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Mass Customization, Customer Co-Creation & Open Innovation
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Where can I learn more about mass customization & open innovation ?

On this page, I have listed some links to general publications on the topics, some downloads of my own publications, and many links where you can start to look for more information. A great source of the most recent research & case studies are the proceedings of the MCPC conferences.

Recent Research Papers - Index of Postings to MC&OI Blog

Internet Links - MCPC Conference Documentation - German MC Meetings Documentation

Frank Piller's English Books - Frank Piller's German Books

Configurator Database The largest database of online configuration toolkits. More than 500 online configurators from all industries (external link to our cooperation partner cyledge).

Video Collection with Famous MCP Persons

Video Interviews on Mass Customization & Personalization

Brief Introductions into MC & OI

The following press reports provide a good introduction into mass customization and open innovation. More recent press coverage can be found here.

Mass Customization

The Personal Touch: Mass Customization, SAP Info - The SAP Magazine, Vol. 120, September 2004: 12-16.English Site pil2005-3.pdf, pil2005-3d.pdf, pil2005-3j.pdf 

Customers as Co-Designers: The miAdidas mass customization strategy, IEE Manufacturing Engineer, Vol. 82, August 2003: 42-46. English Site iee03.pdf 

User co-creation & crowdsourcing ("interactive value creation")

Interactive value creation with users and customers. In: Anne S. Huff (ed.): Leading Open Innovation, Munich: Peter-Pribilla-Foundation 2008: 16-24. English Site piller_2008-pribilla.pdf 

Open / User Innovation

An interview with Eric von Hippel, MIT, on Democratizing Innovation. MC&OI Blog 2005 .English Site Download.

Von Open Source zu Open Innovation, Harvard Business Manager, 25 (2003) 12 (Dezember): 114. in german hbm03.pdf

Executive Education and Presentations on MC & OI

Corporate Lectures and Conference Keynotes: Creating value by integrating customers with mass customization and open innovation strategies is a fascinating topic for conferences and workshops on corporate strategy, innovation, marketing, and relationship management. More information.

Internet Links to Mass Customization Sites

Internet Links: community bookmarks for mass customization and user / open innovation

(Contribute to this collection by tagging your web discoveries with mass_customization or open_innovation. How this works...)

Our English Books on Mass Customization and Open Innovation

Handbook of Research in Mass Customization and Personalization, edited by Frank T. Piller and Mitchell M. Tseng. Published in two volumes (Part 1: Strategies and Concepts, Part 2: Application and Cases), New York: World Scientific Press 2010.

Comprehensive collection of more than 50 recent papers on all aspects of mass customization and personalization. With contributions of more than 100 international experts in the domain. More information. Download List of Contents and Introduction: mchandbook2010.pdf

Special Case Study Issue

The International Mass Customization Case Collection: An Opportunity for Learning from Previous Experiences, Edited by Klaus Moser & Frank Piller. Geneva/London: Inderscience 2006 (published as special issue if the International Journal of Mass Customization (IJMassC), 2 (2006) 4).

A collection of ten case studies of applications of mass customization in different industries. Download this issue.

Chinese edition available

The Customer Centric Enterprise: Advances in Mass Customization and Personalization, edited by Mitchell M. Tseng and Frank T. Piller, Springer New York / Berlin 2003 [Chinese translation: 2004]

Following an interdisciplinary approach, leading scientists and practitioners in the field share in this book their concepts and strategies for building a customer centric enterprise from the perspective of design, production engineering, technology and innovation management, customer behavior, as well as marketing. More information

MCPC 2009Mass Matching. Proceedings of the MCPC 2009 World Conference on Mass Customization & Personalization. Jarmo I. Suominen, Frank T. Piller, Mitchell Tseng (Editors), October 4-8, 2009 at Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland. Proceedings will be published soon.
Proceedings of the MCPC 2007 Extreme Customization. Proceedings of the 2007 World Congress on Mass Customization and Personalization, edited by William J. Mitchell, Frank T. Piller, Mitchell Tseng, Ryan Chin, Betty Lou McClanahan, October 7-9, 2007 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The conference proceedings contain more than 2500+ pages on mass customization and personalization. More information.
Proceedings of the 2005 World Congress on Mass Customization and Personalization, edited by Frank Piller & Mitchell Tseng, Hong Kong, September 2005.
The MCPC 05 was a major international community meeting in the field of mass customization and personalization. The conference proceedings contain more than 800+ pages on mass customization and personalization. More information here.

