Consumer involvement in design & production process

Currently, the manufacturing industry rarely integrates individual consumer’s ideas and requirements within the design and production processes, while on the other hand there is an increase of requests for individualization of products.

ComVantage utilizes intuitive mobile applications in combination with open innovation, open design and crowdsourcing for gathering and integrating the consumer’s knowledge and ideas and thus improve the product and production process as well as offering innovative services. Furthermore, IT systems of stakeholders among a collaborative product value chain are interlinked on data and process level to allow flexible and individually composed production processes as well as their agile reorganization (e.g. to match changes in product portfolio, refer to Demo #6 as well). The technological foundation based on RDF, SPARQL and Linked Data is described in Result #1.

For example designers can submit design ideas to crowdsourcing challenges and potential consumers can vote for their favourite designs. Consumers can access style recommendation services, and order shirts designed either individually or by the crowd and receive product information via social media platforms.

Further, individual consumer requirements are addressed by selecting producers based on locality, ecological sensitivity or price as well as allowing late customization of products and orders (e.g. in-time change of shipping modalities) or in-time integration of user feedback into the production. Moreover, consumers gain insights into the production progress which creates a novel feeling of immersion and identification with the product (and its production) which positively impacts the customer-relationship to the service provider.

According to our business simulations, external (e.g. consumer or production partner) and internal collaborative capabilities are improved by utilizing the ComVantage framework which have an positive effect on all six dimensions of business process performance: efficiency, flexibility, quality, innovation, cost, and sustainability. These, in turn, affect all three dimensions of the competitive advantage (differentiation, cost leadership, and financial performance).