With the right platform, manufacturers can leverage data from Industry 4.0's connected ecosystems to become full-fledged product configurators and realize the benefits of mass customization.
The era of mass customization is here, driven by customers who not only expect personalized products and experiences but are significantly more loyal to manufacturers that provide them. However, many manufacturers face the challenge of mass customization. They are still tied to legacy manufacturing systems and processes that lack the agility and connectivity of a modern, data-driven approach to tackle mass customization complexity.
Industry 4.0 and its innovations hold the solution. They connect valuable ecosystems for seamless collaboration across the value chain, allowing manufacturers to accelerate better mass customization results.
Digitalization offers insights to address customer needs through mass customization. Learn more.
Becoming full-fledged product configurators requires manufacturers to first transform connected ecosystems’ wealth of data into actionable insights. These data-driven insights allow them to form closer relationships with customers, continuously improve processes and build agility.
“To unlock the full potential of mass customization, manufacturers need to deliver the right information at the right time from a common data model to the value chain contributors on a real-time basis,” said Fred Thomas, DELMIA Strategic Business Development and Marketing Director at Dassault Systèmes.
This is possible with a digitalization strategy that’s platform-centric. Only then can manufacturers derive significant value from their connected data and benefit in these game-changing ways:
In a connected production, customers gain the ability to co-create with manufacturers on products that answer and meet real market needs. More than that, the data flow of customer preferences helps manufacturers generate more accurate customer profiles, which in turn helps them better predict and deliver products that win customer loyalty.
The data doesn’t stop after the product has left the factory. Some of the most valuable data come from how customers use the product and how the experience can be better. This behavioral data enables manufacturers to continuously improve their product offerings and, subsequently, optimize their operations to remain competitive in the market.
A connected ecosystem offers end-to-end visibility and real-time information sharing for manufacturers to adapt quickly to evolving customer behavior and preferences. By including customer learnings early in the process of mass customization, manufacturers can reduce risks and avoid costly missteps of investing heavily in products that lack market demand.
Data insights shared across the value chain help manufacturers deliver the right product on time without overstocking inventory while reducing manufacturing waste. The data stream facilitates manufacturers to make informed decisions for productivity and cost containment improvements in key areas such as procurement, inventory management and transportation.
A lot of big data analytics solutions in the market provide good tools to analyze transactional data. But when it comes to mass customization, the data is not linear. It’s not just rows in a simple table. So performing big data analytics becomes much more complex.
To deliver customized product offerings at scale, manufacturers need to turn to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. It provides a digital thread from product design to distribution, integrating people and information in the manufacturer’s organization and value chain. It allows manufacturers to collect, analyze and transform data from Industry 4.0’s connected ecosystems into insights for continuous improvement of products and operations.
The platform powers a closed-loop environment to simulate processes, enabling manufacturers to respond quickly to market demand shifts and order patterns while minimizing risks. Performance metrics from manufacturing operations can be looped back to a virtual twin of the factory for analysis based on the aggregated information from each plant.
“Dassault Systèmes has taken the Industry 4.0 concept to the next level with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform that provides a connected, smart manufacturing experience for all stakeholders. Our platform delivers a real-time and data-driven approach to rapidly adapt to the peaks and troughs of day-to-day operations, especially changing customer demands. The result is optimized operations and agile delivery of products that always align to customer preferences,” Fred concluded.
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