Proceedings of the 2003 World Congress on Mass Customization and Personalization, edited by Ralf Reichwald, Frank Piller & Mitchell Tseng, Munich October 2003.
The MCPC was the largest international event in the field of mass customization and personalization ever. The conference proceedings contain more than 1500+ pages on mass customization and personalization. More information here.


Our German Books on Mass Customization and Open Innovation
Interaktive Wertschoepfung

Interaktive Wertschöpfung. Open Innovation, Individualisierung und neue Formen der Arbeitsteilung, Ralf Reichwald & Frank Piller. Gabler Verlag, 2. Auflage, Wiesbaden 2009 More information.

Neue Wege zum Innovativen Produkt: Mass Customization un Kundenintegration, Frank Piller und Christof Stotko (eds.), Symposion 2003: The first individual book on demand on mass customization. Customize your own book and read (and pay) onle for the topics and cases which suit your personal inmformation desire. More information

Extra: Free download of case study appendix of this book -- more than 350 pages with case studies (in German language)

Das neue Buch zu MC und CRM - Click für mehr Infos

Mass Customization, Research book based on the empirical study of 200 mass customizers, by Frank T. Piller, 4th edition, Wiesbaden: Gabler/DUV 2006. More Information

Das erste dt. Buch zur MC - Click für das Inhaltsverzeichnis

Kundenindividuelle Massenproduktion: Die Wettbewerbsstrategie der Zukunft, managerial book - the first German book on the topic by Frank T. Piller, with an introduction by B. Joseph Pine II, München / Wien: Hanser 1998. More Information

Die neue Marktsudie zum wesentlichen Enabler von Mass Customization

Market Study 2003: Configuration Systems for Mass Customization -- Strategies, Success Factors and Technology of Configuration Tool Kits, by Timm Rogoll and Frank Piller, München: ThinkConsult 2003 (out of press)

More Information

Neue Einsichten in modulare Prinzipien - grundlegend für die Mass Customization Modularisierung in der Automobilindustrie – neue Formen und Prinzipien: Modular Sourcing, Plattformkonzept und Fertigungssegmentierung als Mittel des Komplexitätsmanagements, von Frank Piller und Daniela Waringer, Shaker Verlag Aachen 1999, ISBN 3-8265-5827-8. More information.

Die Zukunft der Produktion - zum Hintergrund der Mass Customization Produktionswirtschaft 2000 - Perspektiven für die Fabrik der Zukunft, herausgegeben von Kurt Nagel, Roland Erben und Frank Piller, Gabler Verlag. Wiesbaden 1999, ca. 550 Seiten, ISBN 3-409-11461-0 (restlos vergriffen) More information.

Documentation of the World Congresses on Mass Customization, Personalization & Co-Creation (MCPC)

The MCPC is the largest international series of conferences in the field of mass customization, customer integration, and personalization. The conference is held biannually, and participants come from academia, businesses, and consultancies (ratio: 50:40:10).The MCPC proceedings are a comprehensive source of reference from an interdisciplinary view.

MCPC 2009, Aalto University,
Helsinki, Finland


MCPC 2007, MIT & HEC,
Cambridge/Boston & Montreal

MCPC 2007
Order 2007 proceedings here

Hong Kong & Huangzhou

Order 2005 proceedings here

MCPC 2003, TUM, Munich:

Hong Kong:

Recent Observations & Comments on MC&OI

Index to all postings to my Blog on Mass Customization & Open Innovation. (Not covered in this index are the six years of postings into my old MC newsletter. Browse these old MC-related posts here.):

General Categories

  • General: As the label says, all basic MC&OI related things of very general interest.
  • Customization Trends: What I think is new and may become a trend in mass customization.
  • Long Tail: This book made a strong case for MC&OI and postings that deal with this variety explosion get this tag.
  • Open/User Innovation: The general tag for all postings on (lead) user innovation (or: outside innovation, distributed innovation, etc ...).
  • Co-creation and Crowdsourcing are two related categories: The first is used for all kinds of user-input-contribution-based models, and the latter on explicit strategies of companies to utilize the distributed creativity and knowledge of their users.
  • Personalization (What is the difference between personalization & customization? Here is my answer).
  • MC Alternatives: How to fulfill the need for heterogeneous products without messy one-of-a-kind manufacturing
  • Interviews refer to others talking about MC&OI in my blog.
  • MC/OI on the Web is a category referring to links to external sources of information on MC & OI.
  • Research Studies and academic research on MC&OI
  • Events in the area of mass customizaton & co-creation.
  • Deutsch (in German): Some posts are in German, as they contain information relevant only to those who can understand German.
Special categories: How to make MC & OI happen
  • Technologies & Enablers : Postings on all kind of enabling technologies in general.
  • Co-Design Process: Postings dealing with the process and experiences of customers co-designing their stuff.
  • Offline Customization: Customization is often seen as web-only, but can be a great thing to enhance the store experience.
  • Virtual Models are one way to do this.
  • Design theory and concepts for mass customization.
  • Fabbing: Rapid manufacturing, laser sintering, digital manufacturing -- new manufacturing concepts for MC.
  • Related with this is User Manufacturing, the idea that manufacturers just provide manufacturing capability, and users do the rest.

