Sure, companies like Wal-Mart and Home Depot owe much of their success to their ability to customize their merchandise mix at the individual-store level, and they offer services designed not just for the mass market but for the individual customer. Similarly, furniture company Brayton International fulfills orders for custom-designed furniture, retailers like Best Buy efficiently assemble user-specified PCs on-site for customers. But full-bore microcustomization strategies really require the CIO to introduce technologies such as RFID, Wi-Fi, business-activity monitoring, and business-synchronization hubs, and to integrate those technologies with business-intelligence engines. A consulting group called The Advisory Council believes it’s time for all businesses to emerge (inexpensively!) from the Stone Age: “Microcustomization has already forever changed the logistics and retail mail-order industries. Using existing tools and organizational efficiencies, your company can join the industry leaders without the large capital outlays and corporate restructuring the leaders went through.”

Optimize Magazine Mar 2005