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Towards External Varieties to Internal Varieties − Modular Perspective

Authors: AHM Shamsuzzoha, Tauno Kekäle, Petri Helo


Product customization is an essential requirement for manufacturing firms to achieve higher customers- satisfaction and fulfill business target. In order to achieve these objectives, firms need to handle both external varieties such as customer preference, government regulations, cultural considerations etc and internal varieties such as functional requirements of product, production efficiency, quality etc. Both of the varieties need to be accumulated and integrated together for the purpose of producing customized product. These varieties are presented and discussed in this paper along with the perspectives of modular product design and development process. Other development strategies such as modularity, component commonality, product family design and product platform are presented with a view to achieve product variety quickly and economically. A case example both for the concept of modular design and platform based product development process is also presented with the help of design structure matrix (DSM) tool. This paper is concluded with several managerial implications and future research direction.

Keywords: Customization modular design, platform development, product variety

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