Case studies: Who is doing what in MC & OI?

  • Cases Consumer and Cases Industrial are the two general categorizations. Most posts are in the consumer category. But to get this better structured, the following new tags were introduced (new categories will come with appropriate postings):
  • Service Customization: MC of services -- a future growth field!
  • Books: Customization of books, print-on-demand, personalization of books.
  • Clothing: Mass Customization of apparel and related items, with T-Shirts as an own sub-category.
  • Footwear: Mass customization and some open innovation in footwear, with Sneakers (sport shoes) as a sub-category.
  • Furniture - Home and related items Gifts: Products you typically customize to give them as a gift -- or which are nice customizable gifts for the Holidays!
  • MC & Art: Art that refers to customization etc.
  • Failures and Flaws: What did not work or still needs improvement

  • For even more case studies, seee also the Case Study Section of this website.

Not covered in this index are the six years of postings into my old MC newsletter. Please browse these hundreds of old MC-related posts here.

Recent Research Papers by Frank Piller
Download papers, book chapters, and research reports also here

  • LIterature by Frank Piller for Download on his Personal Homepage
  • Publications by the MIT Smart Customization Group
  • Paper archive

    Fabrizio Salvador, Martin de Holan and Frank Piller: Cracking the Code of Mass Customization. MIT Sloan Management Review, 50 (2009) 3 (Spring 2009): 70-79. Download Original Version: Online edition of the journal. Download Working Paper Version: codeofmc2009.pdf

    John Bessant, Kathron Möslein, Anne-Katrin Neyer, Frank Piller and Bettina von Stamm: Radical Innovation: Making the right bet. AIM Executive Briefing. London: Advanced Institute of Management / London Business School 2009. Download: Link to project site.

    Frank Piller & Christoph Ihl: Open Innovation with Customers – Foundations, Competences and International Trends. Expert Study commissioned by the European Union, the German Federal Ministry of Research and the Europäischer Sozialfond ESF. Published as part of the project "International Monitoring". Aachen: RWTH ZLW-IMA 2009.Download: Link to project site.

    Frank Piller & Mitchell Tseng: Mass Customization Thinking: Moving from Pilot Stage to an Established Business Strategy. In: Handbook of Research in Mass Customization and Personalization, Part 1: Strategies and Concepts, New York: World Scientific Press 2010: 1-18. Download: mchandbook2010.pdf

    Frank Piller: Mass Customization. In: Charles Wankel (ed.): The Handbook of 21st Century Management, Thousands Oaks, CA: Sage Publications 2008: 420-430. Download: handbook08.pdf

    Frank T. Piller: Observations on the present and future of mass customization. Flexible Services and Manufacturing Journal (Formerly: The International Journal of Flexible Manufacturing Systems), 19 (2007) 4 (December 2007): 630-636. Download: fsmj07.pdf

    Frank Piller: Mass Customization: Reflections on the state of the concept, International Journal of Flexible Manufacturing Systems, 16 (2005) 4 (October): 313-334 (Lead article).Download: fsmj05.pdf

    Frank Piller and Ashok Kumar: Mass Customization & Financial Services: Providing custom products and services with mass production efficiency, Journal of Financial Transformation, Special Issue on "The Finance Factory", 18 (2006) November: 125-131. Download: joft06.pdf

    Frank Piller and Ashok Kumar: For each, their own. The strategic imperative of mass customization. Industrial Engineer, 38 (2006) 9: 40-46. Download: ie2006.pdf

    Klaus Moser, Melanie Müller and Frank Piller: Transforming mass customisation from a marketing instrument to a sustainable business model at Adidas, International Journal of Mass Customization (IJMassC), 2 (2006) 4: 463-480. Download: ijmassc2006.pdf

    Klaus Moser and Frank T. Piller: Integration challenges of mass customisation businesses: the case of Steppenwolf, International Journal of Mass Customization (IJMassC), 2 (2006) 4: 507-522. Download: ijmassc2006.pdf

    Frank T. Piller and Dominik Walcher: Toolkits for idea competitions: A novel method to integrate users in new product development, R&D Management, 36 (2006) 3: 307-318. Download: pillerwalcher.pdf [working paper version] . Download: Original version [Journal homepage]

    Susumu Ogawa & Frank T. Piller: Collective Customer Commitment: Reducing the risks of new product development, MIT Sloan Management Review, 47 (2006) 2 (Winter 2006): 65-72. Download Original Version: Online edition of the journal. Download Working Paper Version: smr2006.pdf

    Christoph Berger, Kathrin Moeslein, Frank Piller, and Ralf Reichwald: Co-designing the customer interface for customer-centric strategies: Learning from exploratory research, European Management Review, 2 (2005) 3: 70-87. Download: pdf and html [Online edition of the journal]

    Frank Piller, Petra Schubert, Michael Koch and Kathrin Möslein: Overcoming mass confusion: Collaborative customer co-design in online communities, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 10 (2005) 4, 10th Anniversary Issue of the Journal. Download: piller.html  [Online edition of the journal]

    Nikolaus Franke and Frank Piller: Toolkits for user innovation and design: exploring user interaction and value creation in the watch market, Journal of Product Innovation Management, 21 (2004) 6 (November): 401-415. Download: jpim04.pdf 

    Frank Piller, Kathrin Moeslein and Christof Stotko: Does mass customization pay? An economic approach to evaluate customer integration, Production Planning & Control, 15 (2004) 4: 435-444. Download: ppc04.pdf

    Nikolaus Franke and Frank Piller: Key Research Issues in User Interaction with Configuration Toolkits, International Journal of Technology Management (IJTM), Vol. 26 (2003), No. 5/6, pp. 578-599. Download (corresponding working paper): TUM-AIBWP033.pdf

    Ralf Reichwald, Christof M. Stotko and Frank T. Piller: Distributed mini-factory networks as a form of real-time enterprise: concept, flexibility potential and case studies, in: B. Kuhlin and H. Thielmann (eds.): The Real Time Enterprise, New York: Springer 2005: 407-438. Download: pil2005-4.pdf

    Mitchell Tseng and Frank Piller: The Customer Centric Enterprise, in: M. Tseng and F. Piller (Eds.), The Customer Centric Enterprise: Advances in Mass Customization and Personalization, New York/Berlin: Springer 2003, pp. 1-18. Download: tsengpiller2003.pdf

    The Market for Customized Footwear in Europe: Market Demand and Consumer Preferences. A project report from the EuroShoe Project within the European Fifth Framework Program. Edited by Frank T. Piller. Munich / Milan, March 2002. Download: euroshoe1.pdf 


    Frank Piller, Udo Klein-Bölting, Dirk Lüttgens & Susanne Neuber: Die Intelligenz der Märkte nutzen: Open Innovation. BBDO Insights Nr. 8, Mai 2008, S. 50-63.Download: openinnovation2008.pdf

    Frank Piller: Mass Customization, in: Sönke Albers / Andreas Herrmann (Hg.): Handbuch Produktmanagement, 3. Auflage, Wiesbaden: Gabler 2007, S. 943-968. Download: pil2007-1.pdf

    Christoph Ihl, Melanie Müller, Frank Piller und Ralf Reichwald: Kundenzufriedenheit bei Mass Customization: Eine empirische Untersuchung zur Bedeutung des Co-Design-Prozess aus Kundensicht. Die Unternehmung, 59 (2006) 3 (Juni): 165-184. Download: ihl_etal2006.pdf

    Frank Piller: User Driven Innovation: Kunden als Initiator und Beteiligte im Innovationsprozess, in: Olga Drossou und Stefan Krempl (Hg.): Open Innovation. Freier Austausch von Wissen als soziales, politisches und wirtschaftliches Erfolgsmodell, Hannover: Heise dpunkt (Reihe Telepolis) 2006. Download: pil2005-1.pdf

    Frank Piller: Von Open Source zu Open Innovation, Harvard Business Manager, 25 (2003) 12 (Dezember): 114. Download: hbm03.pdf

    Ralf Reichwald und Frank Piller: Von Massenproduktion zu Co-Produktion: Kunden als Wertschöpfungspartner, Wirtschaftsinformatik 45 (2003) 5: 515-519. Download: reichpil2003.pdf

    Frank Piller und Christoph Ihl: Mass Customization ohne Mythos: Warum viele Unternehmen trotz der Nutzenpotentiale kundenindividueller Massenproduktion an der Umsetzung scheitern, in: IO New Management, 71. Jg. (2002), H. 10, S. 16-30. Download: mythos.pdf

    Frank Piller / Florian Hönigschmid /Florian Müller: Individualität und Preis: Eine empirische Untersuchung zu Preissensibilität und Zahlungsbereitschaft bei Mass-Customization-Produkten, Arbeitsbericht Nr. 28 des Lehrstuhls für Allgemeine und Industrielle Betriebswirtschaftslehre der Technischen Universität München, ISSN 0942-5098, May 2002. Download: TUM-AIBWP028.pdf

    Ralf Reichwald / Frank Piller: Mass-Customization-Konzepte im E-Business, in: Rolf Weiber (Hg.): Handbuch Electronic Business, 2. Auflage, Wiesbaden: Gabler 2002, S. 469-494. Download: pil2002-8.pdf 

    Ralf Reichwald / Frank Piller: Der Kunde als Wertschöpfungspartner: Formen und Prinzipien, in: Horst Albach et al. (Hg.): Wertschöpfungsmanagement als Kernkompetenz, Wiesbaden: Gabler, 2002, S. 27-52. Download: pil2002-3.pdf 

    Frank Piller: CRM durch Mass Customization, in: HMD-Praxis der Wirtschaftsinformatik, 38. Jg. (2001), H. 221 (Oktober 2001), Themenheft Customer Relationship Management, S. 47-57. Download: pil2001-5.pdf

    Frank Piller / Roland Meier: Strategien zur effizienten Individualisierung von Dienstleistungen, in: Industrie-Management, 17. Jg. (2001), Nr. 2, S. 13-17. Download: pil2001-10.pdf

    Frank Piller / Detlef Schoder: Mass Customization und Electronic Commerce, in: ZFB - Zeitschrift für Betriebswirtschaft, 1999, Heft 10. Download: zfb99.pdf

    Frank Piller: Das Produktivitätsparadoxon der Informationstechnologie, in: WIST, 27. Jg. (1998), H. 5, S. 257-262. Download: wist97.pdf 

    Frank Piller: Kundenindividuelle Produkte - von der Stange: Mass Customization, in: HARVARD BUSINESS manager, 19. Jg. (1997), H. 3, S. 15 - 26. Download: hbm97.pdf

    ff Documentation of the German Mass Customization Meetings

    2007: Frank Piller & Dominik Walcher: Zukunftsstrategien für Mass Customization. Die achte Mass-Customization-Tagung für Deutschland, Österreich und die Schweiz. Salzburg, 15./16.02.2007.

    2005 and 2006: Due to my stay in these years in the USA, the events took place in form of on-invitation-only workshops in March 2006 and January 2006 at TUM, Munich. An external report is here.

    2004: Mass Customization - Methoden, Wissen, Anwendungen für die kundenindividuelle Massenproduktion, Sechste deutsche Tagung in Deutschland, 8.-9. November in Frankfurt a.M., Frankfurt/Magdeburg 2004.

    2003: The Fifth German Mass Customization Conference was organized as business seminar as part of the MCPC 2003 in Munich, Germany.

    2002: Mass Customization - Quo Vadis, German Mass Customization Community Meeting - Bad Ems - November 2002.

    2001: Mass Customization - Vom Businessmodell zur erfolgreichen Anwendung, Dritte deutsche Tagung in Deutschland, 8.-9. November in Frankfurt a.M., Frankfurt/Magdeburg 2001.

    2000: Potentiale von Mass Customization und CRM im eBusiness, veranstaltet vom AIB an der TU München und dem Fraunhofer IFF Magdeburg, Frankfurt/M., 5.und 6. Okt. 2000, Frankfurt/München 2000.

    1999: Kundenindividuelle Massenproduktion: Produkte, Fertigung, Marketing", veranstaltet vom Fraunhofer IPT Aachen, Fraunhofer IFF Magdeburg, Lehrstuhl für Industriebetriebslehre an der Universität Würzburg und der inTouch GmbH Bad Homburg, 14. April 1999, Würzburg 1999.



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