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MASS CUSTOMISATION: WHY IS THE APPAREL INDUSTRY SO LATE?

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Author(s): Jocelyn Bellemare | Serge Carrier | Pierre Baptiste

Journal: Annals of the University of Oradea. Fascicle of Textiles, Leatherwork
ISSN 1843-813X

Volume: XIV;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 5;
Date: 2013;
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Keywords: Apparel | Mass customisation | Integration indicators | Technology

ABSTRACT
In an ever more globalised world, the fashion industry is somewhat counter-trendy as consumers are demanding and expecting ever more personalized products which the apparel providers to their utmost to supply. One of the possible avenues, identified in the literature, offering this industrial sector the possibility to satisfy the consumers’ needs is mass customisation. More specifically, we look into the possible implementation of product configurators as possible tools to make true mass customisation possible.Yet whereas this approach is seen by some as this industry’s safety net, by others as a panacea, very few apparel providers opt for this route. The current paper’s aim therefore is to evaluate the situation, identify and discuss the possible causes of the slow adoption of mass customisation, its impacts, and possible avenues to correct this situation. It is based on twenty surveys conducted with apparel producers who had previously expressed interest in mass customisation and three in-depth interviews with technology providers. Our research points to a number of difficulties specific to the apparel industry when it comes to technological implementations such as: lower education of managers in the industry, poor integration of technologies, lack of specialised resources, etc. Our research highlights the necessity for organisations looking at mass customisation to use both performance indicators and integration indicators to assess their performance.
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