Standard and Custom Products in Supply Chain Management
To kick things off in the discussion, let's ask:
What is the difference between a standard and custom product in supply chain management?
A standard product is a product that is produced and sold as-is, while a custom product is a product that is made to order based on a customer's specific requirements. Custom products may require additional lead time and production costs.
Let's Consider a Hypothetical Case Study: Canadian Electronics
Canadian Electronics is a leading manufacturer of electronic devices. In their supply chain management, they handle both standard and custom products, each with its unique characteristics. Let's explore the difference between standard and custom products in their context:
01. Standard Products: Canadian Electronics offers a range of standard products that are mass-produced and readily available for customers. These products are designed to meet the needs of a broad customer base and have predefined specifications and features.
Example: Canadian Electronics manufactures and distributes a line of smartphones that are available in various models and configurations. These standard products have standardized designs, components, and features, making them suitable for a wide range of customers.
02. Supply Chain Management for Standard Products: For standard products, Canadian Electronics follows a well-defined and efficient supply chain management process. They maintain close relationships with their suppliers to ensure a steady supply of components and raw materials. Production planning and scheduling are based on demand forecasts and historical sales data.
Canadian Electronics employs a pull-based supply chain strategy for standard products. Customer orders drive the production and replenishment process. As orders are received, the company initiates production and coordinates with their manufacturing facilities and distribution centers to ensure timely delivery.
03. Custom Products: In addition to standard products, Canadian Electronics also offers custom products that are tailored to meet specific customer requirements. These products are designed and manufactured based on individual customer specifications, often involving customization of features, designs, or functionalities.
Example: Canadian Electronics receives a request from a corporate client to develop a specialized handheld device for their field employees. The device needs to have specific software applications, ruggedized hardware, and customized branding. This custom product is unique and designed specifically for the client's needs.
04. Supply Chain Management for Custom Products: Managing the supply chain for custom products requires a more flexible and collaborative approach. Canadian Electronics engages in close collaboration with the customer to understand their requirements and design the product accordingly. This involves iterative design processes, prototypes, and frequent communication to ensure alignment with customer expectations.
The supply chain for custom products involves close coordination with suppliers, as some components or materials may need to be sourced specifically for the customization. Canadian Electronics works closely with their suppliers to ensure timely delivery of the required parts and materials.
Production and fulfillment of custom products follow a push-based strategy. Once the customization requirements are finalized, Canadian Electronics initiates the production process. The company closely monitors the production timeline, quality control, and customer approvals to ensure the timely delivery of the customized product.
⮞ Specifications and Features: Standard products have predefined specifications and features, whereas custom products are designed and manufactured based on specific customer requirements.
⮞ Demand Patterns: Standard products are produced based on demand forecasts, while custom products are produced based on specific customer orders.
⮞ Supply Chain Flexibility: The supply chain for standard products is more streamlined and efficient, with well-defined processes. Custom products require a more flexible and collaborative supply chain approach, involving close collaboration with customers and suppliers.
⮞ Production Strategy: Standard products follow a pull-based production strategy, where production is initiated based on customer demand. Custom products follow a push-based strategy, where production is initiated based on customer-specific orders and requirements.
In managing both standard and custom products, Canadian Electronics balances efficiency and flexibility to meet diverse customer needs and maintain a competitive edge in the market.
Note: The above case study is purely hypothetical and does not represent any specific company or industry. It is provided for illustrative purposes to explain the concept of collaboration in the supply chain and its benefits.
An initiative of VCARE Academy’s Education and Research Executive Board (EREB) and Education and Research Practitioners Board (ERPB)
A successful career in supply chain necessitates a never-ending thirst for knowledge and the most up-to-date supply chain skills and knowledge. Even though continuing education and certification programs can take time and money, they help get your specialized knowledge or skills recognized.
Mini-Master and Master Classes
When professionals have training that other professionals lack, it distinguishes them and sets them apart from the crowd. Certification and master classes show that the professionals are committed to learning, excelling, and using best practices.
Supply Chain Framework and Strategy
Collaboration among Sustainability, Procurement and Supply Chain
Implementing 3PL and 4PL Strategies in the Value Chain
Supply Chain Sustainability with Circularity to Drive Profitability