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Product, process and customer preference alignment in prefabricated house building

Schoenwitz, Manuel, Potter, Andrew, Gosling, Jonathan and Naim, Mohamed 2017. Product, process and customer preference alignment in prefabricated house building. International Journal of Production Economics 183 (Part A) , pp. 79-90. 10.1016/j.ijpe.2016.10.015

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Abstract

Much of the extant literature exploits the customer order decoupling point (CODP) from an aggregate product level. We develop a systematic approach to determine the alignment of CODP configurations at product, category and component levels, with customer preferences in terms of their customisation requirements. We adopt a participatory research method incorporating focus groups and interviews with personnel from a German case study company that builds prefabricated houses. From this we determine the product architecture. We also undertake a customer preference survey utilising a questionnaire that is based on a paired comparison technique. The survey informs customer preferences for choice for various elements of the architecture. We find that while at the product level the company produces a house that as a whole offers a high degree of customisation, at a category or components levels there are various offerings from pure standardisation to pure customisation. Furthermore, there is not always alignment between what customers want and what is actually being offered by the customer. So the company has options in terms of reconfiguring its operations, design new products/categories/components and/or seeking new marketplace opportunities. While the research has developed a technique that determines the extent to which the CODP positioning for a product architecture is aligned against customer preferences, there is a need for further research to test our findings beyond a single case study and into other industry sector contexts.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Centre for Advanced Manufacturing Systems At Cardiff (CAMSAC)
Uncontrolled Keywords: House building; Participatory research; Customer survey; Product architectures; Decoupling points
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0925-5273
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 October 2016
Date of Acceptance: 20 October 2016
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2018 07:27
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/95656

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