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The development of a novel standardisation-customisation continuum

Heredia Jimenez, Juan Antonio and Whitfield, Robert and Ward, Michael and Grierson, Hilary (2017) The development of a novel standardisation-customisation continuum. In: ICED17, 21st International Conference on Engineering Design, 2017-08-21 - 2017-08-25, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.. (In Press)

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Published work on product-oriented customisation lacks clarity in establishing how it is characterised, how it is bounded, and how one would define increasing levels of customisation. This paper describes the development of a standardisation-customisation (S-C) continuum which consists of 13 distinct intervals, starting with “standardisation”, or absence of customisation and ending with “evolution customisation”, or absence of standardisation. Each interval is defined using nine characteristics that collectively define the boundaries of the intervals within the continuum. Analysis using a randomly selected sample of products from a range of industries has demonstrated the continuum’s capability for distinguishing the associated level of S-C. Furthermore, no industry investigated develops products at each level of S-C, however, when combined all industries do. The number of possible levels of S-C tends to depend on the product’s complexity and number of components. The continuum framework clarifies the concept of customisation, provides a scale for determining the product’s customisation and supports the analysis of markets and industries against S-C.