Adjustment of the value chain in the mass-shoe-production to customized production by unitized products and processes
The European shoe industry is going through structural changes, focussing both on costs and on customer orientation. Not "re-action" on effects of change, but rather controlling the change and designing the future become key factors of success in order to ensure sustainability. The "My Gallus" project is taking this active approach and combines strategies of Mass Customization and Open Innovation in order to change classic business logics of sales and production. It is not the manufacturer who creates products, puts them in stock and subsequently tries to sell them, it is the customer himself requesting his product according to his individual requirements.
When applying this customer-pull based business-model, it is critical to minimize the disadvantages of personalized production, i.e. not exceeding cost or time constraints compared to mass production. Accordingly the aim can be defined as finding a way to offer each consumer a individualized shoe at the same price and in the same quality as standardized shoes. Above that analysing the configuration and interaction process should also allow a better understanding of customers' behaviour and requirements, creating a long term "learning relationship".
The objectives are: increased orientation on the customer value, more efficient utilisation of resources, increased flexibility and adaptability as well as sustainability to shoe production in Austria.
The implementation of this concept requires flexible product architectures, agile manufacturing concepts in production layout, efficient IT-solutions along the entire supply chain and a strategic vision on the company level that integrates areas of responsibilities. The effective implementation of the projects' concepts of selling personalized goods at the same cost as standardized goods also requires a solid strategy with respect to Change Management .
The company's structure and processes need to be analysed, changed and coordinated throughout the entire supply chain by defining the solution space on different levels:
- Relationship view: Definition of the solution space for customers and markets
- Differentiation view: Definition of the solution space for the product and its structure
- Process view: Definition of the solution space for manufacturing processes and logistics
- Management view: Integration of the solution space to strategic management concepts
The integrated solution space on company level is an aggregation and interaction of the defined solution space within each working package of the research project. The project itself is organized by assigning responsibilities to eight working packages that cover specific parts of the entire project and that need to respect the constraints of the overall company strategy. Each working package has clear tasks and pre-defined goals and needs to align its progress with the overall project results. On an organizational level the project itself is managed by a team of experienced professionals that apply clearly structured implementation processes and thereby ensure a successful implementation.
The result of "My Gallus" is primarily a fully operational prototype of an interactive and working mass customization business model that integrates and connects the findings and results of each working package into an overall company specific solution. The outcome is a reference model of customer oriented manufacturing along the supply chain that can be seen as a reference for the manufacturing industry in Austria itself that is facing similar challenges. "My Gallus" will lead to valuable results, taking advantage of an unique cooperation on regional basis of research departments and innovative high tech enterprises that together are able to realize a research project that guarantees sustainability to shoe production in Austria. The physical output of the project, the personalized shoe, might become the "living proof" of mass customization in the shoe industry and its "product of the future".
DI Mag. Dr. Markus Zanker
Univ. Prof. DI Dr. Gerhard Friedrich
Gallus Herrenschuh GmbH
Gallus Marketing & Sales GmbH
ConfigWorks Informationssysteme & Consulting GmbH
Universität Klagenfurt, IWAS
Univ. Prof. DI Dr. Gerhard Friedrich
Tel.: +43 463 2700 3752
Fax: +43 463 2700 3799