The industrial revolution created the production culture of mass production, which produced standardized goods for the masses. Companies produce products on a mass scale without taking into consideration market segmentation. Mass production provided the advantages of economies of scale. Companies made products they thought the consumers wanted. The shift towards mass customization has been caused by changing consumer needs (Hu 3). Consumers became more demanding, and it became necessary to produce goods that met their needs. Companies have shifted to a consumer-driven model that involves the production of goods and services that have localized content. Thus, every business has a consumer strategy that focuses on meeting the specific needs of different consumers.
Furthermore, advances in manufacturing technology have enabled manufacturers to provide product variety to suit preferences in different markets. Adapting products to a particular region or market provides a competitive advantage. Technologies allow for the mass production of customized goods (Hu 4). Information technologies have improved market intelligence techniques, which allow companies to remain in touch with consumers and understand what they want. Additive manufacturing has made it possible for products to be made in a modular design. Technologies have also reduced the cost of production for customized goods.
Similarly, the internet has played a critical role in driving the paradigm shift by allowing consumers to partner with marketers to create products that are tailored to their needs. The internet has also eased customization by enabling consumers to propose their own designs. The era of big data has provided companies with a lot of information about their target market. A company can study trends and preferences and then be able to anticipate what the consumer wants or might need.
Finally, companies have shifted their production to customization as a result of competitive pressures (Hu 4). In the volatile market environment, mass customization is a strategy that allows both low-cost production and differentiation. Differentiation is a critical success factor because of the number of options available to the consumer at any particular time. In this context, mass customization is now a necessity to participate in the market.
Service-based businesses have shifted to putting the customer as the focus of what they do. Classic service-based companies are no longer adequate when it comes to providing value. Customer value is now being created by a focus on customer satisfaction as the source of profitability. Companies are changing their organizational concept toward a customer-centric structure. This shift entails moving from service reviews and service teams to customer teams, customer segments, and customer care (Gebauer and Kowalkowski 528). Customer-focused companies are developing a culture that is customer-centric by developing a philosophy focusing on customer experience. Customer-centric companies have an emphasis on soft skills training as well as technical skills. They create communication channels that enhance interaction with the customer in order to develop meaningful relationships. Customer data is collected and analyzed for purposes of customer relationship management (CRM). They ensure that the customer feels valued by anticipating their needs through CRM.
In customer-centric service companies, research and development are focused on the customer and not the service. Service providers are customizing their services to suit the needs of different consumer groups. They are empowering their employees to provide tailored services to customers. On the spot, employees can do things outside of company policy to accommodate the needs of the customer. Companies are looking for cost-effective ways of providing customized services.
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