Future Issues of IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management

    Page(s): 208 - 209
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  • Order form for reprints

    Page(s): 210
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  • IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management - readership survey

    Page(s): 211 - 212
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  • Special issue on managing innovation in emerging economies

    Page(s): 213
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  • IEEE Engineering Management Society call for case study proposals on managing engineering, technology, and innovation

    Page(s): 214
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Aims & Scope

Management of technical functions such as research, development, and engineering in industry, government, university, and other settings. Emphasis is on studies carried on within an organization to help in decision making or policy formation for RD&E. 

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Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Rajiv Sabherwal
Sam M. Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas