ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Mass Marketing Vs Flexible Manufacturing Systems

Updated on January 9, 2018
tamarawilhite profile image

Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of 2, and a published sci-fi and horror author.

What Is Mass Production?

Mass production is the term for producing many similar items in large batches. By producing thousands or millions of items from the same assembly line, the cost per item was dramatically lower than the cost of an equivalent hand-made item. Products were designed to fit the largest possible demographic or simply the highest paying one. The main benefit for customers being the dramatic price reduction over custom-made.

The public was happy because items that had once been too expensive to own such as cars, air conditioners and household appliances became affordable. Simply making luxuries and labor saving devices affordable was enough to sell them to the public.

Customization wasn’t possible when re-tooling costs were high, nor was it necessary when merely bringing down the price guaranteed sales volume.

Mass produced items are attractive because they are affordable. Quality is just high enough to maintain sales.
Mass produced items are attractive because they are affordable. Quality is just high enough to maintain sales. | Source

What Is Mass Marketing?

Mass marketing was driven by mass production of electronics. Mass marketing is an effort to market to a large market, in the same way through a few media channels. Mass marketing was easy when the same commercial played on the big three TV networks, ABC, NBC and CBS and thus seen by 60-80% of the population. Placing advertising inserts for all major papers in the largest cities in the country resulted in a large proportion of the population seeing it.

Mass production meant that only a few items existed to be advertised, while the limited number of entertainment and media channels meant that everyone relied upon those few information streams to receive most advertisements. Word of mouth existed as well, but there was no mass media method to rely upon it except affiliate marketing and sales channels. Calling up the few major papers, news papers and radio stations in all major cities and placing ads was simple and straightforward.

Mass marketing is similar to mass production in that the same product or small group of products are distributed to the public. There is little tailoring or customization, and the profit comes from low cost product distributed to as many as possible.

What Is Mass Customization?

Mass customization is the ability to create tailored and special requests on the factory floor. Unlike hand made luxuries or custom crafted items, mass customization builds on the infrastructure created by mass production.

Advances in industrialization such as just in time manufacturing and robotics to create flexible manufacturing systems have brought us mass customization. Mass customization is the result of large scale flexible manufacturing systems and increasing automation. Mass customization was helped by an increasing number of industry standards that ensured that parts for the same product were compatible.

International outsourcing of manufacturing lowered manufacturing costs further while increasing demand for niche products. The result has been a flood of diverse designs, components and after-market parts produced in large scale lots and available through international shipping to any manufacturer or customer who wants them.

CNC machines broaden the work job shops and machine shops can perform, turning them into flexible manufacturers.
CNC machines broaden the work job shops and machine shops can perform, turning them into flexible manufacturers. | Source

Flexible Manufacturing Systems

Dell Computers was one of the first success stories in mass customization. Relying upon a large inventory of diverse parts, they could use economies of scale to keep part prices low. Using a well trained set of employees in a factory with an automated warehouse, they could have the same staff assemble a customized computer. The internet made marketing cheap and order taking nearly free.

Mass customization has reached the point that small manufacturers can utilize it effectively. Use 3-D printing to make prototype parts. If it works as expected, send the same digital design to a manufacturer in California or Asia to produce in mass, creating many parts at a low per-unit cost.

When it arrives at the vendor, customize it per the specifications of each customer. Add the designer phone cover, install the requested antenna, upload the desired software or package it with the additional phone jack. Then ship it to the customer who pays a comparable or lower price for the unit than they would have paid for a mass produced version of the product a few years before.

Mass Customization in Marketing

Mass customization has arrived to the marketing world as well. Using data analytics, marketers can create a dozen different advertisements placed on hundreds of websites and determine which advertisement / web placement combination yields the most clicks and sales for each website’s viewers.

Using large databases of customer demographic information, advertisements can be tailored for each demographic group, tested and refined. Placement of ads based on search words or website demographics results in a mass customization of marketing. And given the low cost of advertising on the internet, mass customization in marketing is both affordable and automated.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • tamarawilhite profile imageAUTHOR

    Tamara Wilhite 

    6 years ago from Fort Worth, Texas

    It's funny how manufacturing is coming full circle, from the customization of hand made to mass produced products to mass customization.

  • Simone Smith profile image

    Simone Haruko Smith 

    6 years ago from San Francisco

    When I first read about mass customization, I got so excited! Hurrah for getting the best of all worlds! I love that more and more companies are taking on mass customization and flexible marketing. It's so clever.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)