Abstract

In the age of Industry 4.0, manufacturing enterprises are under pressure to improve methods of mass customization to satisfy evolving demands in different markets. One challenge is to fulfill orders swiftly at an acceptable cost, while maintaining service quality. To do this, the customer order decoupling point, where the value-adding activities take place, should be designed and adapted to changing market demands. In this paper, we propose a Formulation-Exploration framework to make decisions on customer order decoupling point positioning and improve the supply chain to support mass customization. A test problem of auto parts manufacturing is used to illustrate the efficacy of our framework. The Formulation-Exploration framework can be used to design a supply chain to facilitate the mass customization of products, especially when information is incomplete and inaccurate (including uncertainties), and goals conflict with each other. In this paper, we focus on the method embodied in the framework rather than the results per se.

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